Welcome to the forum!

As an adjunct to the Tangents blog, the intention with this forum is to answer any questions, and allow a diverse discussion of topics related photography. With that, see it as an open invitation to just climb in and start threads and to respond to any threads.

LR4 - Portraits and Post Processing Techniques

jhilgersjhilgers Member
edited May 2013 in portraits & people
I created this post because I would like everyone's constructive criticism on a topic that is in a lot of respects driven by one's personal preference and style. This is targeted more towards Lightroom users and is in regards to setting preferences in the post processing of portrait style photos.

I argue with myself a lot whether or not I think it looks better to use a little bit of contrast and clarity in my portrait style of photos or not. Using too much of either one is normally bad and causes the skin of your subject to look weird and sometimes causes ghosting along the edges if your not careful. I think it adds a little bit of pop and makes your subject stand out better.

I am looking for everyone's input and thoughts on the use of clarity, contrast, and glamor glow in portraits. Does anyone else like to add these to their photos?

I have attached numerous versions of a photo I took at a recent WWII remembrance ceremony held at a local air show inside of a large aircraft hangar. Talk about a boring and content lacking place to take photos in!

I gave each photo a name based on what I did to it in post processing. The "Standard Adjustments" version is simply what I got after adjusting the photo's attributes the best I could without using any clarity or contrast. The other photos have names that describe what I added to the "Standard Adjustments" to make different versions.

Please, everyone throw your thoughts and personal preferences out here. If you don't like something, tell me. Of all of these photos, which one do you like the best and why?


  • JerryJerry Member
    I have a tendency to use clarity and contrast on most of my pictures but never go as high as you have on those photos.

    I usually end up around +25 contrast and 10-20 clarity. I think if you use higher settings of clarity to make your subject pop, ot is a good idea to brush on the effect in LR. Mainly cause you've also added clarity to the background which make that more noticably.

    I think, of the three processed ones I personally prefer the glamour glow version. But a combination of the three might be a better choice?

    Say, 35% glamour glow, with a slightly higher contrast and clarity to make the subject soft and pop at once, maybe around 40 contrast and 20-26 clarity?

    Just a thought :)
  • jhilgersjhilgers Member
    edited May 2013
    Thanks for the advice. I went ahead and did what you recommended, see which one from below you like. The overall exposure is slightly darker in these which I do not like but that is easy to fix.

    A.jpg - Glamor Glow with +20 contrast to entire photo and +20 clarity applied only to person.

    B.jpg - Standard image with +20 contrast to entire photo and +20 clarity applied only to person.

    Of the two photos below that I have attached, which is more appealing to you? Do you have any recommendations?
    A.jpg 389.3K
    B.jpg 410.3K
Sign In or Register to comment.