Find Your Photography Style: Create Consistent Photos | Tabitha Park | Skillshare

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Tabitha Park, Chocolate Photographer

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8 Lessons (1h 28m)
    • 1. Introduction

      2:32
    • 2. How to Read Images

      27:17
    • 3. Making a Composition Grid

      4:37
    • 4. Analyzing Your Grid

      11:17
    • 5. Style Web

      9:08
    • 6. Lightroom Edit

      24:35
    • 7. Miscellaneous Tips

      6:37
    • 8. Outro

      2:09
34 students are watching this class

About This Class

Figuring out the style you're drawn to is such an important step toward creating the kind of work you look up to. When you are able to clearly understand and recreate your desired looks, your images become stronger and your portfolio or feed will look more consistent and intentional.

This class is a thorough exploration of photographic style. I'll show you how I "read" images to figure out how they were lit and captured. I'll show you how I use this technique to be able to decode and replicate these lighting and editing styles in my own work.

For the class project, we'll create an inspiration grid that features 9 striking images that inspire you. We'll analyze common themes and styles in your grid and use our observations to figure out where you fit in my 6-Part Style Web. 

By the end of this course you'll have stronger photo analysis skills. You'll be able to look at a photo and begin to understand how it was made. You'll have a better idea of what you are drawn to in a photo and how to incorporate those elements in your own work. You'll leave with an inspiration grid you can use as a stepping stone toward your ideal style. And also fun. I hope you have fun, I tried to keep things interesting and relevant for you with like, just the right amount of Smallcat's tail swishing across the screen and her little meows in the background. Thank you for watching!

