How To Create Film Inspired Edits In Lightroom
Film inspired looks are some of my favorites. I love the way details show while keeping an even tone and contrast on the whole portrait. If you love this look as well then you'll absolutely love this tutorial i'll be going over giving you an exact step-by-step on what adjustments need to be made to create this look.
LOVE THIS LOOK?
Want to create beautiful consistent work then take a look at the Lightroom Film Preset Collection. The three images below are three of the presets from that collection and it saves me so much time being able to create this look with one click!
FREE TUTORIAL ON CREATING FILM INSPIRED EDITS IN LIGHTROOM
First adjustment I'll make is bumping the exposure of the whole image. I love the bright and airy feel that comes with film so brightening up the image is first on the list.
COLOR BALANCE ADJUSTMENT
Next we're going to warm it up a little bit by moving the color balance slider over from blue to yellow. You can see that only moved it over by 3 but it makes all the difference!
To create that beautiful soft look I moved the contrast slider over -30. You can see how that softens the entire image but still keeps details such as eyes, lips etc more contrasted than the rest.
HIGHLIGHTS & WHITES ADJUSTMENT
You notice how with the increased exposure and lowered contrast we lost some of the details that were originally already bright to begin with? On the left side of her face. These areas are too bright since we no longer see the details there. A quick way to get those back is to bring down the highlights & whites. You can see how once we did that, the really bright areas have detail again.
To add that beautiful 'airy feel' to the image I'll do a curves adjustment. You see how i'm dragging it from the bottom corner instead of the center? that is that adds that 'white light' to the image.
YELLOW SATURATION ADJUSTMENT
Just looking at the image I see a lot of yellow hues. I want to remove some of those by moving the yellow saturation slider down a little. This will take any yellow hues and desaturate them.
SHARPENING & NOISE REDUCTION
I love nice tack sharp images. You can see I moved the sharpening slider up and then to 'smooth' out anything moved the noise reduction slider up.
I always want to make sure that the eyes are the sharpest. For this I do a local brush adjustment so I can make an adjustment to a specific part of the image instead of the whole image. You can see the brush button at the top right corner, click that and then click on an eye and start painting. (you can hit "o" to see where you have painted, it will highlight in red. Then hit "o" again to hide it). You can see the adjustments I made was sharpening more, bringing contrast up a little etc.)
RED CURVE ADJUSTMENT
I want to warm the whole image up a little bit. I do this by going into the curves and changing it to the 'red' and then bringing that up a TINY bit. (careful not to bring it up too much!)
And it would be right without a little bit of grain added to it. I personally love the texture it adds to the entire image. If you're not a fan of that extra grain you can simply not do this last step.
That was the last step of the tutorial. I hope this helps some of you in learning how to create beautiful film inspired looks. I know it's a lot of little steps. If you really love that film look then I HIGHLY recommend downloading my Film Inspired Presets which come with 40 presets to help you create this sort of look with one simple quick click!
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VIEW ALL LIGHTROOM PRESET COLLECTIONS
the prettiest presets on the market
Presets created from real sessions that create the most beautiful portraits. My goal was to make the perfect Lightroom Presets for professional photographers to help them create work they love, create consistency while minimizing their post processing. You'll see lots of before and afters in each collection as well as a video that show what each preset looks like.SEE MORE BEFORE & AFTERS
thank you for a very helpful post. I’m interested to know if you shoot Nikon or Canon or something else and if so, what model too? Also, what lens you used for this particular photo. I’m finding my colours & softness OOC are not great & I have to do a fair bit of tweaking to get skin tones nice (I’m kinda fussy) so I’m interested in what you are using. Thank you again.
Thank you so much for this wonderful post! It’s super helpful! I have a question in regards to the tone curve adjustment. I am not able to drag my adjustment from the bottom corner like that…. I see that you have “custom curve” selected. I don’t have that option in CC. Do you have a work around to get the same effect?! Thank you so much!