Three Ways to Emphasize Your Subject in Lightroom

Lightroom has become an impressively capable editing application, and you can easily use it to process a lot of photos without heading over to Photoshop. One of the most important skills a photographer needs is the ability to emphasize their subject, and this great video tutorial will show you three different ways to do that in Lightroom. 

Coming to you from Anthony Morganti, this helpful video delves into three key techniques in Adobe Lightroom that can enhance the subject of a photo. The first technique is about blurring the background, a tactic commonly achieved in-camera with wide aperture lenses. However, Morganti demonstrates how to effectively achieve this in Lightroom, making it accessible for those who may not have high-end lenses. Of course, you should try to do this in camera, but it's helpful in a pinch. 

The second technique involves simulating off-camera flash to brighten the subject. This is particularly useful for photographers who may not have advanced skills in using off-camera flash or the necessary equipment. By adjusting exposure in Lightroom, photographers can mimic the effect of professional lighting. This is my favorite, particularly with the new AI masking tools, as it makes it easy for me to make the subject pop in situations in which I do not have control of the lighting. 

The third technique discussed is making the subject more colorful compared to the rest of the image. Morganti highlights the importance of subtlety in this process, especially when dealing with human subjects, to avoid unnatural skin tones. By selectively increasing the saturation of specific elements like clothing, photographers can draw the viewer's eye directly to the subject. Just be sure to keep your adjustments small. 

Check out the video above for the full rundown from Morganti. 

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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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