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: Hi, I'm Tabitha and in this photography class, we're going to dive into a photographic style. If you've ever wondered to yourself, how do I get my photos to look like so and so or how do I make my images more consistent across my feed, or what is my style? Do I even have a style? I'm here to help. In the first part of this three-part class, we are going to learn how to read. We're going to be reading the photos as photographers. This is such an important skill to home because once you know what to look for, you can pretty much break down any complex image into easily digestible pieces. This is great because once you know how a photographer took a picture, it's going to be easier for you to take a picture similar. In the second part of this class, we are going to be creating an inspiration grid. This part is so important because you are going to go and find images that are super inspiring to you, images that you hope to be able to take some day. We're going to put them all together and analyze them as a group and figure out what are the common themes? What are some things that are very similar about these images? What's their overall style? Then we will figure out how you fit into my six parts style web which just my attempt at trying to narrow down the ocean of different styles out there into six easily categorized parts and then lastly, we will dive into editing. Editing is just as crucial as taking a good photo. If you are not currently implementing editing into your workflow, now is the time. Editing can transform your photo from light and airy to dark and moody. As an example, here is one image edited in the six different styles we're going to dive into in this class and it is insane just how different they all are in their own way. If you've never used Lightroom before, I highly recommend you pause and take a quick detour to my beginner Lightroom class. This is going to help you get started and feel a little more comfortable in the program. If you've already been working with light room before, amazing. I'm going to be sharing a ton of tips and tricks to really help you finesse your work to get it to look more like the style that you are most inspired by. This class was designed for beginner to intermediate level photographers. Hopefully, you have a good idea of how to create a properly exposed photo and a basic understanding of editing. My name is Tabitha, I'm a lifestyle photographer, a content creator and a teacher here on Skillshare. We're going to work together and figure out how to get your photos to look more like the ones that you're pinning on Pinterest and so let's dive into section 1, how to read. 2. How to Read Images: Thank you so much for joining me. In this section, we're going to talk about how to read an image. I first learned how to read lighting when I took some photography classes in college. My teacher would instruct us to go find a bunch of magazine pages and analyze the lighting as best that we could. This seemed really boring at the time and I wasn't in love with the process, but once I began looking at images from the perspective of a photographer, it changed the way that I look at everything. I look at a photo and I can tell that they're using this particular backdrop or setup or I can tell that they live it like this or I can tell they mix their lighting. No mix in your life. I'm really excited. I'm going to show you an image here on my iPad. I'm going to draw and show you what exactly I'm looking for in an image. We're going to talk shadows and highlights, we're going to talk contrast, color, even how you can tell when someone has edited an image and how much. Let's jump right in. Here we are in procreate. I put together this folder full of example images. I pulled all of these images from Pinterest and I've written down the artists or website that they originally came from. To start off, I wanted to show you, this is a little guide that I wrote and put together. I'll put a link to this in the project section of this class so you can download it, and use it for your reference. This is basically what we're going to go over when we are reading and dissecting these images. For instance, in the lighting category, we're going to talk about shadows, highlights and contrast. Then in the color category, we're going to discuss white balance, the colors, the variety and any color cast that may be present. Then we'll talk effects and potential camera settings. For the first image, I wanted to just dive right in here. I picked this image because it's a very clean and classic style. It's really, really beautiful and I set all of these images on a white backdrop so that we can tell if there's anything that is 100 percent pure blown out white. Before we look into that, let's identify the shadows. I'm going zoom in so we can see what we're dealing with here. We've got some shadows falling from this little floral piece here, some shadows from the scissors, some shadows here, here, and right there. This is leading me to believe that our primary light source is on this side, and it is shining this direction. If we only had this one window lighting the scene, this would appear to be the brightest spot in the photo and this would be quite darker because it would be in the shadow area. But because this would be the shadow area is actually lit up, that leads me to believe that we have a reflector or another bright surface that the light is coming in, hitting and then bouncing off of to fill in that shadow area. The other reason that I am guessing that they've got a reflector going on, is because the tone of this background here and here is similar. If this was significantly brighter on this end and a lot darker on this end, that would help indicate that there was one definitely stronger light that is affecting that. Super evenly lit photo overall. Let's talk about the highlights. The brightest spot of this image, I'm going to grab my color picker. The brightest spot of this image is right along this edge of the cake. Let's see if that is pure white. This little dot is not exactly in the corner, which means that instead of blowing out the whites, we brought them back, we preserved them so that we have information in those bright highlights spots. That is achieved in the editing portion and we'll talk more about that when we get there. The color palette that we have here is very simple. We have yellow, green and a little tan in the cake. It's very simple, but the colors appear true to life. Nothing is like overly vibrant or muted at all. Next, let's look at this image. The first thing that I noticed is our background. The tone here versus here, is quite different. It's a lot brighter on this end than that end. If you also look at the shadows that are falling from this little edge, they're falling in this direction. These shadows are falling in that direction same with that. Then if you look at the hand, we have a shadow side here and highlight side here. All of these things support the assumption that our light source is here. Let's look at our highlights. I'm going to zoom into this bottle. In this bottle you can see a whole reflection of the room. I can see that we have a really bright highlight right along this edge, we've got a highlighted side of this metal mug. Anything that is metal or glass, anything reflective is going to help give you a hint into how the photo was lit. I would say they probably have a pretty big window over here that is shining light in a side and above angle. If it was just side lit, the shadows would be a lot longer and so that's why I think that it's partly above as well. Let's look at the white balance here. I'm going to grab a sample of the background, and then take a look at what the source color is. This is telling me that the background has a little hint of blue in it, which means that our image is overall pretty cool. There's a cool tone in this background, and it is a balanced photo, despite being a little cooler in the background because all of our subjects are warm. This helps give color contrast and make the photo seem properly balanced. If the background had been pure gray, these things would have appeared too brown and orange. The photographer who put this together did that for that reason. One more thing I wanted to talk about in this, and I didn't cover it in my guide, is something compositionally that I'm noticing. If we split this into thirds, what we have is this bottle aligning with this third line. We have this drip of milk that is close to the third, and then we have the hand on the top third and then the tops of the glasses on the bottom third. Just compositionally, this image is very, very balanced and I really like it. Let's look at the next image. This is a darker, moodier shot. I want to look at these shadows. Here, we have the big shadow side of the cake, we've got a shadow falling from the plate and a shadow from the bowl. This is making me think that the light source is on this side. We've got a highlight right here on the top of the cake and that is making me think that our light is a little higher. Because if it was lower, none of the light would spill onto that. Our light is coming at this angle. Our shadows are nice and diffuse. There's not any harsh lines, which means that we're shooting on a cloudy day or through an indirect window, or with a diffuser between our light source and our subject. Let's take a look at what we've got going on in the shadows, how dark are these shadows? That is close to pure black. What about our highlights? The brightest spot right there. Our highlights are pretty close to pure white. I bet we can find a pure white, closer, maybe in there. We have a lot of contrast. We've got this bright white contrasting with this deep dark shadow. One thing that I want to point out as far as the composition goes, they chose a black plate and they have a really dark rich cake. If they had just put this cake right on this plate, it probably would have disappeared in the image. The use of this piece of parchment or tracing paper really helps separate the cake from the plate and I think that that was a really effective way of layering the image so that the subject really stands out. This image has great depth of field. I'm looking at, let's see, we've got our backdrop and it's pretty much in focus from here to, actually right here, the knife starts to get out of focus. Our focal range is right in here but because we're shooting from above, we're shooting at an angle. We have this whole area of the cake. Right here in the frosting, all the way to the edge of this plate that's in focus and then everything after that falls off and so it's a little bit more out of focus. That being said, we do have a nice plane of focus despite how close we are and so I would guess that our F-Stop here is probably F4 or F5.6. A little bit more of the frame is in focus, but we are closer. Typically, when you get closer, more of the image gets blurry. I wouldn't even be surprised if they have F6 in here instead. Really effective image, very balanced, white balance here. That's really beautiful. Next we have this shot. This is a totally different look than what we've seen so far. This one is a flat lay and it has a ton of negative space. This negative space is a great tool if you wanted to add some text later and then use it as a graphical element right there. It also can help to break up a really monotonous feed. Maybe your feed has a ton of detail and it's getting cluttered, it's nice to add a photo like this because it will help give your feed a little more balance and a place for your eyes to relax. Let's look at our shadows. This one is a little trickier. We've got some interesting shadows here. We've got these right here, these shadows here, we have a shadow right there and then in between all these apples. I'm not exactly sure where the shadows are coming from here so let's look at the highlights. We've got some highlight on this side of the apple and on this side. I'm thinking