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Baseline Raw Image Adjustments

Lesson 4 from: Adobe Lightroom Classic CC: The Complete Guide

Ben Willmore

Baseline Raw Image Adjustments

Lesson 4 from: Adobe Lightroom Classic CC: The Complete Guide

Ben Willmore

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Lesson Info

4. Baseline Raw Image Adjustments

Jump into the editing process by digging into the basic RAW adjustments inside the Basic panel in the Develop module. Walk through what each tool does along with some behind-the-scenes insight, like why most sliders won't affect the black in the image. Learn basic tools like exposure as well as specialty tools like the dehaze tool for 'magically' removing fog. Uncover hidden tricks like how to quickly see what parts of your image are a true black.

Lesson Info

Baseline Raw Image Adjustments

Welcome back to Lightroom Classic: The Complete Guide. Let's look back at what we've done thus far 'cause not everybody has been with us from the beginning. On the first day of our 20-day long class, we did kind of an overview. We tried to give you a big picture of how to think about Lightroom before we really go deep into the details, which is more of what we're starting with today. The second day, we showed you how to import your images into Lightroom so you can see 'em all there, and how to customize the interface to kind of make it your own, optimize it. On day three, we talked about catalogs and folders. How many catalog files do you need and how can you set up your folders where you'll think a little differently where your folders can help you manage how you think about your pictures, where you can revisit a folder at any time in the future and get quickly reacquainted with it, but only if you do it in a special way. Today, we're gonna get into transforming your raw exposures. Th...

at doesn't have to mean it's an actual raw file, but I just mean the raw data that came from your camera, and we're gonna transform that into polished images. So we can take just about any kind of image; Too dark, too bright, not enough contrast, too much contrast, color issues, all that kind of stuff is what we're gonna get into today. So here's just a few examples. Here is what was captured by my camera on this particular location on Route 66. And then taking that into Lightroom and using the basic adjustments on it, we ended up transforming it into this. Or in this case, we're in, I believe this is Dubai or Abu Dhabi? No, we're Abu Dhabi at the Grand Mosque. In this case, I was able to get a shot where it had some detail outside, but I really wanted to see what was inside as well and with Lightroom's basic adjustment controls, I can totally transform that image into something that looks completely different, but I can still see what's outside the window. Or we go to Africa, and here's what my camera captured of a lion. And if we look it, the background is more colorful than the lion, and it just doesn't pop. But afterwards, we can really transform that image and get it to be optimized. That's what today's lesson is all about. In order to do that, we're gonna be in one spot of Lightroom today, and that is the basic panel. That means you'll go to the library module and near the upper right of your screen is where you're gonna find these sliders that are available for adjusting your picture. And you'll find that if your sliders look slightly different than the ones that are here, then maybe you haven't updated Lightroom because within about the last week, they came out with a newer version which added some features and moved them around. So this might look slightly different than some copies of Lightroom if you haven't updated it. So today, like I said, is transforming our raw exposures into polished images using the basic panel in Lightroom. So let's jump into Lightroom and get started. I'm gonna start off working with a simplified image just to describe how you think about the various adjustment sliders. Oftentimes, it is little easier to understand when you're looking at something simple. Then, we're gonna adjust a whole bunch of images that are just bad-looking. and we'll make them look dramatically better. So here's our simple image. I'm gonna click on it once, and I'll head over here to the develop module. And what we have here is just shades of gray. And I think it might vary by 10% between these. So we have white over here, then this might be 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, and so on 'til we get to black. And on the right side of my screen, I'm gonna be working with this area called the basic panel. Now, I'm gonna work with this area called profile only after we start working with a normal photograph because you're mainly gonna see it if we have a full color image that has a good amount of detail. And that's something that's new in the newest version of Lightroom. They moved this, it used to be found way down here under this area called calibration, but they found too many people were ignoring it so they decided to move it up here, right at the top of your adjustments stack, and they added some new functionality, so we'll cover that once we get onto images. This area below is known as white balance, and it is used for color correction. Since this image is black and white, those are grayed out 'cause they want to apply to a black and white image. And so we're gonna use this image to get used to all of these sliders. Those are the ones that affect the overall brightness, contrast, and you might call it tonality of your image. So let's take a look. First at the top, we have exposure. And exposure is going to control the overall brightness of your picture. So if your image, if the entire image is too bright or too dark, then exposure is where I usually head. So in this case, let's see how much of the image changes when I increase exposure, or I decrease exposure. You notice that pretty much, the entire images is changing, as in this case, I decrease the exposure, or I go this way to increase it, with one exception, and that is with most of the sliders here in the basic panel. If there's anything in your picture that is solid black, it will usually leave that area alone. And it does to that retain a good amount of contrast in your picture. And so black is one thing that's a little bit special. Once you get black, it usually stays at black. But otherwise, this is an