How to Edit Faster With the 'Dark Mode' Technique

Is there a faster and easier way to create dramatic images in Lightroom that still sticks with your style? Here’s a quick tutorial and a different way of taking one of your images and using the power of Adobe’s software to create a stunning portrait.

Coming to you from Pye Jirsa of SLR Lounge is this very concise and easy to follow video on post-processing a dramatic image in Lightroom and doing it faster with just a slightly different way of thinking. Pye goes into explaining "Dark Mode” editing and how it’s a different way of post-processing than the typical flat style of editing your images. Depending on how and who you're photographing, this may be just the technique you can use for more compelling images, while also cutting down on your time behind the computer. 

I’ll be the first one to say that I practice a standard editing style by flattening my image first, if need be, then enhancing the photographs. You can think of this as placing as much of the image in the center of the histogram and then pulling out the shadows and highlights to create interesting contrast and to enhance the subject. Pye’s different take on editing in this video flips that thought process while really creating an emphasis that centers on the subject. Pye also goes into some behind the scenes of taking the portrait and how he worked through the lighting scenario, including other tools he could use to work around shooting during the day without any shade.

What was your takeaway from how Pye created and developed this portrait to be more dramatic and interesting while keeping his editing to a minimum? Let us know in the comments below.

JT Blenker's picture

JT Blenker, Cr. Photog., CPP is a Photographic Craftsman and Certified Professional Photographer who also teaches workshops throughout the USA focusing on landscape, nightscape, and portraiture. He is the Director of Communications at the Dallas PPA and is continuing his education currently in the pursuit of a Master Photographer degree.

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1 Comment

Interesting look, the permanent preset shilling gets on my nerves tho.