Enhance Your Photos: Editing in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop | Dana Gaertner | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Enhance Your Photos: Editing in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop

teacher avatar Dana Gaertner, Graphic Designer & Photographer

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (17m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Class Project

    • 3. Getting Started

    • 4. Editing

    • 5. Recap

    • 6. Photoshop Prep

    • 7. Fine Tuning

    • 8. Exporting

    • 9. Conclusion

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

Welcome to my class! During this 18 minute course we will be learning editing skills to enhance your personal photographs, through the intentional manipulation of the images highlights and shadows. This class is aimed at beginners of photography or those with basic editing skills. I will be covering how to use Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, as well as giving tips on how to determine a mood for an image.

Editing has the ability to change how we perceive photographs. Throughout the duration of this course I will help you select a mood based off the photographic elements that your image already has and guide you through skills that will help you enhance your photo through intentionally editing the highlights and shadows.

Whether you are editing photos for your personal social media or a published zine, this class will help you enhance your photography style as we learn to alter the mood of an image through highlights and shadows.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Dana Gaertner

Graphic Designer & Photographer


Hi there! I'm Dana. I am fueled by graphic design and photography. I adore colors, shapes, and chunky type. Photography is my right hand man– I couldn’t imagine life with out it. I can't wait to share my passion with you.

See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Introduction: whether my name is Dana Gertner, and I'm a graphic designer and photographer from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In just four short months, I'll be graduating with a B F A and designed visual communications and an emphasis. I'm so happy that you join me in my first skill shirt class I've been photographing before , as long as I can remember when I was so excited to share given six today, we'll be learning camps overall mood and tone by intentionally manipulating the balance of the highlights. With these techniques, you will be able to enter your own photos in a way that enhances the tone of the image this class aimed at beginners and those who are new to editing photos with the dhobi leg room in photos. No worries. If you don't understand these programs, I will help you to navigate and understand how to fit them into your own editing practices . The bulk of our anything will be done in Adobe later where we will just exposure contrast in the overall appearance of the highlights and shadows in the photograph. After this is done, we'll bring the photo photo shop where we will further find to selected parts of the image . This will further and hands or subdue the chosen areas of the composition. Learning to navigate these techniques will empower you to create compelling photos through the manipulation of highlights and shadows, which will overall emphasize the mood and tone of your image. 2. Class Project: I encourage you to complete the class project where you will choose your own photo and apply these editing techniques to alter or enhance the mood of the photo. This is a simple project to get started on. Whether you have a DSLR camera or a camera on your phone, you can partake in this project. The steps you follow are uploading your selected image into labor. From here, you will create the overall mood of your by doing the bulk of the editor. Don't feel overwhelmed by all of your editing options. We'll cover these and how to make impactful creative decisions throughout your course lessons. After you're done editing in light room, move your photo into photo shop and we're gonna fine tuning the image. This is where, in my process, I like to highlight the figure to make them stand out from the background. This also allows you to use masks, edit the photos content individually and really take control over how the highlights and shadows affect the tone of your image. Once you're finished, save your photo and make sure to upload it to a class project gallery. I will make sure to leave comments and feedback for all of you. With all that being said, let's get onto the lessons 3. Getting Started: all right side of my selected images that I will be using today imported into light room. But before we get into the editing, I want to analyze the composition and subject matter of these images. This will help us determine the mood and help to guide our editing choices for your class project. I want you to analyze your own photo like I will be walking you through in this lesson. Now, these two images are very similar and how they look, however, already start to get to different vibes from them, which I thought would be a nice way to show the power that editing has over an image. Let's start off with this photo right here. This photo has more of a dramatic feel to it, which I determine through the contrast e shadows and highlights. We see very dark areas in this photo, along with that really bright white highlight along the side of her face. We also get this nice graphic quality in the photo where the light really slices through the image. We have these really sharp angles which really