For this weeks tutorial, we’re going to show you how to create a Stylized HDR Studio Portrait using the SLR Lounge Lightroom Presets v5. We’re going to go from a normal studio image to a stylized HDR portrait in just a few clicks.

[Note: In the new Lightroom Presets v5, we have revamped all of the presets to improve image tonality and quality, allowing you to achieve even more amazing results. We’ve also added 95 new presets to reach a total of 311 presets in what is the gold standard of Lightroom image processing. In this series we’ll be going over how to use the new v5 presets to create great looking photos. Click Here to learn more or purchase the system.]

With each of our Ordinary to Extraordinary Edits, we’re going to first be going through how we create our effects with the SLR Lounge Lightroom Presets v5, then we’ll be going through the details in the develop settings so everyone can understand exactly how we get to a specific look. This way, whether you have the presets or not, everyone can benefit from watching this video or reading the article below.

[Rewind: See our Photomatix HDR Software Review]

Lightroom Presets v5 Mixology Recipe

My Mixology

  • 01-10 BASE – SOFT: 16a. HDR Medium – Skin Desat

Local Adjustments

  • Brush: 11 General | All Purpose
  • Graduated Filter: 03 Burn (Darken) -0.5 Stops (Exposure adjusted to -0.3)
  • Radial Filter: 03 Burn (Darken) -0.5 Stops (Exposure adjusted to -0.3)

Watch the Lightroom Video Tutorial

Complete Written Tutorial

The first thing we’re going to do is check our EXIF data, and we see that this image was shot on a Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 II lens. When shooting with a 24-70mm lens you want to make sure you’re shooting at 70mm, especially when shooting portraits, to avoid any undesirable distortion.


We’re going to start off with our “01-10 BASE – SOFT: 16a. HDR Medium – Skin Desat” preset. After the preset we’re going to adjust our Exposure to -0.20, Temperature to 5000 and Tint to +16. This is an “HDR” preset so our Contrast, Shadows and Blacks are being raised while the Highlights and Whites are being dropped. This is also a “Soft Portrait” preset so our Clarity, Vibrance and Saturation are being dropped, and in the HSL our Red and Orange are being lowered slightly. Our Sharpening settings are doing a great job with the details in this image; everything from the glasses to the bow tie looks nice and sharp. The Noise Reduction settings are also doing a great job at keeping this image nice and clean, even with all the Contrast boosting adjustments. Our Lens Vignetting is set to +30 and 30 to make sure we have nice even edge-to-edge lighting, which is especially important for a portrait like this. Here’s what our develop settings look like after our preset and adjustments are applied.


The Brush preset we’re going to use is the “14 Clothing | Texture”. We’re going to apply this Brush to the entire image, and then hold alt(pc) or opt(mac), and erase the Brush adjustments off the faces and skin. Press “O” to bring up the overlay to see where the Brush adjustments are being applied.


Then what we want to do is use a Graduated Filter with our “03 Burn (Darken) -0.5 Stops” and we’re going to pull it up from the bottom to the middle of the frame. We’re going to hold down shift to lock our Graduated Filter horizontally and adjust the Exposure to -0.30.


The last thing we’re going to do is add a Radial Filter with the “03 Burn (Darken) -0.5 Stops” preset, and adjust the exposure to -0.3 to make it more subtle.


Now we’re done with our Stylized HDR Studio Portrait, here’s what our image looks like before and after we’re done with out edit.





Conclusion and Learn More

We hope you all enjoyed this tutorial. If you are interested in learning more or purchasing the SLR Lounge Lightroom Presets v5, please click any of the links in this article.