Image Review and Lightroom Adjustments

Take a closer look at all the portraits from this natural-light course.

Karl takes a more in-depth look at some of the shots that he took throughout the course and how and why some of the shots work so well straight from Camera. In this final chapter Karl also explains some of the minimal adjustments that could be done in Lightroom to enhance the photos even more.


  1. Hi Karl,

    You mention that although you shoot raw all the time, you do love to see the end result as you envision it when shooting (so back of the camera preview). That is why you changed the white balance in one specific shoot. Do you make any other changes that alter the way the pictures are displayed on the back screen, like picture control etc? Or do you avoid any manipulation of the preview JPEG’s on the back of the camera to make sure the preview picture will be as close as possible to the raw file when you see it in LightRoom?

    Thanks for this class, it was really helpful and fun to watch!


    1. Hi Benny, good question. So occassionally I’ve adjusted the colour balance (white balance) to preview the image and appreciate how it might look either warmer or colder but the only other thing I use is a feature on some cameras that allows you to view the preview screen in black and white. This is useful to me if I know I’m planning on producing black and white final images or if I’m just wanting to reference the overall luminosity values of an image visually without colour.

  2. Hi Karl,

    Just a quick question about focus, which I should know but always mess up!
    When taking multiple shots with the model walking towards you, how do you make sure every shot is in focus?
    In other words, what simple setting am I missing?


    Kenny Fox

    1. Hi Kenny, the short answer is you don’t. It is very rare that when I have a model running or jumping towards me that I could get a series of shots where they are all sharp. The type of camera I use means it can only shoot slowly anyway so I usually instruct the model to make a jump or a pose at a particular pre determined point and I will pre-focus manually at that point. If you are using a camera with fast servo focus then you can try that and the camera will try and keep up with the models movements but it is never 100% accurate. The latest Sony A1 apparently is pretty good at this.

  3. Karl
    Can I just thank you for the time and effort that you have taken to complete this. Exceptional and inspiring come to mind for me. I studied photography forty years ago at college on the days of 35mm film and now after doing one course completing a degree in photography and also following you , i am slowly getting back into things.

    Take care and keep up the exceptional education

    Regards Dave

    1. Thanks Dave, I’m very happy to hear you are enjoying the platform and the classes we’ve produced. Lots more for you to enjoy hopefully and we’ve always got new stuff coming too. Cheers Karl.

  4. Hello Karl,

    I was using Picasa for quick selection and shortlisting . As it’s no longer available for 64 bit MAC; could you please share an alternative ?

  5. Hi Karl, thank you for your excellent video.

    Please I have a little question,

    I edit more with capture one and photoshop, can I achieve similar similar edit with the software. I dont use light-room at all. Or probably if you can do editing video with capture one pro.

    Thank you

    1. Hi Capture One has all the capabilities of LR if not more so I wouldn’t worry about that. I’m not sure if does video though?

      1. Thank you Karl, but what I actually mean was if you could also do for us a video tutorials on how to edit pictures perfectly in Capture One Pro for those of us who use the software mostly. Like me, I dont use lightroom at all, hence it seems more like a herculean task trying to use it now because your editing course is centered around it

        1. Hi you will be glad to hear that that is in our filming pipeline and will be released by the summer. 🙂

  6. Hi Karl,
    outstanding piece of teaching material.
    Could you please comment on the cropping. Do you shoot wide and crop in post or compose the shot in camera and leave it as such.
    Thank you

    1. Hi Carlos, if the shots are for me I crop in camera pretty much how I’d expect the shot to be. If it’s for a client in the studio, especially on my product photography, then I shoot slightly looser to give them crop choices.

  7. Great series and sum up. I too find a 50mm at 1.4 is a very narrow DOF and at first tries from a few feet, eye focus is sharp but the nose is really out of focus. It looks weird. Maybe that’s why an 85mm gets you that little bit farther back from the subject and increases the DOF a few cms. Whereas an 135mm in small studio is useless other than head shots!

  8. You said you hardly did any color corrections within Lightroom. So what picture profile did you have the camera set in for all these photos? Was it portrait mode, standard, neutral, etc? Or did you modify your own picture profile settings in camera?

  9. Karl:
    I’m curious about your overall approach to steadiness of shot, whether outdoors or in the studio. It seems you could do any shooting freehand if you had to, without a tripod or monopod? I struggle with getting clear, clean shot handheld. Any advice?


    1. Hi Steve, if you have enough light then the shutter speed will be sufficient to cutout most camera movement, A good rule of thumb is you need a shutter speed at least as fast as your focal length so for example on 100mm lens you would need at least 1/125th of sec, if you have a steady hand. The other part of the process is if you use flash with a very fast flash duration then the flash is doing the ‘freezing’ work for you. See this chapter to understand that part although i’d recommend you’d watch all those as that one is number 4 of 15 on flash theory.

  10. great work again love it ,pick a few points and the sun come around again ,i will try out a few. and i hope i can get great shots like yours i use canon eos 1dx mk 2
    thanks again frank

  11. Outstanding series. Its great to see your workflow and how you assess the shooting environment for making choices. Thats a huge step in being more successful. I am wondering if increased chromatic and spherical aberrations in lenses when shooting wide open is a consideration for you when choosing your aperture setting. High end lenses usually dont have as much of a degradation in image quality when wide open but I find it still does soften the image and lose some crisp details. This can be a positive effect if one likes a soft focus look as well but its a trade off. Thanks.

    1. Hi Jason, my biggest worry shooting fully wide open on lenses like 1.2 or 1.4 is actually if the subject or I move 1cm after I focus and then fully press the shutter as they will become soft so it’s actually depth of field issues are my biggest concern, however for the technical properties of lenses such as stigmatism and abberrations then I try to work with the best lenses possible.

  12. Hi Samuel, no I select the focus point that is closest to the models position, not the centre one. Sometimes focusing problems do occur though when shooting wide open aperture as if the model moves a little and you sway a little then just a couple of inches can be enough to throw it out. To check it’s not your camera or lens then run some tests on a tripod with objects that don’t move and select different focus points and check they are focusing where they should be. Some cameras have fine tune focus adjustments that you can re-calibrate the camera/lens if necessary.

  13. Afternoon Karl,

    Thank you for the reply – In regards to focus would you always select the single centre focusing point and use this to focus on the models eyes then compose your shot and then take it.

    I seem to have more trouble when I am further away from my subject for example a full body shot of a model using a 50mm standing next to a garage I am selecting the centre focusing point and focusing on the models head (I am to far away to see any real detail on the models eyes) however it seems to focus slightly out. could this be caused by shooting to wide open from to far away?

    I hope you understand what I’m trying to say.


  14. This has been the best course yet I would love to see a part 2 on this subject.

    I’d love to see how you set up your camera for portraits on what focusing modes/ points you are using.

    Great work Karl!

    1. Hi Samuel, my camera is always in manual mode. For focusing in the Canon there are a number of focusing points to choose from so I compose my shot first to figure out where i’m placing my subject and then I will select the closest focusing point for that subject position and that really is all there is to it.

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