How to make a bleach bypass effect using Adobe Lightroom



“Bleach bypass effect” on photos is a very popular effect now a days. Today we are going to learn how to give your photos a very cool bleach bypass effect by using Adobe Lightroom. Adobe Lightroom is a wonderful photo processing software, mostly used for adding presets on photos. But I think presets are not that good every time; suppose, you have an underexposed photo you want to a wonderful “Bleach bypass effect”. You used a preset, but it ends up worse. The first thing you need to be sure is that you have control over the exposure and other adjustments to go through the picture and then you can give your photo a very wonderful “Bleach bypass effect”. Again, if you want to give your photo a very good looking wedding look by using a preset, which mostly presets consists of “Film Grain” (it gives a good effect though), but you don’t want to add grain in your photo, there we have a problem. Considering all these I am going to teach you how to give your photo a very good looking “Bleach bypass effect”.


At first you need to open the photo you want to give “Bleach bypass effect” in Adobe Lightroom. To open it in Adobe Lightroom simply drag the photo with right clicking and release it in Adobe Lightroom working field. This is how it will show.


Now click on “Import” to import the photo in Adobe Lightroom. Now you will find your photo opened in the “Library”. Here has a field named as “Quick adjustment” to simply adjust your photo. Don’t use this field, you can have a better result by using advance adjustment. Then, to develop the photo click on “Develop” on the top and you can see your photo in the working field.



This is the important part of a photo before giving any effect. If you want to use any preset then first you need to know the presets action and change your photo according to it. You can see the photo is a bit warm, in my case it works as an advantage for this tutorial purposes. Now go to the “Basic” settings and adjust the color and exposure.


First adjust the exposure. I think the exposure is a little bit high in this photo, so I reduce the exposure by moving the slide of exposure. You can also reduce the exposure by sliding the “Histogram” showing in top.


Then I give some contrast on the photo to give some highlight. Don’t forget to keep the triangles checked on the left and right of the histogram, they will alert you if the photo is over exposed or underexposed. Reduce the black to have a good contrast look.  Now add some “clarity” (increase the mid-tone) on the photo. When using clarity may reduce the color a little, for that I add some “Vibrance”, but since I don’t want an over saturated photo I reduce the “Saturation” value.



Tone curve is very important when you are adjusting a photo. Most of the adjustment can be done by using the tone curve. Go to the “Tone curve” and click on the “Point curve”. Now you can see the RGB in a straight line; sliding the curve in downward will increase the contrast and setting it upward will increase the highlight. Now all we need to do is taking the lower point of the curve to upward to give a fade look. And change the “RED”, “GREEN” and “BLUE” individually to give a good effect on your photo.




HSL / COLOR / B&W:  Now to give a “Bleach bypass effect” you need to follow few steps. Go to the “HSL / COLOR / B&W” option and change things as I did here. Select “Color”.

For the “RED” change hue 0, saturation -60, luminance 20.

For the “ORANGE” change hue 0, saturation -55, luminance 20.

For the “YELLOW” change hue 0, saturation -50, luminance 20.

For the “GREEN” change hue 0, saturation -70, luminance 20.

For the “AQUA” change hue 0, saturation -60, luminance 20.

For the “BLUE” change hue 0, saturation -40, luminance 20.

For the “PURPLE” change hue 0, saturation -55, luminance +20.

For the “MAGENTA” change hue 0, saturation -20, luminance +20.


Now we want to give a vintage lens effect on our photo. Before that I want to make some lens correction. Go to the “Lens correction” option and checked the “Enable profile correction” and select a lens profile. For mine I selected “canon EF 15mm 2.8”. Now to make a vintage look go to the “Effect” option and select “the highlight priority” as style and reduce the amount and increase the midpoint a little. Finally, I added some film grain to the photo.



Now to save the photo go to the “File” option and select “Export”. A dialogue box will appear showing the saving directory and the format you want to save. Select “JPEG” as the file format and add the location where you want to save it. Then click “Export”.


So you see how easy it is to give a “Bleach bypass effect” on your photo.

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