they have either two light sources or one light and one reflector. I wouldn't be surprised if they've got a bright window that's shining down across the subject and then they've got a reflector or another window on this side. Then, since the light's coming in like this, that would support that this whole side is shadowed because the light's not quite hitting it yet. That's more like this angle. This apple is a perfect example. The light comes in this way and this way and then our shadow area becomes that. Let's take a sample of the background and try and figure out the white balance. It seems a little cooler to me based on this next to my white. It's just a little bit cooler and that's probably to make it appear cleaner and stark. The color palette that we've got, we've got some red, we have some green, a little bit of gold, and that is pretty much it. It's really, really beautiful. The colors, I would say the reds are probably a little bit over saturated. Maybe those are pretty true to life. It does have a nice pop effect to it. It makes the image stand out and become really, really striking. One other thing I wanted to point out in this shot, if you zoom in really close and this could be how I saved it or how it was uploaded, but I'm getting a little bit of noise in the shadow areas. It just seems grainy, almost like the ISO is a little bit too high, so it introduced a little bit of noise. Typically this happens when you are not using enough light or when you're photographing things like this with a phone. I actually would not be surprised if this photo was taken with a phone which is totally, totally okay. Shoot with the camera that you have that you feel comfortable with and see, this is a very effective image even if it is taken with a phone. Don't discount your phone if you don't feel like they make good enough pictures because this is very effective. Next up we have this shot. I chose this one because I wanted to show you this grain films scratch look. If we zoom in here, we can see there's a lot of these little hairs, these little scrapes on the image and that gives it this really vintage feel. It also has a really warm tone to it. If we pickup colors in here, they're all going to be on this cream colored spectrum. That's a really beautiful, effective, cozy looking shot, I think, supported by those warm tones in there. The color scheme that we have, we've got a little bit of orangey browns in that leaf and then everything else is creamy. Let's look at our shadows. It looks like we've got a little bit of a shadow underneath this leaf. We have a little bit of a shadow underneath this sweater and coming off of this mug. This is the whole shadow side of the mug. We've got a dead giveaway in this shot. This is the window right here. I'm guessing that this is exactly what it looks like. The window is shining light in this direction and creating a shadow side toward the viewer. This is semi backlit. If it were true backlit, the window would be right behind it but it's still gives it that sparkly effect that typically backlit photos will do. Something else that I wanted to show you. If you zoom into this little bell jar, you can see what looks like a perfect reflection of a window. This looks like maybe a roof line and this looks like a tree. I would say that is definitely naturally lit from this window based on everything that we can see in this image so far. Another thing I wanted to point out, I'm looking at this book trying to determine what our aperture probably is and I can see that the whole sweater is in focus from all the way back here to all the way right here, and then I can also see that these acorns are in focus, but the wall is out of focus. Our focal range could be from the edge of this sweater to the front of this book, but this book also has some blurry elements to it. I'm guessing that they probably took this picture. This is probably another one taken with a phone and the reason I think this is because the whole image is pretty much in focus. But there has been some sections that have been marked out or have been hand edited to reduce the focus or give it this glowy out of focus feel. We've got a section here that looks like it's been softened and a section here probably so that the text wasn't so glaring so that it was a supporting element rather than a main focus, because the way that a lens focuses it wouldn't have this part out-of-focus and this part in-focus. This is something that you can tell that it has been adjusted after the fact and there's nothing wrong with that. This is totally a stylistic choice. I just wanted to point it out so that you can start looking for things like this in your image. If this is an image that is super inspiring to you, we need to break it down so you can figure out how to approach it and why it is effective to you in that way. Next up we have this shot. We are going to dive into our shadows here. This image is really striking. It has very deep, harsh, dark shadows. They're very long. Look how long these shadows are. This indicates that our window is coming from a lower perspective. If it were higher up, the shadows would be a lot shorter and it wouldn't be as dramatic of a shot. What it looks like to me is we have a window with these window panes and then we have some plants sitting on the edge of the window and those are casting these interesting shadows in the top part of the frame. The reason that I wanted to show you this picture is because of these deep dark shadows. This makes me think that we have one window and no reflectors. I think this because if we look at the next photo, we have very similar harsh, sharp shadows but instead of being really deep and dark, there actually a middle gray. That makes me think that we have a window on this side, a big window. It's a lot higher than the previous window because our shadows are not as long and dramatic, and I think we've got some fill or reflector on this side that's helping bring a little bit of extra light into those shadows, which would have been very dark and black and maybe made the photo a little bit harder to tell what was happening. This image has a really muted color palette. There's this bright orange and brown and that's super effective. Next up, I wanted to show you something a little bit different. I picked this image because it has this very Instagram-y me feel to it. But let's look at the shadows, so, I'm going to point out we've got a shadow from the bowl, right here and we've got a shadow from the spoon, right here and from their hand right there. These shadows indicate that our light source is right here, shining in like this. But let's zoom into the shadows and take a closer look if I grab my color picker and put it in the shadow area, everything I'm picking up is blue. So this shadow is blue and it could be because we have a big blue board on this side that the light is hitting and bouncing and filling in those shadow areas. But more likely than not, the shadows that are blue here have been changed after the effect. So this is what split toning looks like, if you look at the shadow areas and we pull a color, let's pull a color from the shadow right in there and then we will put that down here. So this is our shadow color, let's look at our highlights, so, we've got some highlights in the milk but the milk has a color of its own, I'm going to try and pick something that's a lot more neutral, let's grab a highlight down here in this bright spot and then take a look, this is pulling slightly redder. So I'm going to put this color down here, and you can see that we've got our shadow area has this little bit of blue in it and the highlight area has a slight, slight warm tone. So if I were to saturate this just a little more or if I were to grab a little bit right in here, this tone is slightly orange-y and so these are complementary colors, blue and orange and they're going to help balance the photo, but still give it that stylistic filtered look. So this looks like a filter to me. Let's look at this little ceramic cup. In here, you can see the reflection of our dish, that's our bowl full of granola. You can also see the edge of the bottle right here and then there's something right here which looks to me like maybe a casserole dish probably full of more of this granola stuff. This was probably a shop for a recipe, but there's also this tiny highlight back here and spatially that would mean that the highlight is coming from over here or maybe even behind our person and I wouldn't be surprised if the window actually extends behind them and the light is just coming around and wrapping in the shot here. Really, really beautiful. Next up we have this shot very similar composition as the previous one, but the lighting is a bit different. So in here, we can see that we have really strong highlights right here, we have really strong shadows right here, the same goes for this bowl, bowls are nice because they're round so you can see there's a definite highlight side and a definite shadow side and so, that leads me to think that we have a window right here. How long are our shadows? Our shadows aren't super long, so I would say that our window might be a little bit taller, so it's letting light in at this direction. The colors here are very, very muted. We've got tiny bits of green in this plant, but, overall, this is a pretty gray-scale neutral image. The brightest color in this photo is here in the almonds, which is interesting because almonds traditionally aren't very vibrant and saturated, but I think this was an intentional choice to make them the most vibrant thing in the picture so that they stand out because that's the subject, that's what we're drawn to. There's a lot of contrast here, there's a definite highlight side and a definite shadow side and they really, really stand out, especially against this bright white dress. This a very beautiful picture. Next up we have something a little bit different, this is just a bunch of florals on a table. I picked this photo because we have incredibly vibrant colors. If you look at the color that I just picked out of here, it is so close to this top 100 percent saturation. But the image doesn't really appear overdone, and so I would say that this was probably an intentional choice to choose these really bright colors because our background is very muted overall, there's a lot of neutrals and whites, and so it's a really effective choice there. If we zoom in, we can see that these front, little white and yellow flowers are out of focus, the front of these petals are in focus, but the back of the petals on the same flower are out of focus. This leads us to deduce that we have a very narrow depth of field so this is all blurry, blurry, blur, blur to here, and then we've got in focus, and then we've got blurry again. So, I would say that based on how close they are to these flowers, I'm guessing that they're using an aperture like F1.8. We've got really dramatic blur and it's very, very beautiful that way. Almost done, so this picture I chose because it has a really beautiful beam of light. Our highlight spot right here draws your eye through the frame just like this. So I am guessing that there light sources back here and it's just out of frame so that we don't have any overexposed blown out highlights right there. It looks like they've got an object like a bowl or something there, and this looks like a copper mug there. These are used to block the light, so that, really what we're getting is this narrow, narrow beam that is lighting up just the important elements of the photo this adds a lot of drama. I'm also guessing that the window Iight is pretty low, and this gets our light scraping across the surface so that we can really define that beautiful, crunchy texture. Our deepest shadows are almost black, and our brightest highlights are almost pure white so it looks like they preserved them on both sides, but the blacks appear a little more matte to me in this particular shot. Lastly, I wanted to show you this image. This one, it