The Lightroom Tweaks I Typically Use

The more I dive into photography the more I realize just how much I tweak my favorite Mastin presets.  When I first started out blogging I was on the hunt for a Lightroom preset that was going to give me exactly what I want.  And it wasn’t too quickly that I learned there simply isn’t one. Which is a good thing!  No photographer, blogger or creative should ever depend on a preset so heavily.  Otherwise we all become one big blob of same-ness and let’s face it – I seriously doubt there is one that could make all of us completely happy.

That being said there are some consistent tweaks I make in Lightroom for my photos for my coveted Mastin Labs Presets.


I’m starting out with the most obvious one because I feel as if I barely need to write about it.  But I definitely swing towards the brighter end of the spectrum! And I also purposefully have started underexposing (a touch) in camera.  This helps me retain more details in the darkest and lightest parts of my photos in post processing.

Warm Balance + Tint

Hands down this is the toughest Lightroom tweak to get just right, but the easiest to adjust.  I typically start off with my WB and warm it up quite a bit.  From there it entirely depends on the scenery whether I add more magenta or more greens.  To help train my eyes I have watched live editing videos as well as re-editing my own photos.  I honestly think the best way to grow is to take photo after photo in different situations, but if you can’t do that everyday you can always retrace your footsteps on old photos and help fine tune your eyes to color.

HSL Sliders

For so long I just messed with my WB + Tint sliders and called it good.  But this severely limited me.  Those two controls affect the  e n t i r e  photo, when sometimes just my skin tone was too orange or my jeans were too blue. I didn’t need to adjust the tones in the entire photo, I simply needed to adjust the specific colors.

Enter HSL.

Here you can adjust the Hue, Saturation, and Luminance.  I feel as if I could write an entire post on these descriptions alone, but for the sake of everyone’s sanity I’ll keep it short.

Hue – swings the hue colors from blue greens to yellow greens, orange yellows to red oranges and so on.

Typically I swing my greens a bit more yellow and my blues a touch more aqua than royal.  This is of course my personal preference and certainly not rules yo have to stick with!

Saturation –  the intensity of a color. Mastin’s Pushed Portra presets tend to pull out lots of oranges so this is the most often slider I adjust.  But if I’m outside I tend desaturate my greens quite a bit as well.

Luminance – the brightness of a color.  I typically don’t adjust these sliders all too much, but every once in awhile I’ll fiddle with it if my skin tone is too muddy.


The key to any of these Lightroom tweaks is simply to keep trying.  I’m still learning and growing with every photo I take, and I feel as if my eyes are constantly seeing colors differently.

What do you edit your photos with?


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