Adobe Lightroom 5 tutorial: the best new tools to enhance and retouch with ease

    | Photoshop Tutorials | Tutorials | 18/08/2013 00:01am

    Our Adobe Lightroom 5 tutorial explains how to use the new tools in the Develop Module to enhance, retouch and correct distortion.

    Adobe Lightroom 5 tutorial: the best new tools to enhance and retouch with ease

    With its two new tools, plus a huge improvement to existing ones, Adobe Lightroom 5 continues to deliver the kind of features and workflow options that photographers will find invaluable.

    In this Adobe Lightoom 5 tutorial we’ll focus on the changes to the Develop Module. The Radial Filter will be recognisable to anyone familiar with the Graduated Filter or Adjustment Brush in that it enables you to define and tweak an area with settings like Exposure, Clarity and Saturation. And just like the older tool, it enables you to blend the tonal change.

    But rather than a straightforward linear blend, you can make circular blends that can be positioned wherever you please. Upright, the second new tool, detects horizontal and vertical skew and fixes it at the click of a button. It’s an effective tool for distortion correction, particularly on wide-angle shots.

    But it’s an improvement to an existing tool that is most welcome, especially for retouchers. The Spot Removal tool can now be used like a paintbrush, so rather than making cumbersome circular heal points, you can paint over any shape you like. Here’s how these new tools work.

    MORE: Adobe Lightroom 5 review

    How to retouch photos in Adobe Lightroom 5

    How to retouch photos in Adobe Lightroom 5: step 1

    01 Import and tweak
    Go to the Library Module and click Import. Navigate to the lr5_before.dng file using the Source Panel and click Import. Select the file and click on the Develop Module. Go to the Basic Panel and set Temp 5000, Tint 0, Exposure -0.36, Highlights -64, Whites -67.


    How to retouch photos in Adobe Lightroom 5: step 2

    02 Use Upright feature
    Go to the Lens Correction Panel and click the Basic Tab. Check all three boxes at the top, then go to the buttons below and click on each to see how they affect the distortion and skew in the image. Auto works best for this image.


    How to retouch photos in Adobe Lightroom 5: step 3

    03 Retouch the face
    Grab the Spot Removal Tool. In the tool options to the right, set Brush: Heal, Opacity 100. Paint to remove spots, lines and blemishes, using the ] and [ keys to resize the brush. The tool automatically picks a source point, but this can be moved if necessary.


    How to retouch photos in Adobe Lightroom 5: step 4

    04 Remove the box
    Paint precisely over the box in the top left corner of the image with the Spot Removal tool, then drag the source pin across to the clean wall on the right of the image. If the results aren’t perfect, paint again around the edges. Don’t worry if it looks blotchy.


    How to retouch photos in Adobe Lightroom 5: step 5

    05 Add a vignette
    Grab the Radial Filter tool from the Toolbar then drag a circle over the face and body. Go to the options at the top right and set Exposure -2.07, Clarity -61, Saturation -10. The Feather slider below controls the hardness of the blend. Set it to 39.


    How to retouch photos in Adobe Lightroom 5: step 6

    06 Finishing touches
    Grab the Crop tool from the Toolbar then use it to remove some of the right side of the image. Next go to the Tone Curve and plot a shallow S-shaped curve line to boost contrast. Finally, go to File>Export and use the settings to export the file as a JPEG.

    Final Tip
    When retouching portraits with the Spot Removal tool, you can hold Shift and click between two points to draw a straight line. This is very useful for removing things like wires or stray hairs. When retouching with the tool, it can also be handy to jump to zoom values other than the four selected in the navigator. To do so, press Cmd/Ctrl+Alt and the plus or minus keys.


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    Posted on Sunday, August 18th, 2013 at 12:01 am under Photoshop Tutorials, Tutorials.

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