overall brightness slider, so if your entire image is too bright or too dark, then exposure is a great thing to go to. But oftentimes in my images, instead of having the entire image have an issue, it's isolated to various areas. So below that, here we have highlights and shadows. Highlights is going to try to isolate the bright-ish areas within your picture. And it's going to attempt not to change the dark areas very much at all. So let's see what happens to this simplified image when I adjust the highlights. And notice that this area in here is gonna change the most, and the area in here is gonna change very little, if at all. So I can brighten my highlights, or I can darken them. Brighten, darken. But if you look at the dark area of the image, you'll see it's barely changing at all. Then if I come down to shadows below that, it's gonna do the same thing for the darkish areas of the picture. If I move this to the right, it's gonna brighten those darkish areas, and if I move it to the left, it will darken them, but it's trying not to change too much beyond about the 50% gray point. So if I ever have a problem and it's isolated to the bright-ish or darkish areas, then these are the two sliders I'm gonna be going for. Now below that, we have whites and blacks. And those are somewhat similar to highlights and shadows, but they affect more of the image. In general, if I bring up whites, more and more of my image will become solid white, will blow out the detail in those bright areas as I bring it up, where we lose all detail in larger and larger areas as it goes to white. If I move it the opposite direction, it's gonna start darkening up things that are near white, but white itself is treated special. And the reason why it treats white special and it doesn't really darken the pure white areas is because oftentimes, an image turns white in an area that would otherwise have color, like a blue sky, and suddenly it gets over to where the sun is and it blows out to solid white, well, if we are darkening that bright part of the image, we might want the sky to get darker and darker but that area where it loses all detail, if we just darkened it, would happen is it would turn gray, where in reality, since it's a blue sky, if you actually could darken it and see detail, it should be some other color. It should either be an orange sun or it should be a blue sky and just a shade of gray doesn't look appropriate. So most of the time, white doesn't change. But, that's white. I mainly use that to control how large of an area is solid white in my picture. On occasion, I'll move it down though, if the bright area of my image is too bright. But if there's any area that is already solid white, it will be unchanged. Then we have blacks, and with blacks, that's gonna control how dark is the darkest portion of our picture? And if I move it to the left, more and more of my image is gonna get solid black. Keep bringing it down and we'll get a good area of solid black in our picture, or if I move it the opposite direction, to brighten up things. So you might think that highlights and shadows are really similar to whites and blacks, and in general, you'd be correct, the difference being that whites and blacks will affect the majority of your picture when you move it. If you watch what happens when I move the whites, watch over here where it's dark in my picture. And look at how much that changes. It got quite a bit brighter there, and it got quite a bit darker there. If I do the same thing with highlights, you'll find that that area barely changes at all. So highlights and shadows does a better job of isolating only the bright-ish or only the darkest areas, whereas whites and blacks works on a wider range. I use them differently. I think of whites and blacks as what I would call finishing techniques. When I think I'm done with my picture, then I can use the whites and blacks to control the overall brightness range, like the extremes. And you'll see that when I start adjusting pictures. Then up here, we have contrast. And if I increase contrast, bright areas will get brighter and dark areas will get darker. In essence, it will be almost the same thing as me just taking the highlights slider and turning it up to brighten, and taking the shadow slider and bringing it down to darken. It just does it as one move instead of having to move two separate sliders. Let's see what happens when I use it. I'm just gonna grab contrast and move it up and watch, bright things get brighter. I'll move it back to the middle. You see bright things getting brighter. Then watch the dark parts. Dark things are getting darker. Or if I move it the opposite direction, then it's going to make all these shades that are in here more similar to each other. That means that this is going to darken up here, and this is gonna brighten up here, so that these become more similar. But it will make more sense when we start using it on an image where we have an issue where we actually need that control. For now, I'm just trying to give you an overview. And then here we have clarity, and watch what clarity does. It's not going to try to change the brightness of any large area, it's going to work on the transition from one area of detail to another. So if you look in here and you think about detail where the only place where I can actually see anything is right where this transition happens. This is a solid shade, there is no texture to it, but right there, we have some sort of change in the image. And wherever that changes is, it's going to concentrate, and watch what happens when I bring it up or back down again. So this slider, if you ever see a tree that looks like it's glowing, or something similar where it feels like it has a little brighter area surrounding it, it's because somebody cranked up clarity. And when they cranked up clarity, that area where this might represent a tree touching a sky, this transition, this area right next door to it, if I turn up clarity, it suddenly has a little bit of glow around it. And so you gotta be a little bit careful with clarity in that if you bring it up, let's say to about maybe halfway, here you're doing fine most of the time, but if you ever crank it, be sure to look at where any dark objects touch a brighter surrounding, and just see, does it look glowy there or not and decide is that worth it or not? But clarity is gonna help the detail pop out in an