looks like we've got a window in the background, so this is a back-lit photo, which would mean that what we see in the foreground is our shadow area. It is a little bit darker, but we're still able to get really good exposure here, so I think that we've got some reflector or fill that the light is bouncing off of and lighting up those areas. They could have also taken up the light in the shadows as well. I wanted to show you, so if we take a sample from our light source back here and look at it, it is 100 percent white. That means if you were to print this photo out, you would have paper showing through right there, that's not a bad thing. That just means that they are blown out or clipped. So a lot of people try to avoid this by bringing their highlight slider in just a little bit so that there is some information there, but honestly, I don't think it really matters. Decide what you like and stick with it, and as long as you understand what's happening, that's what's important here. If we look closely, I wanted to show you, we have a tiny, tiny, tiny bit of shadow right in here on her shoulder, it's shadow from her dress, the edge of this lace and that makes me think that we've got a light coming in like this, which is interesting because, this light is coming in like this which means that it's not from this light, and that makes me think that maybe we have some overhead lights that are throwing light down and casting this little shadow. Typically, the light that's coming from the window is going to be sunlight and that's about 5000 Kelvin, it's a little bit blue, bluer than what we would typically put indoors, which would be from your typical incandescent bulb, that would be 2700 Kelvin. The reason I bring this up is because, if you look at the color of her skin tone closest to the window, it seems a little cool, and then if you look at her shoulder, the closest here to the camera, it is quite a bit more orange, and so I would think that probably they have a little bit of mixed lighting happening, this light is casting, not only this little tiny barely noticeable shadow, but also a little bit of a color cast there and I am thinking that there's probably a little bit of mixed lighting there, but because the light in the background is so bright, it doesn't really affect the overall image and so that is just something else to look for, that's how I can tell if people are using mixed lighting in their shots, is because I'm looking so closely that it's just ridiculous. Most people don't look that close to the photo, so, don't panic over something like that if that happens to you. I just wanted to point it out so that you can see that it is something you can read from a photo, and then lastly, let's talk about these colors. They are so, so saturated, but they don't really look overdone, they don't seem too bright because they are the main subject in this photo. That's what the artist wanted your eyes to be drawn to. If she wanted your eyes to be drawn to the subject, she might have included the subject's face, but because the subjects face is not in the picture, it forces you to decide what the new subject is, which I'm guessing is these beautiful, vibrant florals. So that is all my examples for how I typically approach reading an image. Hopefully, this was helpful to you and you can now approach reading images in a new way. I wanted to also note that the reason we do this is not so that we can copy a photo exactly, we definitely want to respect artists' work. You can use their lighting as a stepping stone to getting more toward that particular style but certainly don't set up a shot exactly like they have it and rip off their photo because that's just not cool we want to respect other artists' work and we want to give them credit where credit is due. Now that we have a pretty good start for how to read images, we are going to jump into our inspiration grid in the next section. 3. Making a Composition Grid: In this section, we are going to create an inspiration grid. Whether you're into food or product photography, portraits, travel blogging, whatever, go and find the kind of photos that you hope to be able to curate your style to be more like. For me, I'm really into food and desert photography and so I have tons of pins on pinterest of beautiful food photos that I absolutely love. So I might start there or on my Instagram where I've bookmarked a bunch of stuff and I'm going to pick my top 9-12 photos that I absolutely find so inspiring, photos that I would be proud to be like, I took this. Then we are going to put them together in a grid. Let me show you how I normally collect my photos on Instagram and Pinterest and then how I put them together to make a grid. The reason we put our images into a grid is because it'll give us a feel of how our potential Instagram feed could look. We have the 3 by 3 squares and it's going to just give us a really clean look overall. Let's start looking for photos. To save images for your inspiration grid, I'm going to start here on Instagram. If you find a picture that you absolutely love, you can hit this little bookmark button and it will save it. If you click "Save to collection", you have the option to create a new collection or put it in a collection that already exists. These images are hiding over here. Click on your profile, click on these three lines and then here in the saved box. In here, I have a bunch of different folders, things that I've saved and then I also have an all posts. This is everything that I've ever clicked a little bookmark on for whatever reason. Once you have a bunch of photos all in one folder, you can either go ahead and screenshot this and take your grid just like that or if you're still looking for more photos, there's this little button down here that says "see more like this". I like to click this because it's typically going to show me images that I wouldn't have normally found organically, and I can find even more images this way. Once I'm happy with the photos that I've chosen, if I don't want this layout right here, if I want to be able to pick and choose just my favorites, I'm going to go into each one individually and screen capture it. This is going to save it to my phone's camera roll and then I can go ahead and create my grid that way. If you were saving photos from Pinterest, typically, if you've got a Pinterest account, you have folders full of pictures that you absolutely love. For example, I have a folder for mushrooms. If I really absolutely love this picture, I could screen capture it or I can press this little... and I can hit "Download Image". This is going to save it directly to my phone and it's not going to get any of the outside edges of this picture. It's just going to save the photo. Once I have all of the photos that I need, I want to make sure that I have nine that I like. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. Perfect. I have nine. I'm going to go over to the Layout app. This is an app made by Instagram, and so it's designed to be like a square crop. I'm going to go ahead and click on all nine of my images. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. Once I have all nine clicked, it's going to auto populate the 3 by 3 grid. That is the one that I want. I can go ahead and organize this. Maybe I want this mushroom shot to be in the center so I'm going to click on the center photo and then hit "Replace" and then I'm going to pull the mushrooms and then I'm going to click on the mushroom photo and put the image that was there instead. Once I'm happy with how my image feels, how all the photos are laying in the shot, I want to just double check that I don't have any Instagram artifacts in these shots. If I look right here, I can see that I've got a little bit of Instagram showing right there from my screen capture. I'm just going to pinch and zoom till it fills the frame just to look nice. This one has a little bit of a person tag. I'm just going to pinch that one too. Then once I'm happy with how this looks, I want to do one last thing which is to add a border. This just helps make it look really, really polished. Then I can go ahead and hit "Save" and this will save the image right to my camera roll. I could go ahead and post on social media from here but because none of these images are mine, I don't want anybody to get upset. If you are creating an inspiration grid using other people's work, just don't post it as your own. Make sure you're using it purely as a learning device and for analyzing to figure out your personal style. Yeah, now that we have our Inspiration Grid all put together, let's break it down and analyze it in the next section. 4. Analyzing Your Grid: This section we are analyzing our grids, so pull up your inspiration grid and let's figure out what some common themes are in these photos. Here is my inspiration grid. I have reorganized it just a little bit to get it to look a little more aesthetic. It has a checkerboard feel, which is what my Instagram feed has right now, where we have a dark photo and a light photo, and it just continues that pattern. Diving back into this, I've done the same thing here. Some overall themes that I'm seeing as far as the color goes, there's really a lot of vibrant colors. Look at this super saturated orange, that is out of this world. We have these red pancakes with yellow and green and orange, and this drink is very yellow and these mushrooms are just way vibrant. This is definitely the style I'm drawn to. I really love very saturated, juicy colors. The whites are pretty neutral throughout. These ones are a little cool and these ones are a little cool. But for the most part, we have some true to life white balance going on here. Then looking at positioning and balance here, we've got a few flat lays. We have some 45 degree, some straight on shots. I'm sensing a theme, an overarching theme as far as food and drink goes. Every one of these photos is a food or drink, and three of these are polar shots, which means I really like to incorporate this movement and this spur of the moment feel in my images, they're messy. You can see each one of these shots has a little bit of a mess going on. This one has peppercorn, this one has rose petals. Over here, we've got coffee beans on the table and then we have a cracked pepper or some spice on these pancakes. I definitely like this messy spur of the moment style shots. I attempted to put together a second inspiration grid that was very different from my first. But after I looked at it for awhile, I realized it's very similar in style, but it shows differently. Basically the colors in this particular grid, we've got a lot of this muted green. We have some of this gold, orange color. The whites are not necessarily all true, this one's pretty neutral, but we've got this one has tones of pink in it, this one's a little cooler. But what I'm seeing that's a theme overall, is that we have these really simple, blurred, smooth looking backdrops. We have really clean images here. Nothing is screaming for attention. These are all very beautiful, ethereal looking images with very shallow depth of field. They all fit together even though the subjects are varying. We've got some food and we have some nature, a little bit of portraits and then some drawing pictures. Really for this, I was going more on the way the image made me feel and less on what was in the image, if that makes sense. I had a few of my photography friends put together some inspiration grids for me. This one was made by my friend Taylor and I love how this one came together because, this is images that she's looking up to. These are images that she hopes to be able to create some day, and it's amazing because I already feel her work is this good. I already feel she is there. But it's nice to be able to see that even people who are defining and creating this structured style for themselves are still trying to hone in on what they love, and so what I'm seeing here are a lot of deep, rich, dark colors. We have some bright highlights. There's