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Sonora Edit

Lesson 7 from: Mastering Lightroom Classic & Photoshop Fundamentals

Andrew Kearns

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Lesson Info

7. Sonora Edit

Andrew walks you through the process of editing one of his favorite images focusing on contrast and skin tones.
Next Lesson: Mountains Edit

Lesson Info

Sonora Edit

We've now moved from my desk to the nicer setup 'cause now this part of the studio is open. So that's why there's all the switch up. I'm gonna hit command+D to bring this into Photoshop, and we'll just wait for it to do its thing. With this photo I want to focus on diffusing that background just a bit more. I really like how it came out in a VSCO edit. And I think I'm gonna try to get something really close to that just because again, it diffused the background a bit, brought Sonora out of the photo or separated her from the background a bit more. So that's the goal here. And we can get a little more intricate with Photoshop rather than VSCO. Let's hop into it. Unlock the layer and duplicate it. I'm gonna zoom out just slightly. I'm gonna do a little bit of clone stamping first. Cool, that looks good. Pretty subtle. I'm not gonna spend too much time on that. I'm gonna go command+shift+A to bring in a Adobe Raw filter here. Zoom out a bit, and just do a few exposure things here. Gonna g...

o command+alt+shift+L to luminance panel just like we did in Lightroom. Bump up her skin, slightly saturate the sweater. I'm gonna go command+alt+shift+H to the hue. Just see what's going on here. Test out a few things. Cool, so that's some very subtle changes there. I'm gonna hit okay. So that's before, that's after, just a little cleanup and a little bit of toning on our subject. Really not too much craziness going on yet. One thing that does kind of bug me is this upper area. First off, her hand looks very oddly diffused and it just looks almost gray. I wanna bring some color back into that and I also wanna create more space in the image just because her hand's very, very close to that edge and it just, compositionally, it looks kind of funny to me. So I'm gonna do that now and fix that. Hit the crop tool and bring that up just slightly. Go back to our lasso tool again and just bring it-- Oh, it glitched on me. I'm gonna duplicate the layer and then do that again. Cool, and then select that. I'm gonna go up a bit, so I'm not touching her fingers there. Hit the fill button and content aware. That should just create some sky there. Boom. It's looking good. So this is where we started. This is where we're at. I'm gonna do some adjustment on her hand there. I'm gonna come into the curves panel. I'm just gonna go darker and then also go to the blue here and take out some blue to make it warmer. And then a touch of red in there. I imagine that should do something close to the trick. I just inverted the layer, dragging up to her hand, making sure the mask is selected here. Hit the B key. Make it a little bit bigger. And we're just gonna brush in that. You can see right there, makes it warmer, makes it a bit more natural looking. I think I probably affected that with some sort of gradient in Lightroom. Or it just came out of the image like that. It was very foggy, very wet. And sometimes stuff can get a little distorted in color at the edges of your lens. So that could be totally it, too. Or the edge of your frame, I guess. Cool. Looks good. I'm just gonna clean that up slightly. There's probably easier ways to select than I'm doing with the selection tool and feathering and all that. But, this is just always how I've done it and it works for me. If you know a better way, then cool. Awesome, so that's without it, that's with it, makes it look a little more natural. I'm just gonna do a few changes to it to blend it better. Little bit of red and a touch of yellow or I guess take away a touch of blue and then let's come back up here and push the RGB just slightly. Maybe add a touch of contrast in the shadows on it. And then let's take the opacity, 'cause I like the coloring of it. Overall it looks really like, looks pretty accurate. I think I could spend a lot of time on it and try to get it exactly perfect. But I won't try to right now as I'm trying to. Cool, I'm gonna leave it at that. I'm gonna change this opacity here to like, there. So before, after, yeah. I think that that helped it a bit. Now let's actually get into the background here and diffuse it a bit. Here's where we started. Here's where we're at. Nothing too crazy yet. I'm gonna target the entire image here and just bring up the curves. Flatten that just slightly, nothing too heavy, and then bring a touch of contrast in the shadows. Nice, so that's before and that's after adding that. I do like how diffused it looks. I think that looks good. I'm gonna take this area right here close to where the highlights are in between the midtone and the highlight. I'm gonna bring it down just a slight bit like right there. So I'll delete that and just show you what it's doing. Delete and redo. It kind of is putting that effect, it's putting that same effect that the VSCO filter did in the earlier edit. Again, this is straight from Lightroom into Photoshop. I didn't go Lightroom then VSCO and then take that VSCO edit into Photoshop. This is the one from Lightroom and like I said, that really milky, faded look and the highlights looked really good from that VSCO edit. So I'm kind of trying to emulate that and it's getting there. Here's before, here's after. I'm gonna take the opacity down on this curves layer just a bit, make it not too heavy. I wanna try brushing out her skin real quick just because I wanna see what