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Post Production Tips

Retouch Portraits: Part II in Lightroom 4

By Pye Jirsa on July 9th 2012

In this Episode – Portrait Retouching!

Retouching portraits is one of those areas where you can never get enough practice. So in this Lightroom 4 tutorial and Mixology episode, we are going to be using the LR4 Preset System to walk through a full portrait retouch of an image shot at one of our recent weddings. Now, in our usual fashion, we will also walk through the settings for those of you that are not using the LR4 Preset System. So don’t worry your noggin, everyone can benefit =).

In the near future, we will be doing a Photoshop retouch tutorial on this exact image as well to touch up a few other areas of the photo. Our model is absolutely gorgeous, but in this shot, I didn’t notice that her arm was flat against her side. So, in Photoshop I am going to want to slim down our model’s arm just a bit, clean up some of the lines, as well as remove the vain on our brides arm near her wrist. Moral of this story, paying extreme attention to details will save you time in post production!

For now though, let’s just focus on what we can get taken care of in Lightroom 4.


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

Final Image

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.

1. SOFT PORTRAIT –> 11 Standard Color Mixology Preset
2. RETOUCHING (BRUSH) –> 21 Skin Softener
3. RETOUCHING (BRUSH) –> 22 Line Diminisher
4. RETOUCHING (BRUSH) –> 23 Eye Brightener
5. RETOUCHING (BRUSH) –> 27 Catchlight Enhancer
6. RETOUCHING (BRUSH) –> 26 Teeth Whitener
7. RETOUCHING (BRUSH) –> 25 Lip Enhancer
8. DETAIL ENHANCER (BRUSH) –> 14 Clothing/Texture
9. DODGE/BURN (BRUSH) –> 02 Burn (Darken)

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


Founding Partner of Lin and Jirsa Photography and SLR Lounge.

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  1. Joseph Prusa


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  2. Alexander Lupascu

    there are alot of good filters that maximises your workflow..unsing only the tools built in PS or Lightroom is timeconsuming.ive tested a normal high end retouch with a firiend of mine and what he did in 2 hours with stock tools i din in 10 mins with filters,and the results were very very close…imagemonic, nik software and alien skin make the coolest filters ever..give them a try..

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  3. RhodaV

    I feel like an idiot but for some reason skin softener and eye brightener are not working, trying to look at the before and after and there is no difference?!

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  4. Stan Rogers

    Unfortunately, “whack ’em” is more-or-less correct. “Way com” sounds better to my ear as well—it’s all techy and cutting-edge, like CutCo, InterSlice and CompuGlobalHyperMegaNet.

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    • Pye

      Haha, seriously, “way-com” sounds much better ;)

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    • Joe Gunawan

      I still like Knee-con better than Nigh-con, lol! But yes, Way-com sounds better than Wha-com. Bo-key? Bo-kay? Bo-kuh?

      – Joe

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