A few weeks ago I posted some landscape and outdoor sharpening presets for Lightroom. This time around I have some presets that tend to work best for portraits. The main difference is the masking feature. With landscape and outdoor photos we typically want to sharpen everything. With portraits, we usually want to sharpen the details (eyes, lips, hair, etcâ¦) but keep the sharpening away from the skin so it doesn’t get that textured look to it.
You’ll see 3 different versions here – Light, Medium, and Strong. Also, you’ll need to make sure that you zoom in to 100% for them to work (otherwise you won’t see any change). One more thingâ¦ keep in mind that portrait presets need a really sharp portrait to work best (mostly the eyes). With landscapes I find you get a little more flexibility to sharpen your photos. But with portraits if the eyes aren’t already sharp, no amount of sharpening is going to save it. In fact, most of the result in a portrait preset are really going to be seen on the eyes so make sure that’s the first place you check.
Here’s a quick Before/After
- The preset downloads for Lightroom 4 are below (I made them for LR4. You can try them in LR3 but they’re tuned for LR4 specifically):
- Click here to download the Lightroom Portrait Sharpening Presets.
- And here’s a link to a video on how to install and organize Lightroom presets if you don’t know how.