image. You'll see, it'll be a really great feature to use. You can also turn clarity into a negative and it actually blurs those transitions between things, and that's gonna make it harder to see detail. So when I bring this up, those transitions, what I'm gonna call detail in this case, are gonna become more prominent, easier to see. And when I decrease it, they're gonna become less prominent transitions and therefore, harder to see, kind of like blurring. A lot of people like negative clarity when it comes to portraits, but also, a lot of people overdo it and their portraits look kind of fake because they look softer. It's up to you, but for close-ups of faces, negative clarity will soften all the little details in the skin. Then we have another control here called dehaze, and dehaze is one of those controls that they moved in a recent update to Lightroom that just happened in the last week or so, and dehaze used to be found down here under effects. And that's where you have to go to get to it, but they found too many people were ignoring it and it was an overall contrast adjustment, so they moved it up here to make it more discoverable, I guess. So let's get a sense for what dehaze is going to do. If we look at dehaze, it's going to concentrate on the dark portion of the image. It's gonna darken the dark area, and once the dark area gets close to black, it'll hold off on it, and then it'll start working on area a bit brighter, it'll darken that up until it gets close to pure black. Then it will stop concentrating that and go a little bit brighter, so it's really weighted towards the dark portion of the image, but it attempts to not get too much solid black. Watch, I'm gonna increase dehaze. So you can see how much we can darken, but it's really most aggressive in the darkest portion of the image, and it kind of trails off as it gets to the brightest. When's that useful? Well, when you have a hazy picture. If you have a photograph that was taken in fog, you're gonna find that there'll be nothing in the photograph that's black at all. Instead, the darkest part of the image might be around 70% gray, and that's part of what makes it look hazy. And if you were to adjust it to make the darkest portion of the image truly go to black, then it would be like wiping the haze away, therefore, dehazing the image. So if I bring this up, imagine this was a really foggy image. Imagine we had nothing in this general brightness range here and imagine the darkest portion of the image was this right here, and that's what made it look somewhat hazy. If I bring this up high enough, I can bring it up and tell that area turned black or close to it, and now, it's going to break through that haze. You'll see once we get onto a full-on image. Now, you can move dehaze into a negative direction, and that's going to concentrate on the opposite side, which would be the white, brightening it, being more aggressive and aggressive going towards, being weighted towards the brightest part. When might you use that? If you have a sun in the otherwise blue sky and it's somewhat blown out, and you want it to be a larger area of blown-out sun, you could move dehaze to a negative range to cause that, but it's rare for me to move it into a negative range. I would say that's on 1% of all the images I adjust. Now, you might find that some of these sliders seem to be similar, let's compare 'em, let's see what we can do. I'm gonna get two versions of this image up. What I'll do is at the bottom of my screen, this area is known as the toolbar, and if you don't have that area visible on your screen, you could go to the view menu and right here, it says hide toolbar, and if yours was hidden, you can go up there and say show the toolbar. Well, in that toolbar are some icons. Here are two letter Ys that are next to each other. And I'm gonna click on that, that's gonna show me a before-and-after version of this picture, where one is considered the before, the other is the after. Since this is a horizontal image, I think it would be better if these were stacked vertically. I can change that by either clicking the icon here multiple times to cycle through, or there's a little arrow to the right of it where you can go directly to one of those views. And here I'm gonna have the after and before above and below each other. All right, now we're actually working on this version, it's called after, and what I'm gonna do to that version is I'm gonna first move this version up there 'cause I can see a slight difference between the two, and I think that has to do with a change that Adobe made that I don't think they thought through completely, and that is when they moved this profile thing, they added some other choices and changed the default. And so it thinks that before is similar. So I'm gonna copy these settings and put them up here. You do that by taking this little up-pointing arrow that's here, and that means copy the settings that are currently applied to the after version and put them up there on the before, therefore, the two should look identical. All right, now we're working on this image, and let's see what contrast does. I'm going to increase contrast, just crank it as high as it goes. And let's compare that to highlights and shadows, because we can do something similar. If compare, here's before, here's after, let's try to figure out what's happened. Well, the bright portion of the image, which is this, got brighter. Aren't these all brighter than those? And the dark portion of the image, if I compare this to what's below, got darker. So there's a greater difference between bright and dark. That's what contrast does when you increase it. Well, I'm gonna take this version and put it up top. I'll do that by using this little up-pointing arrow. Now it's up there. And then I'm gonna bring contrast back down to zero. We're working on the bottom one, we're always working on the one call after. Then, let's try to achieve the same result using highlights and shadows. So if the highlights are getting brighter, let's bring the highlights slightly to the right to brighten it, until it's about the same brightness. And if the shadows got darker, let's grab the shadow slider and move it down to darken it. That's looking, to my eye, identical. So I showed you this because a lot of times, people get confused, they're like, "Well, which one should I use?" Well, you use contrast if you wanted to