a lot of contrast here. But the overall mood in these images that I'm getting is not excitement. It's more very calm and romantic, almost curious expressions. The expressions here aren't overly exuberant, they're more muted and also very quiet and just striking the beauty in these images. They are definitely very artistic. They're not trying to sell you anything, they're just trying to give you a peek into this moment in this feel. She's got a few black and white pictures that she has put here and then the rest, we've got some grays and we have some tans and cream colors. We've got a very muted, neutral color palette here, and I think that it's very effective. This is my other friend's inspiration grid. She is more interested in portraiture and relationships and families, and so a lot of these, we are focused more on the expressions. We were making eye contact with the camera in several of these shots. The lighting is really soft and flattering. We have quite a bit of glow in these two shots down here. It's really glowy and that plays into the sunshine. These images seem cooler to me, there's not summer vibes. I'm getting very wintery feel with these images, and the color palette that we're seeing here is a lot more neutral as well. I'm not really seeing any super deep dark blacks or any way hot highlights, and so the contrast level here is more in the middle. It's not, overly poppy or vibrant, but it's just very clean. Next up we have this inspiration grid. This one is more of a interiors, Ikea goals look, and so what we have that I'm noticing that's carrying throughout is we've got a plant in almost every single shot, and so that really invites this feeling of freshness and life into these images. We have a lot of tans and whites, this is not quite Ikea, but more Joanna Gaines farm style look in these images. These are inviting, they're bright and eerie, and it just feels like a place that you want to be in, and so I think this is a really effective way of creating a peaceful and modern clean look. This is by the same friend, her name is Erin, so she's sent me both of these two. This one is more experimental film photos of people, and so these are all really interesting, not photos that I'm normally gravitated towards, but seeing them together in a group this is really quite fun because none of these images are very obvious. There's not a clear person sitting, smiling, there's no head shots. These are all very experimental, flowy, filmy photos. We've got a lot of just really interesting blur and story here that I think is really cool. We have a ton of negative space, this photo is mostly negative space. This photo is half of negative space, more than half of negative space. Just a lot of just space and eerie feeling here for this atmospheric look in these images. The color palette that we have here again is so muted. We have just little tiny splashes of color. But for the most part, it's just that really dreamy ethereal feel. Then lastly, I put this one together. I was trying to create an inspiration grid that didn't feel cohesive. Because I think that there's going to be an instance where you put together an inspiration grid and it doesn't feel like a set of images. It doesn't feel it came from all the same photographer and it's not consistent and that is okay. This is not an activity that's set in stone. If you create an inspiration grid and for some reason, looking at all the photos together don't make you feel happy, they don't give that expression and that emotion and bring you the joy that it was individually, then just create another one. I think that after looking at all the ones I created, these were the ones that were my favorite, these two and this last one even. This one obviously was created so that it didn't have a cohesive look, but I still feel the look overall has a mood to it. There is no obvious subject in any of these pictures, even this portrait, this close-up black and white portrait, the story isn't this woman, the story is this emotion and this feeling and this art. All of these photos were taken artistically. They're not trying to sell you anything like I mentioned before. This one, even though it's probably for a recipe, it looks more like it was captured with the last little bits of light, and the cake is going to be devoured by a bunch of close friends who forged the garden for the ingredients. This vine on the wall was photographed by a wedding photographer and I love it because I felt this. I've walked past a wall with a beautiful vine on and thought, that is just perfect. That vine is this growing here doing its thing and it's not begging for your attention, but it's so beautiful in its simplicity. I think probably simplicity is mostly what is happening here. This shot is not a portrait of a paintbrush. It's the way the light interacts with this scene here. It's seeing this little rainbow on the wall and running to grab your camera to photograph it because it's so rare and so beautiful. This water portrait is very intense. It's obviously done from a drone, but it's like you see these deep inky blues in this water and you just are transported it back to the beach. All of these photos have this emotion and this mood to them. Even though I was trying to get photos that were all different, like this one's light and muted, and this one's dark and saturated, and this one's a vibrant, and this one's filmy and this one is black and white, and this one's taken with a phone. I was trying to go with all different looks, but putting them together, they ended up working well. I hope that this has been helpful just to see some other inspiration grids so that you can compare yours and figure out where you fit and that there's not a perfect way to do this. It's a continually honing activity. You can make as many inspiration goods as you want and just come back to them. I might not have naturally been drawn to any of these pictures singularly, but seeing them together, I just get so excited at the idea that I could make my feed or make my work more like these beautiful images and pairing colors next to each other to get a feel and to get a direction for where you might like to take your feed. I hope what you can take away from this class is that you are in control of what your work looks and how it's presented to your clients or to your audience. I hope that this is eye-opening and enlightening and you can go out and create your grid and not feel worried about if it's not turning out exactly how you expected. This is an exploration journey, and so I want you to enjoy the process. Now that we've done a ton of analyzing, hopefully you have a really good idea of the type of images that you're into. Now let's figure out where you fit in my six part style web. 5. Style Web: This is my style web I created it here on my iPad, I'm really excited to share with you how I put this together and what I was thinking when I was defining each of these styles. I went ahead and added a bunch of adjectives around this web so that you know better how to describe your particular look. Sometimes it's hard to be like, "Well, I don't know what I like about this picture. I just like that it's dark and it's like, I don't know, it just feels like a rainy day", like it's hard to describe your photos. I've given you a ton of powerful adjectives, that you can use to help really hone in what your style is, and that will help you find images that are more like that. Because you can look for subtle highlights you can look for in the intense striking images. These are words that will give you a head start into figuring out what your particular style is. You may not fit exactly in one of these six categories. Maybe you're halfway between two, but this is just going to be a really good start for helping you know where you're headed. Let's look at this in more detail. This is my sixth part style web. I have broken it down into classic looks on this side and then more like stylized on this side. Basically we have right up top in the center is our cleaning classic section. This is where you'll see, like you're most properly exposed photos, they can be light or dark and they're going to have a pretty neutral white balance. They're not going to be warm or cool. They're going to be pretty ride on. These are just pretty much your standards shots. From here we can divert from this, I like to go right into bright and stark. These are the photos that I like. I like when the highlights are blown out and they're just like lots of contrast, vivid color, just like really intense photos. Next up, I wanted to highlight the dark and vibrant photos. This is also what I love. These two are where I like to gravitate. They're not dark and moody because they're not fill me or matte looking. They're vibrant. The blacks are just like rich and deep and saturated and the colors are vivid and beautiful and there's just like highlights that are just like punchy. These photos are really intense and gorgeous. These two are where I live as far as style goes. I gravitate between the two. A lot of people are like, "Oh, you have to choose between dark photos or light-colored photos. You can't do both" and I disagree. I think you can do both. Do whatever you want. This is your business or your life. These are the photos that you love. It doesn't make sense to edit a light and airy photo that just needs to be dark. You know what I mean? I don't like being confined. Those are where I gravitate toward. Next up we have matt and shadowy. These photos aren't necessarily dark. They're just they've got a vignette and they just feel dramatic. They're a little bit vintage looking. There's a couple Instagram or said I follow that I want to dive into because this was a style that I wasn't expecting. But I keep seeing it everywhere. I describe it as like soapy. The whites are soapy. They're not bright and stark. They're filled in with color, but it's not white, if that makes sense. If were to make this background soapy, I might take a blue but then take it just right up here. That would be my description of a soapy white because it's not pure white like this. This is pure white. It's just slightly off if that makes sense. It can be like soapy and purple, it can be soapy in a reddish way, but soapy is how I describe it. I've said soapy like 35 times now. But anyway, next up we have dark and moody. I loved argued moody images. The blacks are mat, they're not in key and fully saturated. There's a little bit of like texture there. It's like cloudy looking images. I call it a rainy day feel photos that you might take on a rainy day that take you to this moment in time and so dark and moody is like an awesome way to go. Next up we have light and fill me. This is like cousins with brightens start because we get these beautiful bright photos. But they have those soapy whites. They have this snow day feel where it's like really bright, but none of it is a 100 percent white. It's just like softer colors. Typically there's only a few colors. It's not like a lot going on. It's minimal shadows, just really delicate, muted type photos that are bright and give you that like classic Instagram field. That is pretty much my style web. I have included this in the download section of this class as well as links for a bunch of different Instagram that I think fall into each of these categories. So that if my definitions don't really make sense, you can see their feed and be like, "Okay, that's what we're looking for, that is the look" and then hopefully being able to see other people's work in these particular styles will help you be able to get a really good idea of where your grid fits and how you fit in here. Again, I told you before I fit in these two categories and that's just where I like to float. That's not to say that I don't love a dark and moody photo every now and again, or just go for a cleaning classic style for a client. But that is just one thing to get you started. This obviously isn't all the styles are some photos that don't really fit into any of