STEP BY STEP / Hit the bleach
1 Make basic adjustments
Load curve_start.jpg into the Develop module. In the Basic panel, drag the Temperature slider to the left for a cooler colour palette. The photo is underexposed, so fix this by setting Exposure to +0.60. Darken the hood and eyeliner by dragging Blacks left to -14, then take Vibrance to -20 for a more bleached-out look.
2 Create an S-curve
Toggle open the Tone Curve panel. Drag the Highlights slider right to +46. You’ll see that this pushes the top-right section of the curve upwards and brightens the model’s skin. Now drag the Shadows slider left to -53. This makes the black hood and eyeliner even darker, creating a striking contrast with the pale skin and background.
3 Clip the shadows To make sure that we remove more detail in the shadows, click the Show Shadow Clipping icon at the top left of the histogram window. Blue patches will appear on the image to indicate detail-free or ‘clipped’ dark areas. Now drag the Shadow slider further left to -75 in order to increase the bleach bypass-style clipping effect.
4 Fine-tune the contrast
Turn off the Shadow Clipping warning so that you can see the blacks more clearly. Now we want to give the whites of the eyes and skin a bit more contrast, so push the Lights slider to +25 and bring the Darks down to -12. Toggling the icon at the top-left of the Tone Curve panel will allow you to see a before-and-after comparison.