Freckles are in. As more and more brands and publications start opting to hire models with realistic “imperfections,” we’re bound to see more and more ads with speckled skin. Score one for realistic expectations! However, lighting freckles isn't easy, as most broad light sources will flatten the tone in the skin. Here’s a quick tutorial on how to bring back and enhance freckles in Adobe Lightroom.
When you’re trying to enhance freckles in Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop, you’ll want to focus on freckles as a distinct color, not a distinct feature. Your goal is to isolate the color of the freckle and enhance that specific color. In the tutorial above, I use the black and white color mixer to isolate the freckles from the rest of the skin and then bring up the underlying skin in order to darken the tone of the freckles. How dark you want them will be dependent on what they look like in person or your artistic taste.
If you'd like a couple of free Lightroom presets to get your started off on the right foot, look no further: Freckles Presets.
We can then use the black and white image to overlay our “flat” color image in Photoshop. By changing the blending mode to luminosity, we can then use that layer to enhance specific tones in the skin, namely the freckles, and mask any unwanted changes out of our image. It’s a simple, crude, and effective way to enhance freckles in Post Production.