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In this Lightroom 5 Essentials installment, Chris Orwig breaks out the Adobe Lightroom power tools. Learn advanced techniques to improve images with creative color, retouching, and other effects in the Develop module. Chris shows you how to crop and straighten your photographs for instantly improved compositions; remove dust and distracting background elements; selectively paint in adjustments to make your subject's skin, teeth, and eyes shine in portraits; and make both subtle and dramatic color changes, including black-and-white conversions. Plus, learn to increase image quality through noise reduction and clarity adjustments, apply split toning and vignettes, and correct for lens distortion.
Let's take a look at how we can use the effects panel in order to add a film grain effect to our photographs. In order to begin to understand how we can use the various sliders which we have here in the Effects panel, I'm going to begin by working with a demo file. So let's select the demo file and then next I'm going to zoom in on it to a one to one perspective. I'm using this demo file which is just a shade of gray so that we can kind of understand how these sliders work and not be distracted by working on a photograph. Well as I increase my overall amount, you can see that we can increase or decrease the overall effect. Next we have the size slider.
As you decrease the Size slider you'll notice that the grain takes an appearance which has more contrast. The whites and whiter and the blacks are blacker. As we increase the size, the grain becomes bigger. And also, in a certain way, it becomes more subtle. Now, the size of the grain will really depend upon the photographic. How much you actually want to notice a grain. You can also change the characteristics of the grain by working with roughness. As you decrease roughness, well, the grain will look more uniform. As you increase it, there's a little bit more variety in the way that the grain appears.
Let's now apply what we've learned here to a photograph. Here I'll click back to my Fit and View and click on a portrait that I capture. This is a bridal portrait that I captured in one of my other training courses. The course was on bridal portraiture. And in this case, I like the nice elegant look of this picture, I like the overall light. What I want to do is to make this image look a little bit more like it was captured with film. I want to change this (UNKNOWN) here. So what we can do is go ahead and click to zoom in, say to a fill perspective, so that we can get a little bit closer to the image.
And then start to add a bit of film grain. Keep in mind, though that in order to evaluate the film grain, sometimes what you need to do is zoom in even further. It really depends upon how you're going to display or print the photograph as well. So let's begin with this perspective here. I'll go ahead and increase my amount. I want to keep the amount relatively low. If we go too high, it will be overpowering. So here I'm going to keep the grain amount low. Because there are skin tones in the photograph, rather than having a large grain size, what I'm going to do again is keep the this really small.
This will give it a nice, even look. Sometimes this can also help to even out the tones that you have in your photographs as well. And keep in mind too, this works great with color or black and white photographs. Now for the roughness, here we can go ahead and decrease the roughness. And often you would think that that would look better, yet what I find is it's just too consistent. It's too noticeable. As you increase the roughness, it almost helps to make the grain blend in a little bit. So here in my own workflow, I tend to have a little bit of a higher roughness versus a lower roughness. Again, this depends on each particular photograph.
So I'm going to go ahead and scale these values back. And then after I've done that, what you also may want to do is zoom into a 1 to 1 perspective. Here we'll click on the 1 to 1 option in the navigator panel. Well now when we get this close, we realize that you know what, the grain is actually too intense. Let me show you what I mean. Well, here I'll click on this flip switch. There's the before, yet the digital image here looks a little bit too perfect. When we add a little bit of grain, it does add some nice feeling to this but it's a bit too strong. Well, the strength of the effect though really depends upon how you're going to print the image or display it. In other words, let's say that I was going to print this image on my favorite paper which is Epson Velvet Fine Art.
Well, this amount would be perfect. That's because that paper is really soft and the ink actually absorbs into the paper and there's a bit higher dot gain. In other words, it just creates a little bit of a softer look. Yet, if I was going to print this on a different paper, what I might want to do is just reduce my amounts here and also the size a little bit. In order to disguise or to hide that grain. I should also point out that as you add film grain, you may want to go back to some of your other controls which we've talked about. The Basic panel or some of your color controls, and further customize the look or the color in order to achieve a particular aesthetic.
Well, either way you can always do that but here I want to highlight how we can work with these sliders. And I'm hoping that this demonstration has helped you to understand how you can use these sliders or controls in order to add a grain effect to your photograph. Here let's click on the flip switch so that we can see. Here is the before and then I'll click again so that we can now see the after.
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