these. They might be like a secondary category down here. Don't feel like you need to fit yourself into one of these boxes. Just know that these are some styles that I've seen a lot that I wanted to break down and share with you. Now we can categorize each of our examples from the previous lesson. This is my first grid, and I would say, like I mentioned before, it definitely falls into categories. We have these really vibrant, light, bright and stark images, and then they're scattered between these dark and vibrant ones as well. So that fits in both of those categories. This next grade I would probably put in the mountains shadowy category because we do have a lot of those soapy whites present. There isn't anything that's like way blown out or super deep or super vibrant. I feel like that's where this guy would fit. Next up, we have this grid and this one's a little trickier because we do have some darks and we do have some lights. I would say for this shot, these images in particular, I would probably categorize as dark and moody because we do have those matt black's present. They're not deep and dark and rich. Then as far as our light shots go, we've got really neutral balanced colors, so I might even put those ones in the clean and classic category just because that is the very simple, but they're true to life. This one could go both ways, dark and moody and clean and classic. This one has a lot of very true to life colors and skin tones. We don't have anything that's blown out or anything that's way too deep or wave vibrant. This one I would also put in the clean and classic category. Next up we have these interiors. These ones I naturally would feel like yeah cleaning classic done. But I do feel like a lot of these colors are not very saturated. I would say this is probably more muted than it would look in real life. For that, I would say it falls a little closer to our light and filmy category. Really bright, nothing is like blown out, but we do have just like soft and minimal feel overall. Next we have this one. This one is a little bit tricky. I might put this one enlightened filmy as well just because our color tones are really muted. We have a lot of this minimalist negative space throughout. This isn't typically the lightened filmy that I save, which is normally food photos, but it's good to see that lightened film works for people as well, and that this is probably what I would imagine that would look like. Then lastly, we have a mixed bag 1. These are definitely dark and moody. Then these I would probably categorized as like bright and Stark or maybe light and fill me. I don't know, I just love this whole collection. I might make up my own category, maybe call this like simple and filmy or simple and soft. Yeah, probably simple and soft. This one doesn't really fit. If it's simple, not really soft. This one? Yeah. Maybe neither. Yeah. I like simple though simple and inviting. I don't know. You can make up your own, figure out, if you're between two or if you really just don't fit in any of the categories, maybe just decide what your style is and define it yourself based on what you see and what you feel. I'm using my style web as a starting place if that is helpful to you. In the next section we are going to talk about editing. This is really where we seal the deal, where we take what we've learned and apply it. 6. Lightroom Edit: Editing, editing is about half of the work. Editing is just as important as taking a really good picture. I want to preface this by saying that most of the time you will want to start with a properly exposed photo. If your photos are coming out too bright and you want to edit more dark and moody, it's going to be a lot harder to bring those down. Same with the opposite way if you're taking really dark, kind of murky looking photos, it's going to be pretty hard to make those super bright and super airy. If you're taking perfectly exposed photos or pretty close, you can kind of tweak it one way or the other, but just know that you'll have a lot more options if your photos are right in the middle. I do all of my editing in Lightroom. It makes up more than half of my workflow. I am spending so much time sitting here with my coffee and my hoodie, you're just like clicking, clicking, clicking, getting these photos how they need to be. Editing is so transformative. If you are not currently editing any of your photos, make a change. Today's the day. Today's the day we're going to start editing our pictures. If you are working on a phone and it doesn't really make sense to use Lightroom. There is a mobile Lightroom CC app that I absolutely love. I take a lot of photos on my phone when I go hiking. I like to be able to edit them, even though they're just photos I took with my phone. A ton of people have their Instagram accounts taken completely with their phone and there's nothing wrong with that. You do not have to have a DSLR, but just know that I'll be working with the DSLR and a mirrorless camera and I edit on Lightroom. I'm going to jump over to Lightroom, but I wanted to chat with you a little bit about what we're going to be doing. We're going to be talking about shadows. How to make the kind of shadows that you are drawn to, whether they are inky black, just clipped shadows, or whether they're really mat and like soft and have that sort of like snowy feel. We're going to be doing the same thing with highlights. We're going to be talking about how much contrast do you want to add and different editing tweaks that you can do for color. We're going to talk about the tone curve and how to make your images mat, how to add grain and the vignette. It's going to be all of the stuff that you might want to know. How to make your images look how you want. So Lightroom. All right, I will be editing in Adobe Lightroom classic CC. It is version 8.2 and again, it is not Lightroom CC, the cloud-based photo service. It is Lightroom classic CC. So just make sure you're in the correct Lightroom. This is my main photo that I'm going to be editing to show you the different styles. I actually want to edit on a white background rather than this dark gray. So I'm just going to right-click in this background area and then switch it to white. The reason I'm doing this is so that I can tell if my whites in the background details are pure white like my background is. The way that I'm going to do this, because we have six different styles to cover, I'm going to do a clean and classic edit, then I'm going to create a virtual copy. So copy this. Cleaning classic, edit five times, and then I'm going to go through and edit to each of the different styles, starting with the cleaning classic edit. That way I don't waste a whole lot of time just getting the minor tweaks that cleaning classic would cover if that makes sense. These are the different styles and these are what the photos look like once they're all edited. Again, we're going to start with cleaning classic. We're going to go to brighten stark, dark environment, man shadowy, dark and moody, and then end with light and filmy. In case you only care about one of these, you can skip ahead as needed, but I would definitely watch the cleaning classics, you don't get lost. Let's begin. When I first start editing a photo. I want to start right here in this first little drop-down, we're going to start with exposure. For a clean classic edit, we want to pretty right on exposure. This one seems just a little dark to me, so I'm going to bring it up. One thing that I watch for when I'm adjusting my exposure is my histogram. My histogram is basically this little mountain picture that shows me what my photo looks like on a data level, I have two little triangles in each of the corners. This triangle on the right is my highlights. So this will tell me if any of my whites are so bright that paper is showing through. Can you guys hear my cat? She really wants to go outside. The other side is my shadow. If I were to pull the blacks down, you can see this blue starts to show because I am losing information in those blacks.They're just 100 percent black. That's just something to keep in mind, as we're going along, the histogram is going to show us what's happening in the photo. Anyway, let's adjust our exposure a little bit higher, not too high. Right now this picture seems super washed out, so we're going to add a little bit of contrast and the colors just seem sort of blurred. So I'm going to increase the vibrancy and saturation right here. Usually I just do a little bit of both, not too much. Then I'm going to bring my blacks down just a little bit to add some contrast. Then let's get my white balance right on. I'm going to use this little Eyedropper tool. I'm going to click on it and then I'm going to click on an area that feels neutral. I'm going for like a gray or white and I'm going to click on that. That's just going to adjust my photo overall to be the correct white balance. If you don't pick up neutral, if you pick this purple, it's going to adjust as if the purple was neutral, so that would make the whole photo green. I'm just going to undo that in my history over here. This is my neutral and I feel like there's a lot of gold happening in here that I don't love so I could do one of two things. I could dip the temperature down just a little bit to give me more of those bluish purples, or I'm going to undo that and then show you. If I don't like the yellows that are present in the photo, I can just pull them down in my HSL color box. If I pull my yellows down, that kind of reduces that weird off-color that I was getting in the background while still maintaining those true neutral whites in my photo. I've just pulled down my orange and my yellow saturation here in the HSL slider panel. Now I'm still feeling like my purple seem kind of blur, this is an amethyst, so I want it to be really beautiful. I'm going to just come back to my HSL slider and then pull my purple and magenta sliders up just a little bit. I feel like they're kind of dark. I'm actually going to go into the luminance and I'm going to pull them up just a teeny bit. Now I'm feeling really happy with this edit. I feel like that's a pretty clean and classic look there. It looks like we've got just a teeny bit of highlights blown out right here in the highlighted part of the ring, but I'm okay with that. That does not bother me. I feel like that is a really nice, beautiful, clean and classic edit. Now I'm going to copy this, right-click, create virtual copy, then I'm going to do it again until I have five. So I have five virtual copies and my clean and classic. This is my clean and classic, this is my first virtual copy. I'm going to start here and then do my bright and stark edit. For bright and stark, if you remember, we want it to be really vibrant. We want super light whites and we want a lot of poppy color. We just want to make this larger than life if that makes sense. We are going to start out with our shadows and whites sliders. I'm going to pull the white slider up and I'm going pull the contrast slider up. I'm going to pull the blacks down and exposure up just a hair. I'm going to pop up my vibrancy and my saturation just a little bit. Probably more vibrancy than saturation. Saturation tends to look really insane if you go too far, so I mostly just focus on the vibrancy slider. I'm not getting a lot of deep dark richness in the blacks like I want. I'm going to scroll down to this tone curve section. Right now I can't see any of the tone curve sliders, so I just need to click this little box right here, and then my sliders will appear. Now that I have my little sliders, I'm going to drop down the shadows and drop down the darks. This is just going to add a lot more contrast to my shot. Right now I can see a little bit of blue from where I'm losing information in the darks. I actually don't want to see that blue. I'm just going to turn off that little monitoring my histogram that tells me when that happens. I don't need to see that. It's not really helping me, so just going to