Editing a backlit image in Adobe Lightroom with Sony Artisan Chris Orwig


posted Wednesday, April 25, 2018 at 12:00 PM EDT


Shooting backlit images is tricky, but the results can be great. However, to help you get great results, sometimes you need a little photo editing magic. In the video below, Sony Artisan Chris Orwig shows us how to utilize Lightroom and its Split Toning feature to create a very nice backlit image.

For the curious, the image Chris is working on was captured with the Sony A9 camera and Sony 50mm f/1.4 lens. Within Lightroom, Orwig wants to brighten his backlit subject and adjust the color in the scene. First, we start in the Basic panel in Lightroom Classic and adjust exposure, shadows and contrast. As always, a subtle touch can work best.

Now there's still a lot of bright area in the image, how can Orwig get some of the lost detail back? A neat trick to help you find problem areas in your image is to go up to the histogram in the top right corner of the Develop panel in Lightroom and click on the arrows in the two top corners. Areas of pure white will show up red and areas of pure black will turn blue. You can leave these warnings on to help you dial in settings using your sliders which reduce or eliminate completely the areas of white and black.

After using the sliders, the image starts to take shape. Orwig wants a bit more warmth to part of his image though, so he can't use a global slider for that task. He can use Split Toning to work on tones for specific areas in an image, like highlights or shadows. To learn how to use split toning in Lightroom, check out Chris' video below.

(Via Sony Alpha Universe