make those two changes, a change for the highlight and the shadows simultaneously. And instead you use highlights and shadows if you either need individual control, like the highlights need a bigger adjustment than the shadows, or it would be inconvenient to move two sliders, and you want to do one. So those are very similar. Let's see, bring these back. Let's also compare the highlights to the whites and the shadows to the blacks to see if we can see a difference. So first, I've zeroed out everything that's here so we have no adjustment whatsoever. I'm gonna push that to the top, that's what this little up-pointing arrow does, it means consider that to be the before version, and then let's take the highlight slider and let's, I don't know, turn it all the way up. We're gonna take that version where the highlight slider's been turned all the way up, if you compare it here to no adjustment, you'll see the highlights are brighter and that shadows didn't really change much. Let's push that up, so that's considered the before version. And now let's undo those highlights and let's try whites instead. Here it goes. You'll see that whites affects more of the image and is more aggressive. So if you look at this, you notice the brightening effect went further into the dark part of your image than this. So what you're seeing at the top, in case you don't remember is what it looked like when we adjusted the highlights and what's at the bottom is what it looked like when we adjusted the whites. So when I say the highlights and the whites are very similar they are, but I use highlights when I truly want to isolate the bright portion of the image and only affect that, and I use whites when I want to affect more of the image, a much wider range. All right, let's get out of this before and after view. If you go here to the lower-left, there's an icon, it looks like just a rectangle inside of a rectangle. If you click on that, it brings you to the normal view of your picture. And in case you're wondering how I was resetting these sliders to their default settings, so precisely, if you double-click on either the slider itself or the name of the slider, either one, when you double-click, it resets it to their default. So if you ever want to zero something out, so you don't have an adjustment dialed in, that's what you do, either on the name or the slider itself. All right, so we got some idea of how these work, but the concepts we have in our head are more conceptual, so let's see how we'd use this on an actual picture. So I can either go to the library module to switch to a different image, or if I'm already viewing the set of images I need, I can just go down here to the bottom of my screen to the film strip. This shows me the same images that we were viewing in the library, and let's just click over to the first one. And then we'll close the film strip by clicking this little triangle. To me, this image looks terrible. That's my wife in a yoga pose, and I don't think it looks good at all. So these are the set of sliders that I have available to fix it, and I need to decide which one. And what I do is I think of what is the biggest problem? That's the one I try to fix first, and then I reevaluate the image and do that again until I either run out of problems, patience, time or budget. One of those things I'm gonna run out of and that's when I consider I'm done. So in this particular case, I would say the vast majority of the entire image is too dark, and when that's the case, I go to exposure. Remember, exposure is an overall brightness change. So I'll bring up exposure until I think the overall brightness is starting to look okay. And at this point, I think the issue with the image is the darkest portion is too dark. And so that's when I switch to a different slider that isolates the darkest portion, and most of the time, I go for the shadows slider. Remember, shadows is gonna concentrate on the darkest portion of the image. Blacks would do something similar, but it would extend further across the brightness range. So I'm gonna bring up shadows here. And at this point, I'm starting to get it nice and bright, but now I don't like how bright the statue is that's here, or the sky that's up here. And if I think about those areas and compare them to the sliders I have available for fixing things, I would say it's the bright area that needs to be fixed, and that is the highlight slider that would affect that, so I'll bring down the highlights until that statue in the sky starts looking appropriate in brightness. And yes, I could have grabbed the whites, but if I did, it wouldn't have just isolated the bright portion of the image, it would have extended further. And so I use highlights and shadows much more commonly than whites and blacks. You'll see how I use those two as a finishing technique when I think I'm done with the picture. All right at this point, now I might start working with overall contrast. And here we have a contrast control. That means how much of a difference is there between bright stuff and dark stuff? Do I want a greater difference between the two? If so, turn it up. Or do I need less of a difference? That means turn it down. And in my case, I'm actually gonna turn it down a little bit. Then, I find the image looks a little dull, and it's just the detail doesn't seem to pop out. Well, you think about what makes detail pop out. That was a slider called clarity. Clarity is going to find the edges of everything and emphasize them. And so if I bring clarity up, now we can get the detail to pop a little more, like that. Now, the biggest problems I have with this image at the moment is color related, and I don't want to get onto working with color yet. So let me just show you before and after so far. I'm gonna hit the reset button in the lower-right. Whenever we move these sliders to adjust an image in Lightroom, it writes down all these settings just as text and it attaches them to the record for this image. When I hit reset, it zeroes out all those numbers so you see the original pictures. So there's before, so far, and there's after. I think I'd like to tweak the color of it, but we'll get onto color in a little while. Let's go to another image. Again, it's my wife doing yoga, I take a lot of pictures of that around the world. So in this case, the most important portion of the image is here where my wife is, 'cause that the subject of