her skin looks like without those curves adjustments on it. And it might fit the image just better. Yeah, I like that a lot. Yeah, so here's where we're at. Before, after. Really digging it. This image was already really good in the first place. And just like I was talking about in the VSCO edit, I don't want to alter it too much 'cause it already looks really solid. I think the last stuff we can really do here is just diffuse that background slightly more and then play a bit with the tonings, like target the highlights there and mess around with some bluish-green tones with a good contrast against her skin. So let's do that. Gonna hit the curves again, you know I love curves. And I'm going to I think what I'm gonna try to do is just push it up at first and then bring down those highlights slightly and just bring them both up together there. I want to keep it pretty subtle, I think. This is kind of just a test. I don't really know what will happen here but basically I'll just show you, that's what the overall change is doing. And I'm just looking at the highlights here. Obviously the subject Sonora doesn't look too great with all that. So I'm going to invert it and run a gradient filter across both sides of her. I'm gonna duplicate this layer and run one over here. Cool, not looking bad. I'm gonna just name these layers so we know what's going on here. So with the hand adjustment, the background adjustment, not targeting her skin and then two of the gradient filters going left and right. Here's before, here's the after. I like how it's looking, again, just like that VSCO edit. It's looking very diffused, very cohesive across the whole image. I'm gonna try upping this side just a bit more. Same with this side. And then from here I want to, I'm gonna just brush her out. Well, I guess it's really not affecting her. I'm gonna bring this one a little more over that way though. I wanna see if it's affecting her too much, but rather I think I'm going to do one more curves layer and target her sweater. Just creating a nice contrast in it with a S-curve and then editing it a bit after that. So command+I to invert it and then brush it in. And the reason I'm doing this is just to create more of a focal interest on that sweater. Your eye's naturally drawn to more contrasted areas. Just trying to make this happen without overdoing it. As you can see, my lines are really not perfect. That's okay. No one's noticed before, so it's all good. It's kinda hard to see it with these bright lights blaring in my face, but I think that looks pretty solid. Here's a before, here's an after. Just creating some contrast in there. It almost looks a bit too rough, so I'm going to just take down the opacity a bit and just darken it all together in the curve. So before, after. After that I'm going to come into the color balance panel and with this curves panel I'm gonna target the sweater again and just create a little bit of color contrast in that sweater. So I'm gonna hold alt+drag on the color balance to put that same mask in there. And then, as you can see, this color balance panel, it affects the sweater as well. So with that, I'm just gonna bring a little bit of color contrast in that shadow and yeah, we'll see how it looks. Nice, I like that. It's very subtle. If you look mainly right here at this shadow right here, you can really see what happens. So I'll turn it off and turn it back on. It's creating a slight red in the shadow. You could overemphasize that more if you want, but for me I like to keep things subtle. And I think I would like that. I really think that works well with her skin. 'Cause it almost brings a bit of the skin tone into that shadow of the sweater, which almost feels like it's naturally reflecting off her skin. That's kind of where my mind goes. I think it's just a very subtle, nice touch to create a bit of color contrast interest and also color similarities between those shadows and then her skin tone. So here's what we just did with that sweater. There it was before, and there it was after with just a curves and a color balance. And overall here's where we're at. This is where we started, not bad. As you can see, the colors just look very simple and basic compared to where they're at now, where it's a bit more diffused in the background and it just is feeling a lot more like the image should. It's a little bit more dramatic, which I'm a fan of for this one. I'm gonna come back into this background adjustment panel. I want to fade those highlights a bit more, just diffuse that background all the more like that. Oof, that looks nice. So one thing I noticed is this background adjustment is also affecting the sweater. So it really dampens it out a bit and diffuses that arm or that sleeve a lot and just kind of looks unnatural. I'm gonna come back into the mask and just paint that out. I wanna first do the opacity at just to see if I'm keen on that. And we can always like, we can always keep that effect in there a little by lowering the opacity of the brush up here to like 50%. But I'm actually liking how it looks right here. Cool. Boom. So now it's just affecting that background not so much the sweater, but with the sweater I'm gonna come in back into this curves panel. I'm gonna rename it "before," "after." I'm gonna come into this sweater curves panel and just bump up that slightly to create contrast interest. Nice, so now let's focus on the background toning and the simplest way to do it is create probably a color balance panel and then take this mask right here, the background adjustment mask, alt+drag onto the color balance panel. So now that's targeting the exact same thing as those curves were earlier. Ah, hold on. Glad I saw that. So