For many of us, time spent in lockdown has offered us the opportunity to develop a new skill or hobby. Photography has always been a passion of mine and with the recent increase of time spent at home, I’ve been able to immerse myself into yet another of Adobe’s creativity software… Lightroom.

Here are just a few of my Lightroom tips for enhancing your photography, and getting the absolute best out of your well earned shots:

Presets: Presets are a fantastic tool to instantly transform your photography, and give them your desired look and feel with the single click of a button. Although presets will save you huge amounts of time in the future, their creation will take time and effort beforehand. Creating presets really depends on your desired style and should ultimately be a reflection of you and your creative flare.

So what are presets?
Well, a preset is a stored collection of custom settings (created in Lightroom) that can be applied to an image. Specific hues, vibrancies, tones and shadows are just a few of the settings that can be selected and stored. When it comes to editing an image, simply click on the preset (the settings on your editing panel will automatically adjust) and then decide whether to proceed or not. There are always a few minor tweaks to make, but the bulk of the work had been done for you.

Split Toning: A fantastic tool to alter the tones of your image is ‘Split Toning.’ Split Toning will allow you to add specific colour to your photos’ highlights and shadows. The more colour you want, the higher you set the value. To achieve the warmer tones in my photography, I would add subtle yellow tones to the highlights, and deep blues to the shadows. It really is a balancing act with this tool, as the image can sometimes look far too manipulated, but when used correctly, it can really help you in achieving that desired style.

Below is an example of how I used split toning to add a more ‘pinky’ tone to this beautifully characterful building in Southern India.

Spot Removal: Lightroom has the perfect tool available to remove unwanted McDonalds cartons, crowds on a street or a rogue cloud in the sky. It’s called ‘Spot Removal.’ Simply highlight the area to you want to erase, select a part of the image to replace that nuisance element with, and BINGO… job done.

Adjustment Brush: When it comes the enhancing certain areas of your image, the adjustment brush is perfect for this. Just like the name suggests, these tools allow you to manipulate specific areas of your image by targeting values such as highlights, shadows and overall colour. If you just want to make your sea pop with highlights, then the tool allows you to do just that. This brush is also a great tool to add/enhance sunlight in your image. Below is an example of my specific values for adding a sun flare to your image. The area between the trees at Tibumana Waterfall in Bali could allow for light to pour through as shown in the example below. However, please note that when adding this artificial light, make sure the shadows and tones of your image allow this.

Shadows and Blacks: My final tip is possibly the simplest, but very useful nevertheless. Rather than altering the contrast of your overall image, target the shadows and blacks. Doing so gives you much more control over your image when you want to add contrast and texture.

And that’s all for now. We’d love to hear about your photo editing tips or see the results from one of ours – just tag @brilliantsocial when you post on Instagram. Happy editing all!

Images featured are from Instagram: @Takeoff Together