Lightroom Techniques for Impactful Photography 

Isolating your subject is a key technique that can dramatically improve your images. It helps draw the viewer's eye to the most important part of the picture, creating a more engaging and impactful photograph.  Whether you're shooting portraits, landscapes, or product photography, mastering this technique can elevate your work.

Coming to you from Gareth Evans with Park Cameras, this informative video explores several techniques for isolating your subject in Lightroom. Evans uses a portrait as an example, demonstrating how to use exposure, color, masking, and lens blur to draw attention to the subject. Evans begins by making basic global adjustments, such as cropping, straightening, and adjusting contrast, highlights, shadows, clarity, and vibrance. He then moves on to more advanced techniques, using radial and linear gradients to fine-tune the exposure and create a vignette around the subject.

Evans then dives into color grading, utilizing the HSL panel to adjust the hue, saturation, and luminance of various colors in the image. He demonstrates how to use the point color tool to target specific colors, such as a distracting green basket in the background, and reduce their saturation or adjust their hue. Evans also explores the Calibration tab, showing how subtle adjustments to the red and blue primaries can significantly impact the overall richness and feel of the image. 

To further enhance the isolation of the subject, Evans utilizes Lightroom's lens blur feature. This tool analyzes the image, identifies the subject, and applies additional blur to the background, creating a shallower depth of field effect. Evans emphasizes that while he doesn't use every technique in every photograph, he consistently employs these methods to guide the viewer's eye and create more compelling images. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Evans. 

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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