Warm tones, fallen leaves… everybody knows how a proper autumn scene should look. Even so, what if I told you that your autumn scenes could become even better with the help of Adobe Lightroom?
In this guide, we are going to go through some essential adjustments that will ensure you get the most of your autumn scenes while having fun in the process.
Lightroom and Presets
All the magic we’re going to accomplish now can be done with the help of Adobe Lightroom tools combined with Lightroom presets. Even though Lightroom presets are simply preprogrammed instructions for Lightroom tools, they can be a great improvement for your scene, since many of them, such as the Sleeklens products, are created with great care by professional designers.
Combining them into your workflow can enhance your possibilities by over 100%, since the sky is truly the limit for creativity inside Adobe Lightroom. Only practice and experience will teach you how to use them properly, but having a good preset library from the very first day you start using Lightroom is a great tip!
Autumn Scene Workflow in Adobe Lightroom
We will start by importing our scene into Adobe Lightroom using the ‘Import’ button. A dialog box will pop up, prompting us to select the location of the file, we want to import into the software.
Next,we will switch to the Develop module in order to start working on the image we just imported.
For the purposes of this tutorial, we are going to use one of the latest bundles made by Sleeklens – the Through the Woods Workflow, which is a package of professional presets and brushes for Adobe Lightroom, designed with extra care so you can make the most of your landscape scenes.
The advantage of these presets is the ability to accomplish the entire adjustment with just one click, using the “All-in-One” presets,which allow you either to make one universal adjustment with a preset, or to use the presets and brushes one by one for a custom feel.
I will start my workflow with the first basic step, which would be White Balance correction. I want the picture changed to more reddish tints, so I’ll select the “3-COLORCORRECT-Reduce Yellows”. The result speaks for itself.
Then I add “3-COLOR-Deep Blue Skies” in order to avoid having such a foggy effect in the upper part of the trees in the scene.
I will apply “4-TONE-Warm It Up” to get the ambient feeling we are looking for in this image. All of sudden, the color of all the elements will pop in a subtle way.
Now, I will open the Basic Adjustments panel in order to keep working on processing this image.
My main purpose for this is to increase the Contrast and Clarity values to bring more life to the image after all the essential adjustments are done.
The first thing I will do is increase the Contrast and increase Blacks for a more vivid feeling.
Then I’ll adjust the Clarity slider until it matches the look we want to achieve.
The detail now seems enhanced in the overall image, but please notice that I didn’t get carried away with the Clarity slider. Values over +60 for the Clarity slider are meant only for HDR effects, and you can really ruin your process if you exaggerate this value. Sometimes less is more, a rule that frequently applies in photography.
There are two other elements I want to apply to this image: First, a golden glow tint, like you would get in certain lighting conditions, which can be handled by the brushes available in the Through the Woods Workflow bundle, and finally a nice looking dark vignette to finish the composition. Since the image doesn’t seem to have significant distortions, I won’t be applying Lens Correction in this case, nor do I need any further adjustments, such as Detail enhancement or Split Toning.
Move all the way up in order to locate the tools area. There, click on the Adjustment Brush tool in order to make it active. Click on the area where it says ‘Custom’ in order to switch the custom brush with a preset brush of our choice.
I’m going to apply a very tiny amount of the “LIGHT-Add Golden Sun” as you can see in the picture below. I apply it in the area where the light beams seem to converge, the presumed location of the sun.
Next, I’ll pick the “HAZE-Golden” brush to paint a golden haze in certain areas of the scene, which will reinforce the golden glow feeling we want to bring to this image.
Finally, add a nice looking vignette effect with the “6-VIGNETTE-Subtle Black” (if you use Strong Black you may get too dark a scene in this case, which isn’t what we are looking for in this tutorial).
Let’s compare with a Before/After shot to see how much our image has changed.
As you can see, there is a big difference when it comes to tint.Also, note that the improvements fit the image, meaning the emotion and atmosphere has been enhanced and is communicated more effectively to the viewer.
In only a few minutes, we were able to perform a full transformation effect inside Lightroom. There are no hidden secrets here. With patience, practice, and a good set of quality Adobe Lightroom presets, you can complete almost any project you can imagine.