the photograph. There was some harsh light coming down, and I can see right here on her skin, it looks like she doesn't have any skin there, it looks white for the most part. That's what bugs me the most to begin with. So I'm gonna go here to the highlights slider, 'cause highlights works on the brightest portion of the image, and I'm gonna bring it down. And I'm looking at her skin to say when do I get a little bit of detail there? But the rest of the image is darn near black in here, so I'm guessing we're gonna have to do an overall adjustment. Let's go to exposure and pump it up. If I go to exposure, I keep going brighter and brighter, I'm looking at the majority of the image trying to get the overall brightness to be appropriate, and then I notice her leg again, too bright. So I bring highlights down. See if I can get it where I don't mind the look at that area. Now notice here, I'm using really terrible images because if you can fix terrible images and you get good at it, it's much easier to tweak great looking images to make them look even better. It's the terrible ones that are challenging. So that's what we're doing here. Now, I could in this case make the detail everywhere start to pop out, that's usually clarity, so I can bring clarity up and see what happens, but when I do, I don't like what happens to my wife's leg, so I'm not gonna do that too much. The other way to make those pop out more is to increase contrast, get a bigger difference between bright and dark. There we go, I can individually control the shadow detail if I want to, but in this case, I think it was fine to begin with. So let's see before and after, I'm gonna hit reset. That was pretty much unusable, it's one of those images you just pass by and wouldn't even think about adjusting, but with Lightroom, you can do quite a bit to rescue those images. You should be careful though, any time you have an overly dark image and you make it look normal, the problem is, noise is usually lurking in the dark portion of the image. So if you were to zoom in on a picture like this one, you would notice it's full of speckles in that dark portion. We'll cover removing noise in a future session of this class. I'm just gonna use the arrow keys here to switch to the next image. And let's see what we'd like to do. Now, this image can be interpreted in many different ways. If I don't care about the detail that's down in here, then I could just darken this to make it a shape so it becomes black. And that's where I might actually grab the black slider and bring it down to say let's darken and darken it. That gives more solid black in my image, and then adjust the highlights to say what should be the bright portion of the image? And then if I want to bring out a little bit of detail and clarity, it usually brings out details so I could try it out. Or if I instead want to see the detail down here, I can try to bring it back. Let's see how could I experiment? Well, I mentioned that you could double-click on a slider to reset it. Well just so you know, you can double-click on a heading. You see here the word tone, that's the heading for all the sliders that are below it, at least in this section until you hit this horizontal line. So if I double-click on the word tone, it's gonna reset all of those sliders. Here we have the heading called presence, which would reset all the sliders below it, so I double-click on it. And if I got everything zeroed out, that would be the same as hitting reset. Now let's say I wanted to bring out the detail that's there. Well, that means I would bring up shadows, see if I can get it out. If I can't get enough out of that, then I could go to blacks, bring it up as well, try to bring that out. Then if my sky is a bit too bright, that's highlights so I can bring it down. There's all sorts of ways you can interpret this image. Now if I want the detail to pop out, I can go to clarity. Let's see exactly how much. It's very easy to do too much with clarity if you've moved the other sliders a considerable distance. And let's say that's good. Go to the next image. Again, my wife doing yoga. Here we're at the Eastern State Penitentiary, my wife doing yoga in jail. And I don't like the overall look of it. Well, I have to think about is it the entire image I don't like? And if that's the case, it's exposure that I go to. And once I get to a certain point with exposure, then things become too bright, so maybe I bring it to about there. And at this point, when I think about what don't I like about the image, I'd like to be able to see a little bit more about what's down in here in the highlights? So I could bring my highlights down a little bit to see if I can get any detail at all at the end of the hallway. And then if I want to see more where my wife is, that's the dark portion of the image, I could bring shadows up. Make the detail pop out with a little clarity. But in here, I'd like to start adjusting the color, but we're not getting there yet, so I'm only going as far as we can using the sliders that control brightness. But let's start talking about the whites and blacks sliders. I use them as finishing techniques, which means that when I think I'm done with the image, then I evaluate those two sliders. With the black slider, I usually want to make sure I have at least a small portion of my picture as solid black. If I don't have a small portion solid black, then if this image is compared to another image, either I print them out and hang them on the wall, or maybe online, they're shown side by side, then the image that doesn't contain black can look more dull than the other. And so I want to use this to make sure I have black in my image. If I move it to the left, I can definitely get black in the image, but it's a matter of figuring out when does it happen? There's a few different ways of figuring out when it happens and the one that I like to use is there's a way to visually see what's black in the image, and you do that by holding down the option key, which is Alt in Windows, when you click on the black slider. So I have option held down right now. I'm gonna click on the black slider, and it'll show me what's black in my picture. Right now, I can't see any black on the screen, and therefore nothing is black in my picture. Those little areas that are in color near the right side of the image, they're close to black, but they're not quite there yet. I'm gonna