Retouching in Lightroom 4

Retouching is a hard part of photography post production. It’s often time consuming and difficult to learn. In Photoshop there’s an endless possibility for retouching but sometimes you just need a quick and fast workflow to get the job done. That’s where Lightroom can assist!

Lightroom is known for its easy and fast workflow for photographers. I bet some of you didn’t even know that some things like teeth whitening and skin smoothing are available as easy tools. The first thing you will want to do is go to your developer tab in Lightroom. I use Lightroom 4, and if anyone would like to comment on Lightroom 5 please do below.

In the tools drop down you will select the adjustment brush. Normally this is for masking and working on select areas of a photo to brighten or darken an image, but it can also be used for dodging, burning, skin smoothing, and teeth whitening. Those are just some of the many tools you have available with the adjustment brush. If you look to the right you will see your histogram and then your adjustment panel below that. You will click on where it says “effects”. A popup menu will show you all the different options you have available to you. For this particular tutorial I am going to select “Iris Enhance”.

Now you may notice that you are completely zoomed out on your photo. This obviously can make it hard to find someone’s eyes unless you have a very close up shot of them. To be able to see the person’s eyes you can use the shortcut “z” to zoom into your photo closer. If you hold down the “alt” (on PC) you will then be able to click and drag around your image to the area you want to enhance.

From this point you will mask the area you want to enhance. To show the mask you can check mark the “always show mask” under your photo in the menu and you will see the red as you paint on your mask. I do this while I am selecting my area, then click to turn it off afterwards to see what effects my changes have on the image.

At this point you will go back to your panel and start to make your changes. You can increase/decrease your saturation, contrast, exposure, etc. Every photo is going to be different so the amount of change is up to you! After you finish you will click close and be done. You will repeat all the steps above for each adjustment you need to make to an image. I hope this helps you out in your post production and you have learned something new about Lightroom!

Do you know of some more Lightroom Post Production tips and tricks? Post them in the comments below!


Jennifer Pritchard is a wedding photographer from Wichita, KS. Capture the Moment Photography services weddings throughout the local area, including Derby, Goddard, and Valley Center. Capture the Moment Photography is a professional wedding photography company that has been part of the Wichita, KS wedding industry for 10 years. We specialize in Photo-journalistic, Traditional, and Modern Wedding Photography Styles and Custom Graphic Design Photo Gifts. Capture the Moment Photography also does professional family and senior photography.

This entry was posted in For Photographers, Photo Business Tips, Post Production Tips.

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