Lightroom Color Adjustment for Environmental Portraits
Without a doubt, placing couples within the beauty and bounty of nature is truly a photographer’s heaven. Being able to choose composition based on the natural elements of a scene while incorporating the myriad of rich and vivid colors present, makes it a playground of creative opportunities. A side effect occurs, however, when these saturated tones cause a tint shift to the overall image.
Take for example this image above, straight out of camera, that shows the heavy distortion of tint due to the foliage. By adjusting the Tint and Saturation of targeted colors, we can help combat the infiltration of these colors as they leak or reflect onto our subject’s skin tones.
Tint Color Adjustment
Often when shooting around areas lush in foliage, such as forests or gardens, you’ll find that a green hue reflects onto your subjects’ skin. This effect occurs regardless of whether or not the sun is out, and therefore causes pigmentation issues in skin tone no matter the time of day. One option is to add a flash into the scene, if that’s the look you intend to execute, however, if you want to work strictly with the natural light there is a way to correct this tint problem in Lightroom.
Finding a neutral white balance should be your first concern. Take your white balance picker (Shortcut: Control/Command + W) and select a point that works best for your desired look. This step is based on personal preference, however, finding the correct White Balance should be based on your subject’s skin tone. This will give you a more accurate depiction of what the scene’s color temperature should look like.
This selection automatically adjusts the Tint slider to reflect the change in temperature, and in scenarios with foliage or heavy greenery, there should be more bias towards the magenta side of the Tint slider to counterbalance the color shift due to the green in the image.
Dial in your exposure settings to reflect the change in Temperature and Tint to arrive at a brighter image that brings out the natural colors of the image.
Adjusting Color Saturation
Honing in on specific colors that need fine tuning is a counterpart in this process of color adjustment. The HSL panel in Lightroom allows users to orchestrate the dominance or subtlety of a color’s hue, saturation, and luminance.
While shooting in nature, green tends to become an overpowering color and can easily be adjusted using the Saturation Panel, and you can accurately select the specific color or range of colors by using the picker located in the top left corner of the HSL panel. This adjustment should be done in small increments to make sure the image remains balanced in color, and doesn’t become either overly saturated or desaturated.
Removing Chromatic Aberration
When you have a backlit scene with multiple vibrant colors throughout, your lens can fail to focus on all the relevant colors at the same convergence point. This technical failure, also known as Chromatic Aberration, causes colored fringes around harsh edges in images produced by uncorrected lenses. Lightroom’s Lens Correction panel is catered to aiding photographers in battling this minuscule monster – but, you are hereby warned of its power. The Defringe slider corrects magenta and green hues that line harsh edges in an image, but when fluctuated, can alter magenta and green portions globally in the image.
The true test in this process is knowing when you’ve gone too far; being able to sense whether an image is far too green or magenta is a skill that can be acquired over time with practice and attention to fine detail.Join Premium
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