activate the space. Adding to the dramatic feel of this, the model is in more of a posed position again. We see some of this dramatic senses coming through in her face, where the side of her face is really highlighted. But then most of the faces covered in the shadow. As we move on to the second photo, we can see that this photo is more confrontational than the last. We also have a closer tonal range here. As you can see, the top shadows are not quite as dark as before, and we don't see as quite of a bright highlight in the center of the image. The figure here is completely covered in shadows, as opposed to the last time, and we still have these nice angles that are activating the space. As for the subject matter, again, it's more of a confrontational pose. We see the direct eye contact the leading forward. The model is more engaging the viewer. In that sense, with these studies in mind, they will help to influence the editing decisions we make in the next lesson. I'll see you there 4. Editing: welcome, Teoh. The editing part of the course here will be doing all of our editing in light room for this video lesson. The first step I always take in my editing process is adjusting the temperature of the photo. So I'm just kind of playing around and seeing what I think. And for this image, I think it's fine how it is. I'm just gonna leave that at zero. I also generally play around with the tint just a tiny bit. Usually I find myself going for the plus three tips setting. I personally like that little bit of pink in my photos, but that is completely up to you. So after I played around with the temperature and the 10 settings, now it's time to get into the main part of the editing. So the first step I take here is Teoh. Adjust the exposure. Now, I always come back and alter these so you don't have to get it right the first time. So I'm just gonna set it a little brighter so I can see more of the shadows initially, as for a contrast, so I'm just gonna send it to this plus eight for this image. I know I'm going to want to set the highlights starker. This allows me to knock it That blown out highlights on the face because I still want to retain detail in that area. So if I push the highlights up too much, it's gonna blow out that area. But I want to keep the detail there. Here. I'm just kind of playing with the exposure again, just kind of bumping it up a little. The shadows are going to be what gives us image. It's moodiness that I'm going for. So for this image, I want a darker shadow because I want to keep that high contrast. A tip for you guys is Teoh. Use these little triangle icons up in the top of the list. A gram. Well, this is going to do. If you click on this left one, it's going to pull up this blue layer over the image. Now this shows you where you have lost all your details. So basically, that's the darkest part of your image, moving on to the whites of the image. So I clicked the right triangle again, and that pulls up. This spread layers. So instead of the blue, you get the red overlay. So this basically does the same exact thing except for the whites. It shows you where your wife is completely blown out and you lost all your information. So adjusting the blacks gives you the ability to really push the blacks town or make them brighter. So I think I have a good shadow quality. And right now I don't think I need to manipulate the blacks. I'm gonna keep it at zero. Another thing I like to do with my images is bump up the texture of the image just a little . I feel like it just adds a little depth, so I like set my verily low around eight or 10. Clarity is also something that I like to use in my photos, adding lower setting. It just kind of sharpen the edges and gives a more defined look. Something to keep in mind is clarity. Does adjuster shadows. So just going back and checking that that still how you like it? I also like to set my vibrance to match the mood. This is a very subtle thing again. It tends to look very unnatural. The mawr extreme. You go on either end. So I'm just going to send it out 0.5 to subdue the orange door. And here we have it. The final edits in Adobe Light, Earl. And from here, we're going to take this photo and pull it into photo shop where we will do fine tuning. I'll see you there. 5. Recap: All right, So now that we've done a majority of the edits in leg room, I encourage you to apply these at its to your own photo. Is it just starting by setting your exposure a bit brighter for a more airy tone and setting it darker for moodier tone? Remember to have fun with these edits, and don't be afraid to try out a look that is out of your comfort zone. You can always duplicate the image to try out different styles and see which one you like best. In the next lesson, we'll be fine tuning our photos in photo shop. 6. Photoshop Prep: all right. Time to move this photo into powder shop. This is a very simple process, but I'm going to show you how to do it. Right now you're going to right click on the image. You want to move into photo shop and you going to click edit in and then edited in Adobe Photo Shop, and then you want to make sure you select edit a copy with leg room adjustments in the next lesson will be getting fine tuning this photo in photo shop. 7. Fine Tuning: All right, so in this lesson, I'm going to be showing you how to find, too. In this image in photo shop, we're going to be using layer masks in this lesson. The first step that you want to dio is select the quick selection tool. When you do this, you want to make sure that you already have another layer on top of your original photo. All right, so what I'm gonna do