Create a cinematic effect
Produce a film-still quality
‘Cinematic’ can mean many different things, but here you will learn how to create a dramatic, high-contrast result. We have to look to Lightroom’s detail and colour adjustments to create this faded yet crisp dramatic style.
On the one hand you want to avoid losing detail, but on the other hand you want to create a subtle softness that reduces the appearance of an image fresh out of the camera. To do this, you can combine adjustments such as Dehaze and Clarity, and then Sharpness, to give you a good starting point. It’s about keeping colours bright without applying too much saturation, because this type of effect is not so much about drawing attention to colour, but more about making the action a focal point.
1 Tweak exposure Load up your image into Lightroom and head to the Develop module. Under the Basic tab, boost up the Exposure slider to +0.44 and Contrast to +53 to increase the overall brightness and impact.
2 Expose the detail To control the brighter regions, reduce the Highlights slider to -55. Set Shadows to +46, Whites to +40 and Blacks to -17. This will create a certain amount contrast and add detail to midtones.
3 Colour and clarity In order to boost the detail further, increase the Clarity slider up to +70, Vibrance to -28 and Saturation to +9. This will help give a cinematic appeal to the overall image.
4 Vignette for impact Inside the Effects section of the Develop module, add a vignette by setting the Amount slider to -20 under Post-Crop Vignetting. The options can be altered to reshape the vignette if desired.
5 Dehaze for depth The Dehaze slider gives this effect further strength by boosting it up to +22. Going too high with this slider will reduce the shadows to a solid black. Going in the opposite direction will add a mist effect.
6 Sharpen up To add a dose of sharpness, head to the Detail tab, slide Amount to 41 and then set Radius to 1. Set Detail to 15. The image should appear sharper and more refined as a result.
7 Adjust details Under Noise Reduction, set Luminance to 43, Detail to 73 and Contrast to 25. To smooth out any colour distortion, slide Color to 23, Detail to 50 and Smoothness to 75.
8 Colour corrections If a particular colour is overpowering, such as the greens or the yellows, go into the HSL section and reduce the Saturation of the colours down to between -30 and -40. This helps create a cinematic style.