move the black slider towards the left until I see solid black. I'll move it quite a distance so you can see a large area would become solid black, if I moved that far, but I'm gonna get it so there's a small area of solid black, maybe like that, somewhere in that range, then let go, so I know that gave me solid black. Now, I want to see is the detail up in here blown out to solid white, or is there actually something there? Well, I can do that with a white slider. If I move the white slider up, it's gonna make brighter areas even brighter, and eventually they're gonna blow out the white, but if I want to visually see where is it happening, I hold down the option key, Alt in Windows just like before, click, and now I see two specks near the top of my screen that are showing up as white, and those two areas are solid white in my picture. So I stare at the two specks and I let go of the slider, and I say is that an important area? And I would say no, not those two specks. If I move the slider towards the right, you will see larger and larger areas becoming solid white. So when I click on this, if this is what I would have saw initially, then I'd know I have really no detail out that window that's at the end of the hallway, and no detail near the top left of the image. So that's when I might back off on the whites to control exactly how large of an area is white? And a small area of white's fine. A large area of white is fine too as long as it would look appropriate, like if you the sun in the noonday blue sky, you don't expect to be able to see sunspots, you expect that sun to be truly white. So the way I did that is I held down the option key, Alt in Windows, and I grabbed the whites or the black sliders and clicked on them and it gave me was known as a clipping display. And when I was in the black slider, anything that is white on the screen is simply being ignored. It means it's not close to being black at all. Then the only areas that are showing up, if they're in color, well, what's happening is behind the scenes, your image is made out of three pieces. It's made out of red, green and blue. And at least one of those three pieces is as dark as it could possibly get, but not all three. It's only when all three go as dark as they possibly can get that you have black, and that's what you get when black shows up. So I can bring that over. So I'm gonna leave this image the way it is. I would like to adjust the color. To me, it looks a bit green, but we're not talking about color yet. So let's go to the next image. This actually is a picture of my bus. And actually let's just keep going because we have so many images to adjust, let's concentrate on this one. This one here, I want to concentrate on this area. And if I want to, I could just grab the crop tool, the one right up here, and I just pull this in, and let's say let's concentrate on this to get rid of any distraction. This is one of those times where I was in the, what's it called, the Grand Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi. And you're going down, you look down this hallway, and you see somebody dressed appropriate for the area, but you can't adjust your settings. By the time your camera settings are adjusted, he'd be gone, so this is all I got. And so I got to figure out what can I do with it? Well in this case, I might want to see if I can get detail in there. There's only so much detail your camera can capture, and if this is a JPEG file, there's gonna be next to nothing in there where it looks white. If it's a raw file though, usually there's some additional detail there, and if we want to be able to get it back, I can come in here to either highlights or whites, just know highlights concentrates on the bright areas, whites goes even further across the brightness range, and I'm just gonna bring that down and see how much detail can I get out of him? And it doesn't look like useful detail when I get it beyond about there. Okay then, other things I can do this do to this image, I could adjust the overall contrast. That's how much of a difference is there between bright and dark. I can make the detail pop out, that's what clarity is gonna do for me. But right now, we're being somewhat limited in that if I bring up clarity, I might really like it up here on the ceiling, but I might not like it down here where the guy is. And at the moment, if we're only using the adjustments in the basic panel, it's gonna affect the entire picture. You should know that later on, you're gonna learn how to use this tool up here, it looks like a brush, and that will allow you to brush settings into your image. And therefore if I wanted clarity to be higher, just for this ceiling area that's here, I could load up that brush with clarity and I can paint it onto my picture. So we're not gonna be limited quite as much in the future once we learn about more features in Lightroom, but for now we're only dealing with what we've learned about thus far. So now I could adjust the dark portion the image to decide exactly how bright should that be? And fine-tune it. Let's continue through other images. In this case, a lot of people think that the brightest part of your picture should always have detail. I don't think that's the case. If you ever have the noonday sun, you shouldn't see detail in it. If there's ever any really bright lights, so bright that you might not stare directly into them, should probably be solid white. And sometimes it's just a general artistic choice. In this case, I don't think it would be useful to see the detail it's in here, so I'm gonna allow that to go to solid white. Here's my wife, and I can't see much detail in her, so I'm gonna go over here to shadows, bring that up, and see how much I can get out of her. By the time I do though, I think the rest of the image is on the bright side. So if I want to, I could bring my highlights down to say the brightest part of the image, tone it down. But I think I'm starting to see too much in here. That's starting to be where my eye explores it. How can I get it so that that part would be really blown out? Well, I think of whites and blacks as kind of finishing techniques. I don't use them as much for doing overall brightness changes, but if there's something that needs to be done at the extremes, the absolute darkest part of the picture, it needs solid black in it, or the absolute brightest part of the picture needs