I'm gonna come into this panel now and brush back her hands out. Sorry, quick detour. We did some work to fix that hand, so don't want it to go to waste by accidentally targeting it. Cool. Cool, cool, cool. So now I'm going to delete that color balance one, create a new one and then just copy that mask over. There's a bunch of different ways you could change the tone of the background here. You could do it through curves, through various other adjustments, but I think I'm just gonna try color balance and highlights. Just keep it simple. And I'm gonna keep it very subtle. I actually wonder, I'm gonna turn this off real quick and do one that's just targeting it completely globally, so it's affecting her skin a little bit. It would maybe feel a bit unnatural if you just only targeted everything around her and not her, it would probably create a weird color cast against the background and the skin that just wouldn't look normal. It'd look very unnatural. I'm just gonna do a global edit rather and target the highlights. All right, so here is with those color balance changes, here's without it. Just a little before and after. I like the toning of it, looks pretty nice. I decided not to go with the one that was just targeting the background behind her just because it was gonna look unnatural. I feel like this looks pretty natural. And I'm gonna rename that just so we can know what it means. So here's the image we started with from Lightroom. Did a little bit of stamping there, and then added that top bit in, fixed the hand. You can see that right there, definitely helps it quite a bit. The background adjustment where it fades it out a lot, we kind of came back to that a few times. We have a diffused gradient on the right side, one on the left side, and then targeting her sweater. And notice too really quick on those gradients, it does overlap her quite a bit. I think a little overlap is fine because it makes it feel a bit more natural. I'm usually not being too nit-picky on those things and it seems to work out. We added a contrast into the sweater through targeting it with curves, and then we toned it a bit with curves I believe. Oh no, with color balance there. So boom, and then an overall toning making it a bit more blue and cooler, which is nice. Yeah, it's looking pretty solid. So the last thing I'm gonna do is I'm gonna desaturate the sweater a bit. I feel like it's a bit oversaturated and a simple way to do that is hit command on this mask right here on the sweater toning. You can see it targets the sweater there. And I'm going to make a hue saturation selection. I'm also gonna just brush this section down here. Probably on this mask as well as the mask below. Just so we're getting all that sweater in there. Cool. So I'm gonna take this down just a bit on saturation. Right there's pretty solid and I'm just gonna change the hue slightly. Whew. I'm focusing too hard with my eyes, they're bugging out. Nice, I like that a lot. So just desaturating a bit. And then bringing a little more green into it with the hue saturation panel. That's before, that's after. It creates this more just slightly more green feel to it. And I think that just matches the overall color scheme really well. And with that, I think that's pretty solid. I wouldn't wanna change too much more to it. If I did, I don't even know what I would change at that point and probably just be testing a lot of things. But with that, I think I'm gonna keep it there. So hit command+S, I don't think I did this in the last one. But basically if you hit command+S, it'll save down here and you see once it hits 90 some percent or a 100%, and once it hits that 100% here in a second, it's just gonna pop up in Lightroom here. Boom. So here's the raw image, and if you remember our task was to separate the subject from the background that much more. So we started with this, we did some adjustments in Lightroom there and brought it to a pretty nice start to bring into Photoshop and boom. So the subject is very much isolated from that background. The background's barely there. Sonora is just popping out so well against that background. And then we did some color toning. We just did some contrast adjustments to bring in some focal points on that sweater. Overall, that final image is looking very nice. Like I said, I love the diffused feel to the whole thing. I feel like we accomplished that pretty well. And with that, the last image is that mountain-y landscape layer photo. So let's bring that one into Photoshop and get started.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Workshop PDF
View Andrew's Selects
Sonora Edit - Before and After
Mountains Edit - Before and After
Edit 01 - Before and After
Edit 02 - Before and After
Edit 03 - Before and After

Ratings and Reviews

Ratul Dutta

This class is really like a good investment. It's gonna help you step by step and you can come back to it multiple times when you need to. Been watching Andrew Kearns on YouTube since 2018. Massive fan of his editing style. I wanted this class as soon as I saw the discount rate. Being a student from a different country, I probably wouldn't have been able to afford it at it's original price. This workshop goes in real depth towards the "approach" of editing a photo. I learnt a tonne of cool stuff. So many new things. Subtle yet so powerful.

Mack Woodruff

Incredibly Eye Opening This workshop truly opened up a whole new world of editing techniques that I didn't fully realize existed. I'd recommend this workshop for anyone who has a basic understanding of LR and PS already and are hoping to take it to new levels. I will keep coming back to it for a long time!

Veronica Ettedgui

Very very nice!!

Student Work