Lightroom Classic: Smooth Skin in Black & White Photos With Red & Orange Filters

– Hey, fellow photographer,
how is it going? I’m Michael Zelbel. Today I would like to show
you how you use color filters in Adobe Lightroom Classic to
your advantage when converting your color portraits to
black and white portraits. I’m specifically talking
about black and white high key portraits,
which are really bright, with really bright, white skin tones. So, the background for
this is that we talked about color filters in our Facebook group, and then a while ago I
showed you how to use color filters in Photoshop. And of course, I got the questions, “yes, Lightroom walkthrough, please”, “of course, I only use Lightroom”, “Lightroom please, not really a PS user”. I’m super happy to show that
in Adobe Lightroom Classic. I guess most of you will
use Lightroom Classic, and don’t let anybody tell
you that Lightroom is less professional tool, compared
to Photoshop, for example. That’s not the case. I mean, the result that you
get from both tools are exactly the same, and whatever gets you to your desired result
fastest, is the right tool. It’s not that one os more
professional than the others, or pro photographers would
use this, but not that, or something, total rubbish. Okay, with that said, let’s have a look at our example photo. And this time I will
just stay in Lightroom. Now, this is a photo of our model Nakriko, and she got a pretty dark skin
tone, but it doesn’t matter, we can convert it to high key. Skin tone really does matter. And, what we can do is two things. I mean, most people, they would
probably use very quick way, but not very exact way,
that is, they go to Presets, and they add the classic
black and white filters, which you can ad in Lightroom. And then, they’ve got an orange filter. And this looks nice, it’s a
nice black and white conversion, but it’s probably not
high key enough for us. So, let’s undo this. Or, they would try the red filter, but that’s probably a bit over the top. So that’s also not good, and
you could adjust this now, but, honestly, I would just
not use them to begin with. I would do this. In the Development module, I would scroll up to black and white, which converts my photo
into black and white, and now, I scroll down to
the black and white mix, where I can say what color
in the original photo is rendered how bright. And there, I can control the skin tone with my orange channel. If I dial it up, then the
whole skin is getting brighter. Let’s say, 60%, for me
it’s nicely high key, probably it’s even over
the top, let’s go to 50. And now, what I probably also want to do is remove some blemishes. So let me go back to color, for a second. Okay, in the color version of the photo I see there’s a lot of little red spots, and here’s a red area
in the face, going on. And that would typically
be a job for a skin filter, but a skin filter removes texture. In this black and white
conversion with color filters I probably don’t need a skin filter. So, let me do this move
again, I go to Treatment, black and white, and
then, I dial up orange, and what I can see now is,
the spots and the red areas are less prominent, because
everything is bright. But I can still see them,
it’s still really visible that there are darker spots because they were red, and not orange. So what I can do to
remove them completely, is I dial up the red channel. And now, let’s say, to 90,
they are practically invisible. We now definitely don’t
need a skin filter anymore, and I got all the texture
still inside the skin. Just because I said red spots, well, let’s render them really bright, and the rest of the skin,
let’s render it quite bright. And the result in total is a nice high key black and white image. So, what if I don’t know
my skin tones anymore? I mean, it’s pretty obvious,
and skin is kind of orange. But anyway, let’s just go to another photo from that photo shoot. Over here, we’ve got orange skin, pretty much everywhere, but
also some redness over here, on her knee, there’s a
red scar that she got. So, if I don’t know where
this skin tones fall, I can also do one thing. Let’s go to black and
white, oh no, no, no. Lets do it once in color
mode, then you see it. If I go to an orange area,
and I hold my mouse key, and I drive the mouse up and down, then I’m moving the orange channel, over here in this section,
now it’s called Luminance. If I’m on the scar, let’s
see where that falls. I’m moving orange and red, so it’s a mixture of orange and red. Good to know. Anyway, let’s go to black and white again, to make it a black and
white high key photo. So after the regular black
and white conversion, it’s kind of grayish, that’s not so nice. Now, I keep my color picker over here, and I go to some area
which is a problem area, let’s say the scar. I drive the slider up, all the way up. Well, the scar is still a
tiny little bit visible, but I would probably not
even need a correction any more, it’s so subtle,
it doesn’t matter. And the result overall, let’s give back this tool, and let’s zoom out, it’s a nice high key portrait. So this is the other method
you can dial up and down your channels, just use this
adjustment tool over here. All right, I hope this helps you. I hope you have fun converting
your color portraits to high key black and white portraits, I really like this look. And let me know how this works for you, let me know how you convert your photos, usually, to black and white. And if you need another tool,
like the new Lightroom CC, or something, let me know, then I show you the same move over there, as well. Righty, with that said, have
a lot of fun, good light!

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