solid white in it, that's where I'm gonna come in here to whites, and so I could blow that area out, depending on how far I want to go. I can then go down to clarity. Clarity's gonna make the detail pop out, and I gotta decide how much I want. Some cropping and color adjustment would be good here because we're getting a little bit of a yellow green out in this area. But hopefully you're getting a sense for how terrible-looking images can be improved. This image, I can't even tell what it's of. So exposure I'm gonna bring up until something starts looking too bright, then I'll switch to something else I can isolate. The darkest portion of the image is where the detail is I want, so bring shadows up. And then if I want my sky to have more detail, I'll bring highlights down. Then when I want the detail to pop out is clarity. You just get used to these sliders over time, and the more you practice with them, the more they get ingrained in your head as to what they do. Exposure is overall brightness, then we can isolate the highlights or the shadows. Whites and blacks I use near the end. So if I thought this was starting to look good, then I would start thinking about, do I have black in the image? I go to my black slider, I can hold down the option key, and say no we don't, and I can move it to the left until I get a little bit of black. I can say hey, is this blown out to white? And if so, would I like more detail in it? Or maybe it's down in here. We can find out, go to the white slider, hold down the option key, click. Nope, we only have white in that tiny little area near the bottom of the photograph. I'll stare at it when I let go so I can recall where it is. And it's a highlight on a car. That's gonna be cropped out in the end, and that's what's known as a specular highlight. Wherever you have a reflection of a light source that reflects just like off of mirror where you can really see it, that's an area that I usually allow to be solid white, so that's fine. When it comes to making the dark areas black, there's a trick. Do you remember how I said you could double-click on something to reset it to default settings? Well, if you hold down the shift key and you double-click on something, it's going to intelligently adjust that particular slider. And in the case of blacks, if you hold down the shift key and you double-click on it, it's gonna set it to, move it the least amount that would get you solid black. So in this case, I'm gonna have one speck of solid black. And so whenever I'm done with an image, if I'm in a hurry, I hold down the shift key and I double-click on the word, either the word or the slider for blacks, and that ensures I have solid black in my picture. You can do the same thing with a lot of these other sliders. If you want ensure you're close to having white, you can shift double-click on the whites, but I don't think that always improve the picture. So I'm not going to do it on this one. All right, now let's start talking about other kinds of problem images. Let's start getting into images that have more contrast issues. I think in just just a moment, I want to switch to a different set of images. Some of these images have been pre-adjusted, so when I open them, I will possibly reset the adjustment. So I'm gonna hit reset, so you can see what the image originally looked like. There we go. This is one of those instances where I'm in a souk, a local market, and this guy walks by and he's there for milliseconds. And so pretty much whatever exposure setting I had is what I get. There's no time to adjust settings and get something different. And I'd like to be able to see a little bit more of the environment that's surrounding him. So in this case, I think the bright portion of the image is bright enough, and it's the dark portion. So I can bring up shadows. But sometimes you max out shadows as high as it can go and it's not enough. So we have some other options we could use. If I max out shadows, here's a trick go to 11, if you know the movie Spinal Tap, or just act as if it can go beyond 100. If you ever max out either highlights or shadows and you wish it could go further, then what I would do is go to this slider up here called exposure. It's gonna adjust the overall brightness of our picture, and I'm gonna move it up until the dark portion of my image is as bright as I want it to be. Maybe just there so it has enough where you just have a sense for the surroundings. Then the only problem is, the exposure slider brightened the entire picture, which means it didn't just affect the area I was wanting to which is this dark portion, it also made this area out here very bright. So if you ever max out a slider like shadows, you come up to exposure and you move it in the same direction as the slider you maxed out. But then to compensate for the fact that this affects the entire picture, we go to highlights and turn it down. You grab the opposite of the slider you have maxed out out of these two. And so I'm gonna then turn that down until the bright part of the picture is a little closer to what it used to be or just to what I like. Let's see before and after. I'm gonna hit reset. Here's before, we were kind of stuck with this dark look. After though, that bright area in the distance didn't change all that much. Here, we'll end up doing this before and after, I'll do it left to right. And, I'm not sure if that's absolute before, but anyway, you see here, there's not that much in the dark portion of the image, whereas here, we brightened it up, and we left the bright portion approximately the same as what it used to be. But in order to accomplish that, we needed to get a little bit tricky. And therefore, the more you get used to these sliders, the more you start to learn how to combine them together in interesting ways. So to get out of this before and after view, I go to the bottom left of my screen where I see just a rectangle inside of a rectangle, that means normal view, and I click on it. So if I were max out my shadows, 'cause it's high as I could possibly get it, I wish it could go higher, then I go to exposure, move it in the same direction. But in doing so, the brightest portion of the image is gonna get too bright, so I have to compensate by bringing highlights down. And then I would be able to change this. I might do a few other things in here, I can try adjusting contrast to see how big of a difference do I want