How to edit light and airy photos in Lightroom

How to edit light and airy photos in Lightroom

One look that has gained immense popularity in recent years is the enchanting aesthetic of light and airy photos. Characterized by their ethereal, bright and dreamlike quality, these photos evoke a sense of serenity and beauty that captivates the viewer’s imagination.

Join me as we explore the step-by-step process of transforming ordinary photographs into radiant works of art. All these steps are within the versatile and user-friendly platform of Lightroom. From understanding the essential editing techniques to mastering the art of enhancing light, exposure, and color, our comprehensive guide will equip you with the knowledge and skills needed to breathe life into your images.

Here’s the video showing how to edit a light and airy photo:


Steps to edit a light and airy photo

Here are the steps to edit a light and airy photo in Adobe Lightroom:

Setting of your photo

The first step is to choose a photo that follows the correct setting and environment that will work well with a light and airy edit. Such settings include subjects that are happy and smiling, sunlight, nature and other light sources.

Tone Curve

Next, the tone curve allows you to fine-tune the brightness and contrast of your image. In a light and airy edit, you typically create a soft “S” curve by lifting the highlights and slightly darkening the shadows. This helps achieve a gentle, dreamy look.

Basic adjustments

Meanwhile, in the Basic panel, adjust the exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows, whites and blacks. For a light and airy feel, increase the exposure slightly to brighten the image. Then, reduce the contrast to create a softer look.

Clarity and Texture

These sliders in the Presence section impact the fine details and texture of your photo. To maintain the light and airy quality, consider reducing clarity and texture slightly. This helps soften the image and reduce harshness.

Vibrance and Saturation

Vibrance enhances the intensity of muted colors without oversaturating. Meanwhile saturation increases the overall color intensity. In a light and airy edit, be cautious with saturation to maintain a soft and natural appearance. Adjust vibrance first, and then fine-tune saturation if needed.

Color Grading

Color grading allows you to adjust the color balance in your image. For a light and airy look, you might aim for a cooler, pastel color palette. Adjust the shadows, midtones, and highlights to achieve the desired color balance. This step can be crucial in setting the mood of your image.

Filters, Effects and Masking

Use filters and effects to add the finishing touches to your light and airy photo. Graduated filters can help balance exposure, while radial filters can emphasize a specific area. The Dehaze slider can be useful to reduce haze and enhance clarity in landscapes. Additionally, you can use masking to selectively apply adjustments to specific parts of your photo, ensuring that the final result is harmonious.

Throughout the editing process, remember that achieving a light and airy look is about creating a soft, luminous and ethereal quality in your photos. Subtle adjustments and a careful balance of settings are key to maintaining the desired mood and style. Experiment and refine your technique. Don’t be afraid to go back and make adjustments as needed to achieve the perfect edit for your image.