Join Jan Kabili for an in-depth discussion in this video Bringing out detail in the wedding dress, part of Enhancing a Black-and-White Wedding Photo with Lightroom.
All the changes that I've made so far to this black and white photo have effected the entire photo. Now I'd like to make some local adjustments. Adjustments that effect only part of the photo. I want to start by trying to bring back more detail in the bride's dress. So, I'm going to create an adjustment brush for that purpose and paint it just over her dress. The adjustment brush tool is located in the tool bar just underneath the histogram. I'm actually going to collapse the histogram so that we have more room to see the adjustment brush panel and then I'll click on the adjustment brush tool and the adjustment brush panel drops down beneath it.
The first thing I do in this panel is set all of the sliders back to their default of zero. To do that I hold down the Option key, that's the Alt key on the PC. And the effect label changes to a reset label, I'll click Reset. And now all of these sliders go back to zero. I know that I want to bring back some detail in the model's skirt so I'm going to start by decreasing the exposure sliders slightly and then I'm going to check my brush settings, I'm going to leave all of these settings at the defaults with 100 feather 100 flow and 100 density.
I am going to check auto mask, which will help me to stay within the lines, as I'm painting just the area of the bride's dress. And, I'm going to click and drag over her dress. And, you can see, as I'm doing that, the dress is getting slightly darker. Now, what I'm actually doing is creating a mask that defines the area affected by this adjustment. If I want to see the mask, I'll come down to the toolbar at the bottom of the develop module. And if you don't see press T on your keyboard. And I'm going to check Show Selected Mask Overlay.
And now I can see the mask that I just painted. I can see that I missed a few spots. I'm going to make my brush tip a bit smaller on the fly by pressing the left bracket key on the keyboard,. That's the key just to the right of the P key. And now I can get in here and paint over these parts of the dress that I missed. And because I have auto mask checked, I don't have to worry too much about going outside the lines. But you can see that I have painted a bit outside the lines. That's easy enough to fix.
All I have to do is hold down the Option key, that's the Alt key on the PC. And that changes me to the Erase brush, you can see that Erase is highlighted here in the Brush settings. And with the Option or Alt key held down, I'm just going to paint over this area that I don't want to include in this adjustment. And down here as well. I use the red mask, just as an indicator of the area being affected by my adjustments. So once I'm done fine tuning the mask, and I don't have to be too careful at the edges, I'll uncheck Show Selected Mask Overlay. Now, I do have some detail in the dress, but not as much as I would like.
So I'm going to add some more settings to the same brush. I'll move over the image and you can see this pin that represents the mask I've just painted. With that pin selected, in other words the pin is black. Any additional change that I make to these sliders will effect the mask area. I'm going to reduce the contrast, hoping that that will bring back some more detail. I'll decrease the highlights. Remember that I decrease the highlights overall in the basic panel. Now I'm decreasing the highlights even further, just over the skirt of the dress.
I'm going to decrease the shadows too because I want the dark of the dress to be a little bit darker. And I'm going to increase clarity, which will increase the contrast in the mid-tones. And I'll give sharpness a try too. Try to sharpen up that dress so that the details are more visible. Now, I think that the dress is a little bit dark. So I'm going to go back up to the exposure slider. And I'm going to drag it closer to zero. Putting it just about there. Now, if you want to see the difference that that's made. I can go down to the bottom of the adjustment brush panel, and toggle this switch on and off.
This will turn off all adjustment brush adjustments that I've made. I only have the one so far. So, when I toggle. You can see how things were before this adjustment brush and how they are after. We definitely have more detail in the skirt. Next I'd like to tackle the veil. I might want to use these same settings on the veil. So I'm going to save them as a preset adjustment brush. To do that, I'll go to the Custom menu at the top center of the Adjustment Brush panel. I'll click there, and I'll come down to Save Current Settings as New Preset.
And I'll call this my wedding dress preset and click Create. And now if I want to paint with those same setting somewhere else, like the model's veil, in the future I'll be able to quickly access these settings. Now there's one more thing that I could do to try to increase the detail in the wedding dress and that is I can duplicate this adjustment brush in place. Which would multiply all of the effects that I've laid down with my initial adjustment brush. To show you how that works, I'm going to hover over the image, and select that pin that represents this adjustment over the dress.
And then, I'm going to hold down the Cmd key and the Option key. That's the Ctrl key and the Alt key on a PC. And I'm going to click right on that pin. You can see that the last thing that happened was Duplicate Adjustment. So that's what that keyboard shortcut does when you click on a pin. It duplicates the adjustment. So here's how the image looked before duplicating the adjustment. Here's how it looks after duplicating the adjustment. I think that that's, a little bit too much. So I'm going to tweak the sliders on this duplicate adjustment.
I'll double click the Highlights label to send the Highlights slider back to zero. And I'll do the same for the Shadows slider. And I'm going to do the same thing for the Exposure slider. And now I'm pretty satisfied with the way the dress looks. It's not too dark, but we can see a lot of the lovely detail in those fine fabrics. Now that I'm happy with the result, I'll click the Done button and that will close the Adjustment Brush panel.
- Converting to black and white
- Fine-tuning with a tone curve
- Controlling how colors convert
- Painting with light
- Bringing out detail in the dress and veil
- Removing hotspots
- Adding a vignette
- Sharpening, resizing, and exporting the file