As many of you may have gathered, lately I have been doing a lot of photographs of flowers we have taken and added a black background to them. Yes you could use Photoshop, create a black background and then mask out the flower… But what if you don’t have Photoshop of Photoshop Elements and only have Lightroom, how do you do it?
Well here is a quick tutorial of how I have created my photographs.
I don’t do any adjustments to the flower/subject until I have got the black background surrounding the flowers/subject This is simply because when you change the background and you have already done your adjustments your flower/subject just may not look how you envisaged. So I do my black background first.
I have a Local Adjustment preset that I use constantly, using the settings in this photograph on the right.
Making sure I have the auto-mask box ticked I then go around the edge of the flower/subject. If I accidentally go over the flower/subject, then I just use the erase brush to remove that part of the mask.
Sometimes I find that the black edge can be speckled so what I do then is duplicate the brush by right clicking on the pin and selecting duplicate.
In fact I like my backgrounds to be jet black so I do have the tendency to duplicate this brush a good three or maybe 4 times. But of course that is your own personal preference.
Once I have got the black edging that I need, then it is down to local adjustments…. and time for me to do my normal processing in Lightroom.
If when I am using the brush I have difficulty in seeing where I have painted and where I haven’t I click on the check box ‘Show Selected Mask Overlay’ and that will show me exactly where I have painted and where I haven’t.
Lightroom is brilliant at times at being accurate for the edge, but sometimes, it just can’t seem to make a clear edge and there is a little bit of bleeding on the flower. But don’t fear that is not a problem.. what I do in those instances is simply add a radial filter, using the Black Edge preset and then lower the amount of the preset.
If you look closely at the above adjustment brush image by the Preset Name is a little black arrow that is pointing downwards, if you click on that arrow, this box will appear and then you can fade the effect of that preset.
That tip is a handy little tip I picked up from Lightroom Killer Tips Blog. And believe me I use it hell of a lot now that I know it is there. 😀 😀 Especially when I am doing radial filters for my flowers… What I have been doing lately, which I like the effect of, is still using the Black Edge Preset, draw the radial filter and then lower the amount to give the effect I want.
You can do so much with this Local Adjustment Preset and I hope you find this tip very helpful. Now for the instructions on how to install the Local Adjustment Preset.
- Download the file and unzip it.
- Open Lightroom
- Go to Edit and then Preferences
- Click on the Presets tab and click ‘Show Lightroom Presets Folder’
- Click on the folder named Lightroom and open it.
- Then click on the folder named ‘Local Adjustment Presets’ and open it
- Place the file named (Blackedge.lrtemplate) into this folder.
- And finally restart Lightroom and your preset will appear under the local adjustment presets.