Sometime you open an image and it looks horrible—maybe your bad white balance is off or you composed it poorly—yet there’s something you like about it, enough to try to salvage the photo. That’s how I felt about this image from January of ’09. If I remember correctly, I’d set a custom white balance on my camera and forgotten to reset it. This photo came out way too yellow—blech!
Still, I liked the photo. It wasn’t shot in RAW and I couldn’t get the colors true to life, so I finally stopped trying. When white balance is this bad, either desaturating the colors or converting to black and white are good alternatives. In this case, I used a nostalgic-style preset to desaturate.
- Apply Matt Kloskowski’s Nostalgic Effect preset for Lightroom 2 or 3. See Day 3 for tips on using older presets in Lightroom 4.
- Add fill light to lighten their faces (in Lightroom 4 I would slide the shadows slider to the right—the fill light slider is gone).
Do you see the difference in the third photo? I removed the Nike logo in Photoshop. Adobe liked this photo and wanted to use it in a Lightroom ad campaign, but couldn’t with the logo. Wouldn’t you have removed it? I didn’t think my profile was on their website anymore, but this weekend one of the students in the class I teach saw it at Adobe (click over to 2 of 3 in the Customer Successes section) and he and his mom told me. Sweet!
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