This is a Lightroom 5 tutorial, where I show you how to take an image with neutral blue tones and give it a warm sunset effect. The image that I will be working with today was taken during the afternoon while the sun was still fairly high and bright in the sky. This effect would work better on images that were taken later on in the afternoon where more warmer tones were available, but I wanted to give you an idea of the range of possibilities available in Lightroom while only using the sliders, especially when trying to get the most out of an otherwise unimpressive image.
I did not use any graduated filters or brush enhancements in this tutorial. All I did was play around with the sliders to achieve this look. This is a great tutorial for beginners who are still getting used to Lightroom and post-camera editing.
Here are the before and after shots:
Step 1: Basic Adjustments
Next, I increased the contrast to about +50 to add some depth to the image. I also increased the shadows and blacks while decreasing the highlights and whites to add even more depth.
And we end up with the following image below:
Step 2: Tone Curve
We can give a nice boost to the image by adding additional contrast through the use of an ‘S’ curve, which will deepen the shadows while brightening up the highlights.
Step 3: Sharpening & Noise Reduction
Since I did crop the image, I decided to add some sharpening to give it a crisper look.
Cropping an image, as well as sharpening and adding depth through shadows and highlights, is bound to give the image some noise, so it’s a good idea to incorporate some noise reduction to smooth things out.