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karl-blumel-soft-cool-portrait-lightroom-4-tutorial-splash Post Production Tips

How to Create a Cool and Flattering Overexposed Portrait Look with the Lightroom 4 Preset System

By Pye Jirsa on June 28th 2012

In This Episode – The Cooled, Overexposed Portrait Look

In this Ordinary to Extraordinary edit, we are using images that were shot by fellow SLR Lounger Karl Bluemel who asked:

“I bought your LR4 presets serveral weeks ago, watched all the videos ‘how to…’, but I struggle a bit with “how I can achieve natural, rather cool skintones?”

Karl submitted his sample images, so we are going to use the Lightroom 4 Preset System to do exactly that! Of course, we will still show all of our final settings, so if you don’t have the preset system, you can still benefit from the tutorial.

There are a few distinct characteristics that this production style has, which are as follows:

1) Over exposed skin tones to create a more flattering look by making unflattering details less noticeable
2) Fairly high overall image contrast with good black levels
3) Desaturated color tones to help keep the skin free of strange color effects
4) Raised tint and adjusted temperature for a much “cooler” look to the skin

Hope you enjoy!

Share Your Results!

Be sure to share your results on our Mixology Forum.

Before and After Examples

See more before/after images in our Facebook Photo Gallery on the SLR Lounge Facebook Page.
Original RAW SOOC – Image courtesy of Karl Bluemel
Final Image After Tutorial – Image courtesy of Karl Bluemel

Enjoy the video below!

Video Tutorial and Mixology

Mixology Recipe

Here are the steps on creating the production effect, using the Lightroom 4 Preset System. However, you will want to make sure you watch the video to see how we create the final enhancements with the LR4 Preset System Brushes.

MY MIXOLOGY –> 11 Soft Portrait
BASE ADJUSTMENTS –> 06 Lighten +1
BASE ADJUSTMENTS –> 12 Portrait Flatten
BASE ADJUSTMENTS –> 45 Medium Darken
BASE ADJUSTMENTS –> 56 Light Desaturation
BASE ADJUSTMENTS –> 63 Medium Noise Reduction
RETOUCH –> Follow video and use the brush presets from the LR4 Preset System

The SLR Lounge Lightroom 4 Preset System

Purchase or Learn More About the Lightroom 4 Preset System

For those that may not have seen the SLR Lounge Lightroom 4 Preset System. The Lightroom 4 Preset System has been designed from the ground up to be able to help you achieve any effect you desire. From vivid color correct images, to HDRs, to faded vintage images, to antiqued images, the sky is the limit!

Included are nearly 130 Develop Presets and 26 Brush Presets that are not only incredibly powerful, but also surprisingly simple and intuitive. Best of all, while other companies would charge $300, $400 or $500+ for a system like this, we are making the entire system available for only $99. Oh yeah, and the accompanying tutorials and mixologies, those are all free! So enjoy peeps. Below are all of the initial tutorials to get you guys started.

Purchase or Learn More About the Lightroom 4 Preset System

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Founding Partner of Lin and Jirsa Photography and SLR Lounge.

Follow my updates on Facebook and my latest work on Instagram both under username @pyejirsa.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Joseph Prusa

    Nice video.

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  2. Yvette Benson

    How did you get princess Leia to model for you?

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  3. Edmund Chang

    great post, thanks a lot for sharing.

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  4. Donna

    Sorry if u already received this comment but it disappeared on the other page. Hi Guys I bought ur preset system and Im in love but just want to know what WB u set ur camera to, I shoot with a 5D mark iii but the colouring of my images is always on the yellow side with skin tones. I mainly am a newborn photographer in a studio and this looks fine but when I’m out doors doing family shoots or weddings I always have to adjust WB after. When I’m outdoors I usually put it on the shade WB or full sunlight when in full sunlight. Cheers

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    • Anonymous

      Donna, we are generally setting custom white balances in every scene. We just adjust as we move from scene to scene.

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  5. one

    its too purple though? i want subtle!

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  6. J_Wood

    I like this effect. Can you give some advice as to what type of shot this would work well with?

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    • Pye

      J_Wood, it works really well with portraits of female subjects taken in very soft light (light overcast w/ reflector as fill). It is definitely a more feminine effect. We went a bit too far with the pinks due to the screen I was using. So, when you apply it, keep it a bit more on the neutral side.

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  7. Keng-Hay Wong

    Nice little video, any chance to have a name of the photographer that was used as example?

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    • Pye

      Keng the was taken by Karl Bluemel, who requested the tutorial. Not sure who the actual subject is.

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    • Keng-Hay Wong

      No sorry what I meant was that Karl used an example of other photographer’s work which you were not allowed to show. Was there a water mark who that tog was?

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    • Pye

      Oh apologies. I asked, Karl didn’t want to mention the photographer, so I have no idea. But, yeah, in the future we are going to require the original photographers photo and credit so we can at least show them in the video.

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    • Keng-Hay Wong

      Thanks, there are some really inspirational weddings togs like Kerry Morgan, Jessic Clare which have that certain WOW factor with their photos. I’m interested how their originals looks compared to the processed. Any ideas Pye?

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