This video is a guide on how to do a dreamy portrait effect in Lightroom presets. I’m sure you’ve seen this effect, it’s a very dreamy feel like a very soft focus feel, but the portrait or person in the photo is in a very sharp focus. It’s a very cool and neat effect especially if you have something like a wedding that you would want to try to apply effects just to add a little more interest to the photos. I just want to do this effect in 4 simple steps, and they’re very easy to follow along.
Are there installed presets in your Lightroom? The first step is to mess with the tone curve. To do this, I will mess with the tone curve by clicking on tone curve, and this is going to vary between photos, but usually all the photos will react the same way. Having clicked on the tone curve, I will then click on the little node on the lower side and drag it upwards. This will mess with the photos by adding more fade into the pictures. You can drag the node to a point where you think it looks nice and this could be around 10 or 11 percent. This can be seen on top of the graph.
The next step is to take the clarity down. As you bump it down, you will realize that the portrait is given a washed out or blurry effect like post-processing images. You can back it up again until you are satisfied with the look. With this done, you can go to the third step where you sharpen the image. This is something many people don’t think about, but especially if you apply a negative clarity effect by reducing the mid-tones, you want to apply some sharpening, and we will apply to a point where it looks right. This will go to around 85, and you will see that it still have the sharp edges and this is kind of what we are going.
Finally, I will apply one of the presets in Forever Thine Wedding Workflow from Sleeklens. I will scroll down all the way to number 6, and that is the vignette section. There are several vignettes you can use here, but I will choose the “Black Heavy”. Choosing this will darken the edges while at the same time adding more color back after we took some away a little bit of color with the fade.
That is a very simple 4-way dreamy effect in Adobe Lightroom and works pretty well. Looking at our before and after photos, you’ll discover that the skin is smoother and gives it a little more artistic interest without being very artificial and obnoxious.