Use Lightroom to create a cinematic look
Fine-tune your environmental portraits with careful editing – employ the power of Lightroom to add some drama to your images
The post-production of a portrait may involve hours of retouching and editing work, however when it comes to an environmental portrait it is important not to take your edits too far. The final image should be a truthful depiction of your subject and the scene. Err on the side of minimal editing in order to depict the truest version of your subject’s story. Some photographers will do a little compositing if there are minor elements that need to be removed, but generally nothing that will radically change the essence of the scene.
Environmental portraits are very often characterised by the cinematic, colour- graded look that makes images look almost as if they are stills from a movie. Cinematic photography adds a drama and intensity to the scene captured and will enhance the lighting and mood too. The goal is to create an image that tells a story, so the cinematic look works really well and adds to the documentary feel.
1 Increase brightness Head to the Basic tab in the Develop module. Increase the exposure to +50 and boost the contrast to +55 to enhance the brightness of the image.
2 Bring out the details To add more contrast and bring out more detail, reduce Highlights to -60, Shadows to +50, Whites to +30 and decrease the Blacks to around -20.
3 Increase clarity To reveal the detail further, increase the Clarity slider to +75, and to create more of a cinematic look, decrease the Vibrance to -30 and up the Saturation to +10.
4 Add a vignette and dehaze Set Amount to -30 under Post-Crop Vignetting in the Effects tab. Now, increase the Dehaze slider to +25 to make the shadows more defined.
5 Sharpen In the Detail tab set Amount to 40, Radius 1 and Detail 15. In Noise Reduction, set Luminance to 40, Detail 70, Contrast 25 then Color to 20, Smoothness 75.