The final part of our studio tutorial series deals with editing the images. Ideally, much of the work should be done in the camera, but most problems can be fixed in the computer. We use a number of programs to edit, but primarily work in Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop. Lightroom serves as a combined edit and filing system. We generally load a shoot into Lightroom and use it to correct any exposure and white balance issues, and to crop and straighten the image.
A studio session with a model will then need some changes. Shooting in a camera’s RAW mode means that the final images are a bit flat, so we need to boost the contrast. There may also be a need to boost the colour saturation. Small changes can be made using the adjustment brush. We generally start with the eyes, which may need brightened and sharpened. The skin may need softened, and little blemishes may need removal with the clone tool. Once all this is done, we can add some vignettes, graduated filters or other global adjustments to make the image better. Lightroom also has a variety of presets available, which offer one-click enhancements to your images.
Once this is completed, we open the image in Photoshop and can get creative. The power of Photoshop is almost unlimited, and would need a full tutorial series to explain, but for the moment it is sufficient to say that there are many different ways to do the same thing in Photoshop and each photographer has his own preferred methods.
We also use specialist software for conversion to black and white, for HDR imaging and for other global adjustments to transform the original RAW file into (hopefully) a work of art.