turn that off. Then since I pulled those darks down, my purple seem just a little too crazy. I'm just going to come back with my saturation just a little bit and just get that a little better. Right now I'm feeling like this is very poppy. It's that bright, vibrant look that I love. We're going to flip between before and after. Keep in mind, our before is edited. It doesn't look like it's edited because of that dramatic like before and after but here's what we started with. Here's our clean and classic, and then here is our bright and stark edit. Next we want to work on are dark and vibrant photos. I'm just going to go to the third picture in our lineup and begin editing. For our dark and vibrant, we really just have these super inky dark blacks. It looks like we have a lot more information in the background than we did with our bright and stark shot. I just want to make sure that we're getting it looking this dark and this vibrant. That's our goal here, so I'm going to bring my exposure down. I'm just bringing it down enough that the ring is showing true to life. Then I'm going to leave my contrast slider up. I'm going to bring my whites up. This is going to give us more contrast and I'm going to bring my shadows down just a little bit. I want to bring my blacks down just a little bit and then maybe pop up the clarity just a little bit. The clarity is going to add a lot of dramatic contrast to this shot. D Hayes also will add a little bit of dramatic contrasts we want that in there too. Now, we have a lot of foggy darkness in here. I really want the color to show through without a lot of this murky look. I'm going to bring the darks up and the shadows down. I'm going to bring the lights up just a teeny, but I don't want to mess with this slider too much. Then I want to adjust our HSL sliders. The saturation on the purple is already pretty high. I want to change it though, because it seems really warm. I'm wanting a bluish inky purple. I'm going to go to Hue and this is where I can adjust the actual color of things. This purple color, if I'm not sure if it's the purple or the magenta, I can grab this little dot. If you click on it, it gives you this little tool where you can click on a spot in the picture and drag it up or down and it will adjust the colors. If I'm hovering over here, I'm peeking at this little thing. It'll light up on the color that it is. It looks like I'm getting purple and magenta. I'm going to click on the purple and I'm going to drag it up. It's hard to tell because it's happening slowly, but now my purples are much more red. This amethyst looks really pink. If I were to pull the slider down, I'm going to get those bluer tones in the amethyst. But you can see I've got two colors happening here, because only part of VM of this changed. Now I hover over my magenta and if I pull that one down as well, I'm going to get a much bluer looking amethyst. This is too blue. I don't like this. I'm going to pull these back and get just ever so slightly bluer. Awesome. Then I've got some red in here that I don't like, so I'm going to hop over to the saturation and just pull the red down just a little bit. I'm going to pull my magenta down just a little bit. I'm going to increase my blues and increase my purples. I'm really liking this color that we're getting right here, but I still feel like it's a bit murky. I want contrast, but I just want to make sure that we've got a lot of sparkle in here. I'm going to increase my shadows just to give it a little more depth there and then I'm going to bring my blacks down a little bit. I'm going to bring my whites up and my exposure down, just a little. I feel like this is really good. We're very close to that dark and vibrant look that I'm going for, so clean and classic, bright and stark, dark and vibrant. Next up, we have matte and shadowy. For matte and shadowy, it looks like we've got a bit of grain and it looks like we have a little bit of split toning happening. Let's focus on that. One characteristic with matte and shadow is that it has very dramatic vignettes. If you want to add a vignette, you want to scroll all the way down to the bottom into the apex panel. This has those vignetting and we want to bring this slider to the left. This will add a dark circle around the edges of our photos. We don't want it to be like very dramatic. We just want it to be enough that it will like curdle in the photo a little bit. We can adjust the midpoint. Sometimes this helps if you're if trying to get a specific look. I usually don't adjust the midpoint and then the roundness. I'll show you. This either makes it more of a circle or more of an oval. It just depends. We're actually going to go a little more circle-like because I want this shadow to fall into the top and bottom parts of the photo which are quite bright. Then I'm going to scale this back just a little bit. That is a good shadowy vignette. Let's get that like stylized color feel in here. I'm going to scroll up to the split toning menu. Split toning is where you add a color to the highlights and to the shadows and you can do separate colors, you can adjust the saturation. For example, if we wanted to make this shot have that cool tone to it, let's add a color like a blue hue to the shadows. Right now I'm bringing my slider over into the blue section and then I'm going to increase the saturation. If I go very dramatically, you'll see this adds a lot of that stylized look. I just want to add just a touch, just enough to make you do a double take like, is there, isn't there. I don't know. Then in the highlights, I'm not sure what this photo would look good for in the highlights. I'm going to and bring this saturation up and then I'm just going to drag this slider along until I feel like I've reached a good balance. Actually, I think there's a good balance in like the yellows and greens. The blues add a little bit of overall too much blueness I think, then the purples. Purples look all right but it adds a warmth that I'm not looking for. I'm going to settle back in with these greens a little bit and bring the saturation down. I can adjust my balance, so I can make things like more shadowy or more highlighted. But usually I just leave it right in the middle and then adjust the sliders as needed. Right now what we're getting is an overall gloomy, bluish look. I'm going to scroll up and I'm going to adjust the temperature. I'm just going to bring it ever so slightly warmer. You can drag the slider, but it's a really sensitive. What I like to do is hover over the number and then click and drag. This just added just the touch of warmth. That way the photo in general seems more balanced. I want to add a little bit more contrast here to this photo, so I'm going to bring down the blacks and bring up the lights. I'm going to bring up the contrast and then I'm actually going to preserve my highlights a little bit. You can see if I hover over this, we have highlights on the ring. If I bring those down just a little bit, it adds a little bit of those soapy whites I was talking about. Now if I hover over the highlights, they're still there, but they're a lot less dramatic. Let's see if I can bring them down in this. There's another highlight slider down in the Tone Curve section, so I'll bring that one down just a little. We still have highlights. If this is happening to you, if you've adjusted one or both of the sliders and you're still getting highlights, you'll need to adjust it in the actual tone curve. We're going to click on this tone curve to get it to do what we want. Right now, we can't really click on the corners. We can only just adjust in here to change it back into the dynamic Tone Curve window. We want to click this little line box again. We click this and it switches back. Now, I can grab the corners and adjust them as needed. I'm going to grab this bottom corner and I'm going to bring it up. This is adding Matte Black's to our photo. We'll look more at this in a minute. If we grab the highlight one and bring it down, it's bringing in those soapy highlights that we want. Now if we look at our histogram, we have no clipped blacks and no blown highlights. I think this toned out the image overall, but I want a little bit more contrast than we are getting, so I'm just going to increase the clarity a little more and maybe a little more contrast. I like how this stylized edit came together. Let's throw some grain on here. Scroll down to the Effects menu underneath our post crop vignetting, we have a grain section. It's a little bit tricky to see what's happening. I'm going to zoom in so we can really see on a pixel level what's going on. With our grain, if we turn it on, we can adjust the amount. This is how much grain is happening and I'm not sure how well you can see that if we bring it all the way up, it definitely looks really scratchy. We don't want to all the way up, we want it somewhere in the middle. We can adjust the size of our grain by increasing the size so this makes bigger, crunchy or grain and then lower makes it like a finer, softer grain. You can play around with the roughness to see what that's doing. It looks to me like if I bring up all the way down, I'm getting really perfectly round grain and if I bring it all the way up, migraine is a lot more rough. I'm going to just mess around with these sliders till I get a green that I'm happy with. That looks cool. I'm going to click to zoom out and that adds just a little bit of a grain effect. Should we see Phillips met and shadowy, here's our mountain shadowy shots. It looks like it's pretty close. Maybe I need to go a little brighter. Let's go a little brighter. This is a dark photo. A little more drama, perfect. Matte and shadowy, I think that looks awesome. Next step we have dark and moody. I'm super excited for this one. Let's pull the exposure down. Let's pull the shadows up just a little. The whites up, blacks down, extra clarity, extra Dehaze. I want the shot to have a little bit of a cooler tone. I'm going to bring the temperature down and just a little bit. I've brought the temperature down just a little bit and then I'm going to get those map blacks that were looking for. Down here again, we're going to grab and bring the slider up. I'll bring it all the way up so you can see it adds this really like film inspired fade to the shot. This is definitely going to lock in that map black look. Typically with dark and moody photos, you do have those soapy whites. I'm going to bring our highlights later down just a little right there. Right now we just have like a blur murky looking image, so let's add some pop here. In this tone curve, we can adjust it by clicking on the line and adding new points. I'm going to add a point about on this first grid line in the background right here and then I'm going to drag it down just a little bit. This is going to add a little bit of deepness to the photo. I'm going to add another point on this third line over, and I'm going to pull it up. This is making my tone curve look like in S. This is adding really dramatic contrast to the shot. If you wanted to see the opposite, if you pull this one down and this one up, what we get is the opposite of contrast. It just looks really weird. Make sure when you do this, your S curve looks like an S. There we go. I think, that definitely has that look. Let's get a little bit more blue and green in here. I'm going to go to my split toning and add a bluish highlight. Who maybe even like a greenish and then we'll do like a bluish shadow here. Let's add a vignette just a little bit and then let's tone out this weird greenish hue. I'm going to do my tint up a little bit. and then I'm going to do my temperature up a little bit. Perfect. I like the way this is looking so far. Let's compare it to my original edit. We're getting pretty close. It looks like I have a lot more blues in this example shot. Let's add some more blues. Let's just increase the saturation of our blues overall and then let's adjust the color of this amethyst here. Let's make it a little more