How do I create negatives in Lightroom?

Answered by John Hunt

To create negatives in Lightroom, you will need to follow a few simple steps. Here’s how you can do it:

1. Import your files to Lightroom: Start by opening Lightroom and importing your scanned negative files. You can do this by clicking on the “Import” button and selecting the folder where your scanned negatives are stored.

2. Go to the Develop tab: Once your files are imported, navigate to the Develop module by clicking on the “Develop” tab at the top right of the screen. This is where you’ll be able to edit your photos.

3. Convert to Black and White: To create a negative effect, you’ll first need to convert your photo to black and white. In the Basic panel on the right-hand side, you’ll find a “Black & White” option. Click on it to convert your photo to black and white.

4. Use Curves to invert the negative: Next, you’ll need to use the Curves tool to invert the negative into a positive image. In the Tone Curve panel, click on the icon that looks like a curve graph. Then, click on the top left point of the curve and drag it to the bottom right. This will invert the colors and create a positive image.

5. Crop the image: If needed, you can crop the image to remove any unwanted borders or parts of the negative. In the Crop & Straighten tool, click on the “Crop Overlay” button and adjust the crop to your desired composition.

6. Sharpen the image: To enhance the details and make the image appear sharper, you can apply a slight amount of sharpening. In the Detail panel, increase the “Amount” slider to around 70-100. Be careful not to over-sharpen, as it can introduce noise and artifacts.

7. Fine-tune other adjustments: Depending on the quality of your scanned negatives, you may need to make additional adjustments to improve the overall image. This could include adjusting exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows, etc. Experiment with these settings until you’re satisfied with the result.

8. Save and export: Once you’re done editing the first photo, you can save and export it to a format suitable for sharing on social media. Click on the “File” menu, select “Export,” and choose the desired file settings, such as file format, size, and destination folder. Click “Export” to save the edited photo.

9. Repeat for other negatives: Now that you’ve edited the first photo, you can repeat the same process for the rest of your scanned negatives. Simply click on the next negative in the filmstrip at the bottom of the screen and follow steps 3 to 8.

By following these steps, you’ll be able to create negatives from your scanned images using Adobe Lightroom. Have fun experimenting with different editing techniques and unleash your creativity!