Some times a Photograph just needs a quick edit and the Development can be too much and take too long to make an image look great. A quick and easy way for all users of Lightroom is the Quick Development panel in the Library panel, it’s especially good for people that are new to Lightroom or to Photography in general, as the adjustments in the Library module work on using ‘stops’ (a term that is often used in Photography).
This image is from film (Portra 400) and it’s almost where I would like it to be, but I would like to turn it into a B&W photo, as well as just tweak the exposure/ contrast as well as a few other settings.
Looking at the image, there are a couple of blemishes in the sky, these are easy to fix by using the Clone/Heal tool in the Development mode. This will be a simple step to fix these issues. Once the develop module is selected (by clicking on the text marked in red below), Lightroom will move into it’s very powerful Development mode (we are just going to fix these blemishes here, then back to the Library module). To remove the blemishes, the Clone/Heal tool (marked in yellow) can be used, to select it, just clicking directly on the tool (marked in yellow below).
Once the Clone/Heal tool has been selected a circular tool will appear on the screen. The tool will either have one or two circles. If there are two, the outer circle is the full width of the tool, including the feather, the inner is the Clone/Heal area. If there is only one circle, then there is no feather on the tool so the fix won’t be as blended into the picture. The size of the tool and it’s feather can be controlled once the Clone/Heal has been selected, and is shown in the yellow area below.
The tool is easy to use. Place it over the area that needs to be replaced, making sure that the tool covers the area, or has a large enough feather to blend the fix into the scene. Then either click on the image to make the Clone/Heal, or click and drag to paint an area that will be fixed.
Once the area has been covered/selected with the tool, a secondary circle will appear. This is the area that will be used to fix the target area. This circle can be freely moved if required, to fine tune the source. Don’t worry if it’s not correct the first time, the Clone/Heal area can be removed, by selecting it (clicking on the marked area, then pressing delete on the keyboard).
Another handy feature that is available on the Clone/Heal tool is the ‘Visualise Spots’. Turning this on will show the negative of the image and can raise any issues that are not too obvious on the image. This tool is great for identifying dust spots that can on the picture from the sensor. The slider next to the tick box is the sensitivity of the negative and will show more or less of the negative when moved.
Once again the Clone/Heal tool can be used in this type of scenario and fix parts of this picture quickly and non destructively (i.e. the underlying RAW file is not changed during the editing process).
Once this process has been completed, Lightroom can be moved back to the Library module for further enhancements.
Basic adjustments to the picture can be made using the Quick Development panel (marked in red below).
From here presets can be used to quickly enhance your image. These can be applied quickly to the image, just by selecting the appropriate one.
The image can be cropped from here, by choosing the crop ratio. The crop will be applied to the image, from the centre of the image outward.
The image can also be converted to B&W from colour or vica versa.
The image adjustment controls can be used to control the visual appearance of the image by clicking on the appropriate controls (show in red below). Each control has two single arrow buttons and two double arrow buttons.
The single button will increase/decrease the selected tone (exposure, contrast etc) by 1/3 of a stop. The double button will increase/decrease the tone value by a full stop.
Making adjustments to your images in this way is similar to working in the camera and the restriction this it gives can be a simple way to working with the images and improving your photography whilst in the camera.
It took just two minutes to make this image into something that I can use.