What about your Personal Touch?

Over the years, every famous photographer developed his or hers unique “visual signature”, that small twist in the image which became their trademark.

Most of them were very particular about dark room techniques, which allowed them to make sure that the image they presented, looked exactly as they wanted.

Today, in the digital photography era, there is no dark room anymore.

Instead we have Lightroom 🙂

This magnificent application, allows photographers to apply their unique personal touch quickly and easily, in a well lit room and without any dangerous chemicals…

In this post I would like to share with you the basic steps of my work routine that ends up with a personally touched image.

It all started in Lightroom 5.6 Develop module, with this photo of my youngest niece:

Step #1 – Choosing the appropriate color profile

I thought the image looked a bit “cold”, so I chose the Leica M8 profile in the Camera Calibration tab.
This profile isn’t a standard Lightroom profile. It is a part of PSKiss Cross Camera Color profile package.

This profile replaced my Canon EOS 40D colors with the deep warm colors of the Leica M8.

I decided to desaturate the Yellows a little bit, so I dragged the Blue Primary Saturation slider to -40:


 Step #2 – Balance the White Balance

The result felt a bit “yellowish”, so I cooled the white balance by dragging the Temperature slider to the left, till it fitted:


Step #3 – Add some Contrast

The initial exposure of this photo was good and balanced, so it wasn’t an effort…

I brightened the Whites and darkened the Blacks. This gave an “edge” to the contrast of the image.

To improve the sense of “depth”, I raised the Clarity.

To give the image the color look I was looking for, I reduced the Saturation and increased Vibrance:


 Step #4 – Retouch

I removed some disturbing background details and some skin defects (yes, even a baby’s skin isn’t perfect :-)):

 That’s it. Got the image I wanted:

Step # 5 – Save Preset

Since there are more photos from this session and I want them all to have the same “look”, I saved a preset of my development:

Selected another photo, opened it in the Develop module and applied the preset.

The original photo:

Applying the preset:

The final image:

Now, all you need are a few minutes and your camera’s Cross Camera Color profile package.

Enjoy developing 🙂

Tal Ninio

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