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How to Find the Best Lightroom Preset for an Image

If you have acquired some preset collections, it may not be easy to find the right preset for a given image. Usually, you will start at the top of the preset list and try each one. If you do this by pure intuition, you may quickly decide in favor of one preset, ignoring the rest of the list and then perhaps make some adjustments.

However, if you are more systematic, you will want to optimize the outcome of this entire process and find the best preset for a given image. But how do you keep track of the good ones, and how do you narrow them down to find the one you like the most? If you are after the best preset for a particular image, you need an approach for culling the list of presets and reducing it to the best candidates.

In this article, I will show you my favorite method for doing this. It involves creating a number of virtual copies of your image and applying the best candidate presets to them. This way, you can compare the candidates side-by-side and choose the one you really like best.

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4 Non-Destructive Dodge & Burn Techniques by Photoshop Masters

In Photoshop, there are many different techniques to dodge and burn an image. You may know the Dodge and the Burn tools that let you work directly on an image layer to darken or light areas selectively. The problem with the direct application of these tools is that they are destructive. This means, they directly change the image pixels and you cannot really undo or change them once they are applied.

In this article, you will learn 4 different techniques by Photoshop masters for actually applying dodging and burning non-destructively. These are very important skills that will make your workflow faster, more flexible, and more robust, no matter which type of photography you are into.

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5 Ways Blend If in Photoshop Will Blow Your Mind by Blake Rudis

You may have stumbled across the Blend-If controls in the Layer Style dialog box in Photoshop. But chances are that you did not even notice them, let alone recognized that they are actually a very powerful tool. Blend-If is one of those tools that is not self-explanatory and that does not make you want to use it straight away. The reason is that, by itself, it does not do a lot other than letting you select a range of tones where the layer and the layer below are going to be blended together. Sounds cryptic? Watch the two videos in this post to gain some insights into this tool.

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How To Create A Dreamy Orton Effect by Jimmy McIntyre

The Orton effect is visual effect that you can apply to your images to give them a nice glowing appearance. When Michael Orton invented this look, he would take two film slides – one in focus, the other one out of focus – and blend them. Today, applying this effect in Photoshop is quick and easy.

In the video below, Jimmy McIntyre demonstrates how to do it by creating a duplicate of your images layer, setting the right blend mode and applying some Gaussian blur.

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6 Power User Tips for Lightroom Presets

For a long time, I have dismissed the concept of using other people’s presets in any image editing software. Originally, presets where intended to allow you to keep track of your own edits, and not as one-click shortcuts to copy someone else’s style.

That’s simply not how image editing works. Finding the best adjustments for any given image is a complex task, and it heavily depends on the nature of the image. Applying a tailor-made set of adjustments to another image – maybe even an image by another photographer – is essentially a random process: Maybe you’re lucky enough to find one that looks nice on your images. But more often than not, it’s not a fit!

That’s why I think the ‘industry’ revolving around selling preset packages that seemingly allow you to edit a photo with a single click, is deeply flawed. But having said that, there are a number of ways in which presets can be very useful beyond merely keeping track of your edits. This is especially true for Lightroom, which has a very sophisticated ecosystem of presets. If you use those features in a clever way, they can really super-charge your post-processing work. In this post, I will give you 6 tips on how to achieve this.

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How to Reverse-Engineer Lightroom Develop Presets

Lightroom Develop presets can be a rich source of information about other photographers’ processing style, and you can learn a lot about editing your images from analyzing someone else’s presets. To do so, you need a technique for reverse-engineering a preset. That is, you need a way of looking at the different components of a given preset individually to understand which settings actually make them work the way they do.

In this article, you will learn a simple but effective technique for doing this. Lightroom’s ability to turn on and off each section in the Develop settings will help you dissect a preset and possibly use only certain parts of it in your work.

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How to relight an image in Lightroom

Sometimes when you post-process an image, you may notice that some more interesting lighting would have really improved the scene and made the photo more interesting. But, of course, now its too late as the photo has already been taken. Is it really? As I will show you in this video tutorial, there are some simple techniques that let you add lighting effects in Lightroom. We will be using the local adjustment tools to create splashes of light that look as if they where actually part of the scene when you created the original photograph.

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The best way to learn photography? The Arcanum demystified

In this post, I will demystify the Arcanum for you. We will look behind the romantic cover of the “never-ending circle of love” as Trey Ratcliff likes to put it. And we will get to the bottom of the educational concepts and practices. If you are a fantasy junkie (unlike me) you may just skip this article and be perfectly happy to dive right into the experience. But if you need firm facts to back up your decision for spending your money on this form of education, continue reading. I will translate the concepts into our world and show you how and why they work.

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Lightroom 6 & CC – Everything you need to know

So, yesterday was the big day for everyone in the photography community. The new version of Lightroom was finally released. Pages leaked, serves crashed, some people drooled, and others whined. It was a day filled with excitement and emotion – a day on which you may have missed the right information to allow you to take an informed decision about getting the new version. In this post, I am collecting all the latest information in what I hope is an easily digestible format – lots of videos included.

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Lightroom 6 – First Adobe Video Showcases Features

It appears to be certain now that Lightroom 6 will be out today. PCMag.com published an article giving some background information. Apparently, the software will be available in the Creative Cloud as Lightroom CC and as an equivalent stand-alone license under the name Lightroom 6 for $149. Check out the video below to get a glimpse of the new Facial Recognition feature.

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