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Understanding how a photographer gets his look on lightroom

theo.lefort

New Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2020
Messages
2
Lightroom Version
8.2
Operating System
Windows 10
Hello,

I am not sure whether this is in topic, but here I go : I am very interested by the look of the images of certain photographers that use digital cameras, and the process they go through to gt this look in lightroom. If I could define it, i would say uncontrasty, with a warm color palette and soft, unsaturated tones. But I am a beginner in lightroom and have a hard time transferring these vague ideas into a replicable process. One of the best example I could give for you to see what this look is like is documentary photographer Nanna Heitman's images.

If someone could give me at least a vague direction and advice on how to achieve this look, I would be vry thankful.
 
Joined
Dec 7, 2007
Messages
2,135
Location
Puget Sound
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
Welcome to the forum! This type of question comes up about 3-4 times a year, and unfortunately there is no simple answer as you are basically trying to reverse engineer somebody's style with little information except a final product. The good news is that you have identified what you want to see, and that is a quite helpful as you will then be able to know what you want when you see it while experimenting with your own photos. Short of finding and using a preset that give you exactly what you want, you will need to become somewhat familiar with the tools in the Develop module, if even just at a rudimentary level, so you know your way around.

Once you have a bit of a feel, I would suggest creating virtual copies of an image that you want to adjust (and use for learning). This will allow you to always go back to the originally imported image and create a new virtual copy to play with. If you are not shooting raw files, then I would also suggest that you consider doing so if you want maximum flexibility in processing your images. Jpeg files offer you far less editing ability, and for what you want to do, you will need some of that flexibility.

Next remember that CTL-Z (undo) is your friend. As you play around with your images, I would advise that you play with the controls to see what each one does to an image. Move them from one end to the other and watch what happens. After you do that, just undo the setting and you are back to where you were just a moment ago.

Now, when you are feeling comfortable, I would suggest focusing on the Presence controls, especially the Vibrance and Saturation. These will head you to where you want to go on a large scale. The HSL/Color controls should then be next on your list. Here you can control individual color channels with a bit more granularity. Other controls will also play a part in getting that "look", but start with these and then see where it leads you to. And to learn more about how to use these controls, I recommend watching some of the many videos out there. Most are free and quite helpful. Julieanne Kost has many useful tutorial videos and here is a link to her site: Lightroom Tutorials by Julieanne Kost .

Good luck,

--Ken
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
16,604
Location
Houston, TX USA
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Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
Following on Ken’s explanation. You have no way of knowing what post processing software they used. If it is an Adobe product AND they did not strip out the processing information recorded in the XMP section of the file header, you can inspect the file using EXIF tool to extract the XMP information.


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theo.lefort

New Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2020
Messages
2
Thank you both for your anwsers. I do have some knowledge on how to use the basic functions of lightroom, but still have a hard time replicating/fuguring out formulas to achieve the looks I want in my own images. I will have a look at the videos that Ken recommanded.
Have a wonderful day!
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
16,604
Location
Houston, TX USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
Photoshop is more convenient and easy to use. More suitable for beginners.
Photoshop is a very complex editor. There is a very steep learning curve and most consider it too dauntless for beginners.
 
Joined
Mar 18, 2020
Messages
8
Location
Newport, South Wales
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Classic
Another way to experiment with stylistic options is with the use of Presets, Lightroom ships with a reasonable number of these, which can be previewed before application and then modified, to fine tune to what you want, and and saved for future use on other images,.

I would not expect any preset to give exactly what you need on every image, but once you get a preset or several that you are happy with they can be used as a starting point.

There are also a lot of Photographers on line that give away presets for free, you could look at those that give a look that you like, and then use this as your start point for your own.
 
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