How to create a High-Key photo in Lightroom 2
Lately I’ve been browsing the WEB and have often come across some really nice high-key photos. In an effort to foster up some publicity for the Presetting Lightroom group on Flickr, I decided to produce this tutorial on how to achieve this “look” in Lightroom.
Now, I must admit, I was partially inspired by Matt Kloskowski’s new High Key Effect presets which he recently posted on his blog. If you’re just looking for some good presets, you can download a copy of Matt’s High Key presets by following the link here. If you’d like to see how you can create this effect for yourself then read on …
Update to Article
With the imminent release of the next edition of our Focus Beauty presets collection (v1.5), I thought I would pre-release two new presets. These are basically the presets that are demonstrated in the following tutorial but they will save you some time, especially with the placement of the graduated filters. Just remember, the filters will still need to be positioned to match your subject. Enjoy the presets!
The biggest challenge in this particular shot, since it was a regular type of outdoors shot, was in minimizing the inherent shadows and dark areas in the photo. Had I set out to produce a high-key kind of shot, my efforts in Lightroom would have been much less challenging. On the flip side, you can use this technique to turn any old ordinary photos into stunning high-key shots.
I’m not releasing my own preset in this article, it’s just This is a tutorial on what sliders and what tools to use in Lightroom, to create this effect. I made some judgment calls along the way to produce this shot and in some cases if you’re looking for a more contrasty effect (seems to be very popular), I will point out the settings to change as we go.
Step by Step Guide to High Key
What follows is a step by step approach to build yourself a high key photo in Lightroom. Follow along if you like, print out the article, but most importantly, explore what Lightroom can do! Lightroom’s editing is non-destructive so you won’t harm your original photo and you can always back up to ANY previous step.
I’ve just added the download of two new presets that are soon to be added to a new master collection. Save yourself some time and download these two (2) new presets that are demonstrated above. Additionally, for those of you that would like to download a copy of this article I’ve created a download link for that as well. Simply click on the large Adobe Acrobat symbol or on the name of the PDF file and you can save this article for future reference.
Download Presets – Focus Beauty High-Key Presets
|Collection:||Focus High-Key Presets|
|Updated:||23. February 2009|
Download Article – Creating a High-Key Photo in Lightroom 2
|PDF Article:||Creating a High-Key Photo (PDF)|
|Updated:||18. February 2009|
Flickr: Presetting Lightroom Group
If you’ve read this far then you’re the kind of person who would enjoy a visit to the Presetting Group at Flickr. We want you to come out, share some presets (if you’ve made them) or learn how to make some of your own. There’s a lot of talented people in our group who’d be happy to welcome you.
Did I mention, we’re also hosting our first ever Photo contest. The theme is “dramatic moments in every day life“! While a complete list of prizes hasn’t yet been confirmed, you are invited to exhibit your best shots in the contest post, and who knows, perhaps you’ll win something along the way. If you’re not a member of Flickr, no problem, you can join for free and then submit your favorite photo in our contest. We ask that all participants kindly tag their photos with the following tags – “PresettingLR” and “Contest0209“. Upon the completion of the contest, the photos will be available for viewing in a Flash gallery. So come on out and join the fun!