blue and then let's bring our temperature down. I think that's a little bit closer. That's my dark and moody look. Let's bring our Blacks in just a little and our contrast up, shadows up. I'm liking that. I feel like the saturations too high though, so I'm going to bring this back a little bit. We don't want it to be like screaming at us. Then I'm just going to bring these down just a little more. I think that's a lot closer. Next up we have light and filmy. For light and filmy, it's very similar to darken movie, but it's just the light version of it basically. We want to keep this level of contrast, but we're going to bring these highlights down and by doing that, it does add a little bit of Greatness to the shot. I'm going to bring my blacks up just a little and I'm going to add a tiny S curve to this, just enough to give us back deep richness. Now I have a little bit of a warm tone happening here, so I'm going to bring my temperature down just a little bit. Then I'm going to soften up the color just a little bit more. Usually with these photos, we have one good color and then it's a little more muted because we don't want it to be too crazy. We'll soften up the color and then let's just add a little bit more contrast in the lights. I feel like they're just a little too dark right now so I'm going to bring my whites up. I'm going to bring my shadows up, I want my clarity up just a little bit and then I want my blacks down because I do want to maintain a good level of contrast enough to make the photo interesting, but not so much that becomes one of the other styles if that makes sense. Next I want to do a sharpening. You can sharpen any of these photos. In fact, I highly recommend you sharpen all of your photos. For a sharpening, what I like to do is zoom in and I'm going to drag, it looks like it has a default sharpening set to 40. I'm going to drag mine up a little bit higher, so I'm setting it to like 73. What I don't want is to sharpen the entire photo the same. I want to add a sharpened mask so this is my masking slider. If I drag it, nothing happens. If I hold down the altar Option key on the keyboard and then drag it, it turns the photo white, so everything that's white is getting sharpen so as I adjust this, less and less of the shot is getting sharpened. What I want is for the edges to get sharpened, but not like the smooth parts if that makes sense. It looks like I'm bringing this to about 50 and then I'll let go. Right now the sharpening mask is being applied to just the edges and that just adds just a really nice clean look to the image. If I'm going to post this on Instagram, I always sharpen and then I sharpen again when I'm in Instagram, I just pull up the little slider because I really want my photos to look crisp and clear when they're being viewed on Instagram. Those are our six styles. We have cleaning classic, bright and Stark, dark and vibrant, Matte and shadowy, dark and moody and light and filmy. Hopefully there's something in here that fits your style and if not, you can find a way to tweak these adjustments to get them to look how you want. That wraps up editing. In the next section, I've thrown together all the other miscellaneous things about an image that might be helpful, so let's jump into that. 7. Miscellaneous Tips: Okay, so to start us off, I want to reiterate the fact that if you want to edit really light and airy photos, you can't really start with a super dark photo. You either need to take properly exposed photos or a little bit lighter photos and that will just help your editing. You can push your photos darker or lighter, for the most part, but there's not a lot we can do to save an image that was poorly exposed, if that makes sense. If you start with a crappy photo, you can only take it so far to improve it. That is just the basics. However, I have seen really dark bad images taken to beautiful astronomical levels. There's a ton of stuff we can do in Lightroom, and so don't be discouraged if your photos are not ideal, because we might still be able to fix them. Let's talk about lighting. When you are working with a photo, I talked about bigger lights, or smaller lights, diffused shadows, or harsh shadows. These things will come in effect when you are setting up your scene. If you're shooting with a window, which is what I recommend most of the time. The closer you get to the window, the bigger the light is, which means that it's going to pour over your scene. It's going to make your scene a little brighter. It's going to make your shadows softer, and more diffused. If you have a small light source, it's going to make your shadows harsher, and it's going to be more dramatic. If your light is coming in straight, and it's creating these really harsh, sharp shadows. Just throw up a piece of tracing paper between your subject and the light, and that will help diffuse it so that it's a lot softer. If you are drawn to images that have a lot of background blur. Images where there's one thing in focus and the rest is just a smear. That is going to be achieved most dramatically in your lens choice. If you are shooting with a prime lens and your aperture can go really wide open. That's going to allow for you to maximize how much of your photo is blurry. It's also going to let a lot more light in so you are able to shoot in darker scenarios. If too much of your photo is blurry and you need to be able to see more of your scene, you're going to want to close down your aperture to F5, F6, F11. You want to close it down so that you give your camera a chance to give more of your scene in focus. If you are closing down your aperture and it becomes too dark, you might need to put your camera on a tripod. I know tripods sound like the worst. I don't want to shoot with a tripod. Nobody wants to shoot with a tripod. But I promise you, you're going to get sharper images and you're going to be able to edit a lot more if you're getting properly exposed shots. Pull out your tripod. If you hate your tripod buy one that you love, I love my tripod and I still don't love using it. But every time I do I'm like, Oh, I should just use a tripod all the time. Why am I wasting my time getting blurry pictures? The lens you choose is important. If you are shooting food photography and you're using a wide angle lens, it's not going to be flattering. It's just not. You're going to get the edges of your scene in the shot, you're going to get the food that's closest to the camera is going to just look crazy and then everything else is going to be like tiny in comparison. This is a prime lens, this is a 35 millimeter. This is the shortest I would get with food photography. Most often I'm shooting at 50 millimeters, or 85 millimeters. I have a zoom lens that I use most of the time. This is a 24 to 120, and I use this primarily for my food photos, because I can change my focal distance without having to move my body very much. It's nice because if I'm set up on a table, I don't have to be on the table like this trying to get a shot of my scene, because I can just zoom out and then get the whole scene. But again, when I'm working at 35, 28, or 24 millimeters, it does tend to distort, which you can fix in Lightroom but only a little bit, so keep that in mind. It's going to affect how your shot looks because it's either going to pull everything towards the camera or smash it all further away, and that does have an effect on your images. If your photos are looking weird and you're not sure why, the lens distance might be what's causing the problem there. Basically, if I move my hand really close to the camera, the hand looks gigantic, and my face is a lot smaller. Same with if I have one hand here and one hand here. This hand is tiny, and this hand is huge and that's just because that's what the lens sees, so if I get really close to it, it's going to distort my face. That's just, because it's a 35 millimeter lens, so this is the minimum I would use for this scene. Using something that zooms in a little bit is going to flatten my background and help make me look more true to life. Keep your crop in mind when you're shooting. If you are primarily delivering images that are going to live and die on Instagram, which is totally cool, that's what I do. Be mindful of the square crop. Square crop is, you don't have to have your photos in the square crop. If you're just scrolling in the feed, you can see the tall version of the photo and even the wide version of the photo. But, when you're looking at your profile, it's going to square crop it and so just keep this in mind when you're shooting so that you can optimize your space. If you are using backdrops that are small, you're going to have to crop into because you want to make sure your backdrop fills this scene. You don't want to have any backdrop edges sticking out, it just doesn't look as nice. If you have tried your absolute hardest to get your photos to look like someone who really inspires you his photos and it's just not working out. You can always reach out and ask them, hey, how do you get your photos to look more like this or, what are you doing that makes your images appear this way. A lot of photographers will be happy to share some tips on how to improve your photos, and then many sell their own presets. If you want your photos to look like their photos buy their presets and it's easy, it's a one-click edit, you edit your photo and you're like boom, now you're taking photos just like them. Don't be afraid to reach out or buy a couple of preset packs if you're just not getting the results that you want with these editing tricks that I have shown in this class. Support your local photographers, or your local on the internet. Support the photographers that you follow by buying their presets or reaching out and asking them how they get their photos to look the way that they do. 8. Outro: Thank you so much for watching. I hope that you enjoyed this class, and found something helpful. For your class project, I want you to share your inspiration grid with us. I want you to list a few observations that you made about your personal style, things that you're drawn to, and then how you can implement that in your work. For a little extra credit, I would love to see you implementing what you've learned in taking a photo. Take a photo that resembles the same as your inspiration grid, and talk about what worked, and what went well. But again, if you don't want the extra credit, please just share your inspiration grid with us. It's super easy, and it's really fun to put that together, and it's satisfying to be like, I made this, even though you didn't take any of the photos, you just put them all together in a group. Feel free to tag some of the artists that you used for your inspiration grid, and also be mindful that you probably shouldn't share your inspiration grid anywhere because these are photos someone else took, and they probably won't love it if you share that. Just keep it here on Skillshare. We are learning here so that is the approach. We're not claiming that any of these photos are ours. We're just putting together some inspiration. That being said, I'm really excited to see your grids, and assist you with any help that you might need editing your photos to get them to look how you want. If you have any questions, please leave those in the discussion section, so that we can all help each other out, and if you want to follow me on Instagram, my handle is just Tabitha Park. Feel free to tag me in any photos that you share there, so that I can come take a look. If this is the first time you are watching one of my classes, welcome I hope that you enjoyed it. If so, I have 19 other classes at my profile that you might like as well. They range from how to make your own backdrops, and lightbox, to how to photograph chocolate, and drinks then people. Hopefully there's something there that interests you, and if not, feel free to drop a line, I'm always happy to take suggestions for future classes. Thank you so much for watching my class. See you next time.