Lightroom

How to Match Colors in Lightroom

In this tutorial, you will learn how to match two photographs colors in Lightroom to create a composite image. We will take advantage of the new Reference View in the Lightroom CC Develop Module to see the images side by side. I chose cold colors to give this final image cool atmosphere. 

1. Import pictures and Create a collection

Open Lightroom and import the images from File > Import Photographs. Choose the images you want to match the colors and create the composite. Once the pictures are imported, select both of them and create a new collection from the Collections Panel. Having the both images in the same collection helps you to visualize the final image. 

If you want to learn how I setup my catalog learn it in this free tutorial

Give the collection a name. I usually have a date first and then a title for the edit. 

2. Base Image Edit

The first step is to select the base image and edit it individually. Use shortcut D to get to Develop Module.

2.1. BASIC SETTINGS

The settings depend on what kind of image you are working on and what is the final outlook you want to create. In this step focus on color and light. I always start by reducing saturation and adding some detail to shadows. 

2.2. COLOR

Looking through the color panel, see if there are some color you wish to edit. I tend to leave most of these colors untouched. I personally love the green hue over blue color. 

Settings used for this image
Red: Hue -49,  Luminance -7
Orange: Hue -18, Saturation -9, Luminance +2
Yellow: Hue +33, Luminance -9
Aqua: Hue -31
Blue: Hue -51, Saturation +7, Luminance -2

2.3. SPLIT TONING

To enhance the cold atmosphere of the base image add cool Split Toning. 

Settings used for this image
Highlights: Hue 210, Saturation 26
Shadows: Hue 210, Saturation 18

3. Reference View

You can now use Reference view in Lightroom's latest CC update to see the images open in the Develop Module. You can open the Reference View by using shortcut SHIFT+R. 

Now you have both images side by side in the Develop Mode. You can change the reference photograph by dragging an image from the filmstrip. 

Reference-View-Lightroom.jpg

3.1 Basic Settings

Edit the basic settings to make them consistent with the base image. For star photographs, I add contrast and clarity. 

3.2 Color

Editing the colors from the Color Panel is the most important step to make the colors work perfectly with the reference image. 

Settings used for this image
Aqua: Hue -29
Blue: Hue -38, Saturation -13, Luminance +13
 

3.3 Split Toning

Similarly to the reference image add some blue tones with Split Toning. 

Settings used for this image
Highlights: Hue 210, Saturation 17
Shadows: Hue 210, Saturation 11

The colors look similar thanks to the reference view and the cool thing is that you can fine tune it as much as you need in the Develop mode. 

Here is the final image edited in Lightroom and blended together in Photoshop with the techniques in our new Star Photography Composite tutorial. 

Star Photography Composite

Star Photography Composite

If you wish to learn how to create composite images, see our new tutorial with step by step process. On sale for limited time! 

Vast – Vík, Iceland

After driving to Vík for my first night in Iceland, I decided to head out and capture the beautiful night sky. I drove to multiple locations and one of which was Reynisfjara. This beach is a gem even in the daylight. I wanted to focus on the beautiful sky and vast landscape, so I ended up taking multiple shots of the Milky Way. I set my camera on my tripod and left it to take multiple photographs and shot this one. Standing still for 15 seconds is always a difficult task, and in this wind, it was almost impossible. Thankfully I ended up with a shot I was happy. With the photograph, I want to show you how beautifully vast the landscapes are in Iceland and also convey the feeling of how small we are in this Universe.

Equipment & Exif

Nikon D810, Nikkor 14–24 mm f/2.8, Sirui R4203 L Tripod & Manfrotto 3WAY-Head
ISO 6400, 24 mm, f/2.8, 15 sec.

Post-Processing

I used the new Saga Preset Collection to edit the image. First, I chose a Landscape preset: Cool Water and used the built-in graduated filters in the Saga Collections to enhance the stars and Milky Way. I chose a split-toning preset from the collection Blue and Green to slightly boost the colors. I opened the image in Photoshop and used the Puppet Warp to straighten my silhouette in the picture and remove the distortions from the picture. Lastly, I used Stars Enhance from my Fine Art Actions to boost the night sky. 

Click on the image to see it before!

Storm - Vik, Iceland

In January, I visited Iceland for the first time in my life. It was a magical experience to drive around the beautiful country. I'm sure I will return there some day. Here is a brief moment captured in Vík when the clouds gave . 

Equipment & Exif

Nikon D810, Tamron 70–200 mm f2.8 VC
ISO 100, 90 mm, f/5.6, 1/640

Post-Processing

Two vertical images merged to panorama in Lightroom and color and atmosphere edit with the Saga Preset Collection.

Storm – Vík, Iceland 2016

View from Iceland

Hi, everyone. I hope your year has had a fantastic start! I had the pleasure to visit Iceland for the first time. It was an amazing place to travel. I will be creating a series of photographs from there, here is a teaser from my first night there. I'm currently working on a new set of Presets for star and landscape photography. The set will be released in the following two weeks. 

Exif & Equipment

Nikon D810, Nikkor 14 - 24 mm f/2.8 G ED
14 mm, 30 sec. ISO 6400, f/2.8 with a timer

Post-Processing

Phase Preset Collection for Lightroom: Night - Blue and Smooth. 

Mikko Lagerstedt - View from Iceland, 2016