Lightroom 5 tutorial – the making of Spooky Doll

Fuji X-T1 Sample images

Spooky Doll after treatment

Sometimes it is great to have a little fun when post processing an image.  I spotted this doll at a museum in Rochester and instantly saw the potential.  There is something very creepy about Victorian dolls – why anyone would have given this to their child is beyond me.  Imagine waking up in the darkness as a child to find her staring at you from the gloom!

To be honest she didn’t look all that bad as shot so I used post processing in Lightroom 5 and Color Efex Pro to create the doll from hell!

Here is what the doll looked like out of camera with no post processing:

Victorian Doll

Spooky doll out of camera image

She looked altogether too nice so the first thing I did was to use the Highlights tool to bring out the detail in the image – slid this completely to the left

Highlight tool

Highlight tool

Fuji X-T1 sample image

Spooky Doll with highlights tool applied

Although this made her a little less appealing it still wasn’t quite the effect I was looking for so I decided to roll out the big guns and develop the image in Color Efex Pro.  This is part of a suite of post processing software that is available from Nik and can be used as a plug in for Lightroom 5.  I selected the preset called ‘Dark Contrasts’ and the processed image now looked like this – a lot closer to the effect I was looking for but still not quite there!

Victorian Doll

Doll with Dark Contrasts preset

I saved the image into Lightroom 5 and then increased the contrast to darken the background and used the highlights tool to dirty the image somewhat but it was still lacking that creepy look so I decided to concentrate on the eyes for the final touch.  I selected the colour adjustment tool in Lightroom 5 and used the hue setting and luminance tool to make the eyes a whole lot brighter before selectively darkening the right eye to add a little more weirdness.

Victorian Doll

She’s looking at you!

Colour adjustment

Colour adjustment

Overall this only took about 5 minutes to do – the final image seems to be hated universally so I think it was a success!  Try not to have any nightmares tonight…

About photoponica

A documentary style photographer - started with film now shooting digital with the Fuji X system.
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