How I edit a photo to remove distractions in Lightroom and Photoshop

In this video, I will show you how I got rid of distractions to make it not only pleasing to the eye but allowing my viewers to focus on the moment.
before
In this video, I will show you how I got rid of distractions to make it not only pleasing to the eye but allowing my viewers to focus on the moment.
after

Whenever I take a photo I try to make sure there are as little distractions around as possible (unless I need them in there to tell the story).

But sometimes when the moment is right, I don’t have time to prepare and I have to just snap the photo.

This usually leaves me with having to get rid of the distractions in post processing.

In this video, I will show you how I got rid of distractions to make it not only pleasing to the eye but allowing my viewers to focus on the moment.

I use Lightroom for editing about 95% of the time. However, for this photo I will be using both Lightroom and Photoshop. The majority of the time I’ll be in Photoshop showing you different techniques I used to create the end photo.

In general, doing a bit of heavy editing to a photo like this typically takes me about 10 minutes. But because I’m walking you through my thoughts and basically re-editing it from scratch, the video is a bit longer.

To recap, here are my final settings below.

After cropping the photo like I wanted it and whiting out the distractions in the background with a brush, I applied a preset called Delight. (This preset will soon be a part of Kelly Jacobi Photography’s new color preset collection) Then I adjusted the preset like I wanted it.

  • Temp: 6420
  • Tint: +3
  • Exposure: 0
  • Contrast: 0
  • Highlights: -77
  • Shadows: +80
  • Whites: +40
  • Blacks: -35
  • Clarity: +31
  • Vibrance: +5
  • Saturation: -7
  • HSL Panel Saturation: Blue: +15
  • Grain: 7

I then took the photo over to Photoshop where I cloned sections of the clouds that I liked and applied it to the white out areas we created in Lightroom. I also copied a few sections of the clouds and pasted them, making sure to take an eraser (lower the opacity) and blend it in with the background.

After that, I took the burn tool and darkened some sections of the photo.

Last but not least, make sure when you are doing heavy cloning in a photo like this, or really when doing any cloning at all (or cut and paste), make sure to go back over your work and check to see that everything is blended.

I can’t tell you how many times, I assumed I blended correctly and my final saved photo had errors. Check your work like your teachers used to always say in school… I guess that little tip does go far in life!

About the Author:

Tia is a documentary family photographer from Austin, TX as well as a wife and a mom of two fun and crazy kiddos. She loves capturing their everyday lives and creating beautiful photos that they can cherish for all of time. When she is not making photos for her family or her clients, she enjoys mentoring new photographers and using her lens for good by giving back to the community.

3 Comments

  1. Christopher Hall Jul 01 2018 at 12:48 am - Reply

    Love the example photo looks like so much fun…

  2. Christine Aug 13 2018 at 3:47 pm - Reply

    Great tutorial – I love your photo. Quick question from those of us who only use LR and not PS. Seems like this edit could have been done solely in LR – is that right? What is the rationale for bringing this into PS to edit vs staying in LR? Thanks!

  3. Carol Aug 13 2018 at 6:12 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the tutorial and the preset. Both were great!

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