is I'm just going Teoh, select the shadow of the face, which is the part I want to make my adjustments mainly on. So this just gives you a rough outline, which is what we want from here. I'm going to want to collect the select and mask option. We can see this at the top of the screen here, or you can choose us from under the select drop down menu. This pulls up this red overlay, which shows you more clearly where selection Lee. So you can see we have this Jake it edge. So that's something that you can clean up easily. So what I like to do here is I like to break up the feather option, so I'm just gonna bring it up to 10 pixels, so this makes the selection a little smoother. Does it won't give you such a harsh line When you make your adjustments, it will just kind of blend it into the other parts of the image more. I'm just gonna paint in sections that I wanted to be included or take them out. And this can be done with the addition and minus sign buttons up at the top left of your screen. So the subtraction button obviously subtracts parts of your selection, and the addition part adds parts. So once you have that done, you can exit the selected mask option, and you have your selection with the little marching ants. So the next step is to click the mask button at the bottom of your layers panel and just next to the effect spot in and next year adjustment. This will allow you to just edit that selected part that you have already. When you're making adjustments to your photo, you always want to make sure you're doing nondestructive adjustments. You're gonna click this half white circles, so here I'm going to adjust the exposure and then you want to hit option or the bolt key on your keyboard. Hold that. And then if you hover your mouse between that adjustment layer and that near a layer mask layer, you should get this arrow, which links it only to that layer. So if you don't do that, it will affect the whole image. So here the adjustments we make our only affecting our selection. So I just kind of been playing around with which adjustments will work better. I didn't really like how the exposure looked, So now I am playing with the brightness and contrast, so I'm just setting the brightness at 24 then the contrast at minus six. And, of course, it's all very depending on your image. So now I'm going to bring the curves adjustment layer in, and I am just going to play around and see how this affects the image again. These adjustment layers. You don't have to worry about affecting your image if you don't want them to, because they're not destructive, so they will not change. The original image now curves. You can get some pretty weird results if you go crazy, so just kind of take it easy on the curves you know, but yeah, just just playing around, seeing what works best. My tip for curbs is to set these three points where I did just where these grades me and then pull up or down from those points, just turning these often on to show you guys a difference that's off. See how dark it is and then turning them on and you can see how it brightens up the face. It's a subtle change, but it's a change that makes the image that much better. After you're done fine tuning your image in photo shop. In the next lesson, I'll show you how to export it. 8. Exporting: all right. You made it to the exporting lesson. Here. We'll be talking about the best ways to save your photo. First step I take before exporting. My photo is cropping so by general cropping ratio that I like is four by five, which is also ate my time size. This is actually the size that Instagram uses for their portrait images. So after I have the image cropped, how I like, I am just going to go to the drop down menu from image mode and then see where my bits per channel lay. And generally I like to keep my photos at 16 bits per channel. If I am printing, the next step I do is I go to that same drop down menu image and then go to image size. I make sure that my image resolution is at 300. That is very important. The next stop I'm going to Dio is command shift s or go to file save as so again, If we're exporting this for print, I am going to want to save this image as a tip. I want to make sure that the layers are clicked off. That's personal thing. I know some people dio keep layers checked, but it makes the file size a little smaller if you uncheck layers. Now, if I'm going, Teoh export it for Web usage or just posting on Instagram. Generally, I will just keep it at the same settings and hit, Save as and save it as a J pick. And then this is where I alter the size of my J peg. I will change the quality of the image, so I am just instead of maximum large file, I'm just gonna move it down to a high file. And that's how I save for Web usage. Sometimes there are specifics for websites where they do one and like less than file size. So when that's the case, I done changed the resolution to 72 d p I. And adjust the pixels from there to make a smaller image. But generally, I try to keep the Web file as large as I can while still being a smaller file 9. Conclusion: congrats. You made it through the full course. You have successfully learned techniques in adobe, leg room and Photoshopped to enhance the mood and tone of your photographs By manipulating the highlights and shadows. I hope you enjoy learning a bit about how I approach editing in my photography practice and are able to incorporate some of these techniques into yours. Thank you so much for watching and learning with please upload your class project to our project gallery. I can't wait to see what you all created and only started back. Thanks for watching.