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There are so many ways to use editing programs together. My most common method (which has become a habit) is to do general tweaking on a whole batch of photos in LR before heading over to PS to edit the final cuts one-by-one. What started as a pretty quick procedure turned into a long, drawn out night after night of editing sessions when I fell in love with certain actions and started feeling that I needed to ‘actionize’ every single image in a session.
So once in a while, I reassess the way I’m doing things to see what I can do to be more efficient. One of the things I’ve done in the past is go back to LR and harness it’s efficient, streamlined and beautiful simplicity. After all, LR was created specifically to give photographers a more practical solution for an efficient, effortless workflow from import to export.
Here are a few tips for getting the most out of Lightroom instead of relying too heavily on PS for those everyday shots.
1. Sharpening – One of the things I’ve always hated about LR is it’s incompetent sharpening capabilities. I really love using smart sharpen or sharpening actions in PS to get ultra crisp edges and detail. The little slider in LR simply doesn’t cut it. If you want to sharpen things up, try the clarity slider. Sliding it a bit to the right will do the trick. And if you have a face in the photo which isn’t treated nicely by bumping up the clarity, I would use the adjustment brush to paint a lower clarity just on the skin.
2. Brush your hair – I love the adjustment brush. It’s one of those little-known tools when you first discover LR which has a huge amount of power. For example in this photo on the left, I used a sharpening brush on the eyes, a low clarity brush to smooth the skin and a high contrast brush on the hair. You could us the brush to brighten catchlights for juicy eyes, brighten teeth, enhance hair lights or brighten dark under eye circles. You can do so much more with the adjustment brush than you might think.
3. Customise presets – one size rarely fits all when it comes to presets. They’re an amazing starting point. An excellent diving board to get you going but you really must tweak them for each photo individually. And this can be done in a matter of seconds versus the 10-20 minutes it can take me to complete just one photo in PS. Use the adjustment brush to dodge and burn or enhance the brightness on a photo in isolated areas.
What about you? Do you have to re-vamp your workflow once in a while too? I’m sure I’m not the only one! What do you do to get the most out of LR?
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