Processing Portraits


A couple of weeks ago, Peter wrote about a studio lighting class we attended at LACP.  It was a hard, thrilling day.  I had a chance to learn more about light and shadow, but also an opportunity to try out some different processing techniques.

I first tried some of my favorite Lightroom presets for images where I wanted drama.  A minor tangent….I love Lightroom presets.  I must have a hundred different collections of them.  I find that my preferences change over time, what started with a desire to get a quick and easy cross processing effect turned into a collection of a 1000 presets. Lightroom lets you preview them before applying.  My only wish is that you can change the “opacity” of the effect when you want to dial it back.  Right now I am loving the Nicolesy collection.  They have become my go-to presets when I am working with portraits.  Below are to images with those presets.


For some images I wanted to take them into Photshop so I could use Portrait Professional.  This software is amazing….in small doses. It has software that re-sculpts the face to make it more symmetrical.  Our girls never need re-scuplting; Peter and I look like Muppets when its done.  I usually turn this feature off; and then manually reduce some of the settings.  I want enhanced, but not plastic.


Lastly, I wanted to work with Nick Color  Effects Pro.  They have a Detail Extractor which I used to sharpen the hair and eyes.  And a dynamic skin softener which I used to smooth out the skin….barely.  I felt conflicted about this.  I really didn’t want to change the skin, but felt the models needed something they could feel good about and share.  Again, a little goes a long way.




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