Photopoet Josep Fàbrega Agea alters light and color in his street photography. See how he saves his edits to a preset in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.

Josep Fàbrega Agea is a photographer who lives in Spain. His work is influenced by Fauvism, Naïf, and Abstract art styles, as well as the drama of Mediterranean light.

Get the shot

Agea captures lonely and melancholic scenes in his street photography and enhances them through the use of high-contrast shadows and highlights to create visual poetry.

4-picture grid showing some of Agea’s street photography. Each photo shows a scene with contrasting shadows and light.

Shed some light

Agea wanted to lighten up the photo so he increased the Exposure. Then he adjusted the Contrast and Shadows to elicit a stark difference between the deep blacks and the areas of light in the scene to create a look that has become a characteristic of his work.

Light panel in Lightroom CC in front of a street scene. Exposure is set to .60; Contrast is set to 10, Shadows set to -15.

Create mood with color

Next, Agea used color to set the mood of this photo. He increased the Vibrance then used the Color Mixer to fine-tune the prominent colors in the composition. He started with orange to create the right blend of Hue, Saturation, and Luminance settings. Then he worked through the other colors until he was satisfied with the results.

Color panel with HSL and Vibrance sliders adjusted to colorize the photo.

Color the tones

To bring out the details of the photo, Agea increased Clarity. Then he used the Split Toning panel to add varying shades of yellow to the shadows and highlights. Experiment with different tones to see how they affect the look of the photo.

Effects panel sliders adjusted to enhance photo clarity and Split Toning panel adds yellows to shadows and highlights.

Create focal points

Agea selected the Brush tool and brushed over the person and the sign on the wall. Then he increased the Exposure to brighten those areas in order to draw the viewer’s attention to them. He tapped the O key on his keyboard to cycle through the brush overlay options. The red mask showed him the areas that would be affected by the edits. The default brush settings worked well for Agea. You can expand the Brush options to adjust the brush size and other settings to your liking.

Adjustment brush used to make selective photo edits and increase exposure of person walking down the street.

Save for the future

When Agea was finished editing, he created a Preset. To do this, he clicked Presets at the bottom of the Edit panel. Then he clicked the three-dots icon, chose Create Preset, named it, and clicked Save. He can now access his custom preset from the User Presets section any time he wants to quickly apply the same edits to unify his style across more of his street photos.

Create preset option selected to save custom Lightroom presets for future use.

Develop your own style

Presets offer a way for you to find and apply a unique look to your work. Once you discover the settings you like, save them to a preset so you can spend more time shooting photos and less time editing them.

Final edited urban photo set in a photo book.

Note: Project files included with this tutorial are for practice purposes only.

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