between the two? And I could possibly adjust clarity to see if the detail needs to be exaggerated or not. Other times when I'm working on an image like this one, I'll purposely want something to be solid black and white. So in this case, I just want the shape that we have here to show up. I don't want you to see the detail, or if there is detail, I want just the littlest hint of it. But overall, this image is looking pretty dark, and therefore, kind of drab. So I have to decide where to start. And I'm thinking of two different approaches. One is to change the overall brightness. But if I do that, I think I might see too much where my wife Karen is. But I might be able to get away with it. Another would be just brighten the highlights, 'cause that would be what's outside. But when I do that, you notice the buildings out there aren't getting quite bright enough. So it might be exposure that I use instead, get the buildings outside about what I'd like them, and then I can adjust my shadows to say let's adjust everything that's dark. Or if I want it to be truly black where she is, whatever I'm thinking of truly black, it's blacks I go to. Now, there are other other things in here that could improve this picture. I would straighten these kind of, you notice it's wider at the top than it is at the bottom, but in real life, things are perfectly vertical. I would end up straightening those, and I'd end up cropping to get a nice composition here. And that all can be done with other features, but for now, we're concentrating on what's found under the basic panel. So we're not gonna end up using those. So the take away there is any time you want the dark portion of the image, there would be another example to not have detail. Then, I'm going to either lower my shadows, which this image is pre-adjusted to do so, and that's what's going to darken up the dark portion of the image, or in some other instances, I'll be lowering the blacks if I want large areas of solid black. So that's what makes this one special. If I hit reset, although the cropping might change as well, it was already relatively dark in there, but there is my end result. Then let's talk about a special adjustment that we just discussed briefly, and that is dehaze. And I want to show you how dehaze can be used in a special way to more aggressively adjust an image. First, let's reset this image, see what the original looked like 'cause it didn't quite look like this one, it looked a bit hazy. And you notice especially in this area in the back is where you have the most haze. And what makes it feel hazy if you actually analyze it, compare it to the area close to the camera, which is less hazy. Here, the darkest areas are getting close to black. Up here, there's nothing anywhere near black, and that's because the haze is, you're having to look through the haze to see what you'd usually be black. The way dehaze works is it concentrates on the darkest portion of the image, and it's gonna darken that more and more so that where this building is up here, these openings are gonna get closer to solid black. But once it approaches solid black, then it's gonna stop being aggressive here, and it's going to concentrate more on the other areas that are near black but not at black. Pull it in further, once those get near black, it's going to stop affecting them and it's gonna dive deeper in your image, and try working on the darkest areas that are there to get them where we need to break through that haze. So if I double-click on the dehaze slider, there's before, and I'll just click one more time to bring it back to where my mouse is, there's after. You're gonna have to be careful with dehaze 'cause you'll have to get the color just right when you do color correction 'cause it will emphasize any color casts that are in your image. Also afterwards, I could come up here to shadows then and dial in exactly how dark are the dark portions of the image if it was a little too aggressive in those darkest areas. If you notice when I do that, this area in the back, which is where it really needed a lot of the change isn't really changing, but this area up here, where we were closer to black is changing. And you'll find if you've used dehaze, especially if you turned it up over halfway, you almost always have solid black in your picture. So if you ever go to the black slider, and this case, I might have eliminated some of it by bringing up shadows, but if I go here and Option + Click, I'll almost always find something. Let me turn off the shadow slider 'cause I compensated for it, and see if we have it. I'm actually very surprised we don't. I would say in 80% of the images that I use, if I bring up dehaze beyond halfway, that would have solid black. So in this case as a finishing technique, let me bring my shadows back up, I'll get a little black in my image. This image, the thing I'd mainly like to do to it is again color adjustment. This area here is too blue to my eye, and that's an adjustment that could be done once we start talking about color adjustments. Another example of when dehaze can be useful, here you just notice that the blacks over in this area or the dark areas I should say are not near black, and so dehaze can be useful to bring that in. But what I find is on occasion, this is useful. I just want a different look in an image, so what I'll do is actually make an image hazy on purpose. I'll take the contrast slider and I'll turn it down, which will usually make an image feel a bit hazy. Then I'll bring up dehaze, and when I do, I'll get a different-looking end result as it concentrates on the darkest areas of my picture to adjust. And when I'm done, I can fine-tune everything else, in this case, maybe the shadows. But sometimes, moving those two in opposite directions can give you a unique look. Let's start talking about color. We have four controls in here that are gonna deal with color. First, near the top, we have temperature and tint. Those are designed for color correction. If your image has a color cast, that means that it's too orange or too yellow or too blue, pretty much everywhere, and white balance is what's designed to fix that. Then down here near the bottom, we have vibrance and saturation, and they control how colorful the image is. Do we want to amp up the colors a bunch, or do we want to mellow them out? And those are controls for color. So let's get a sense for them. With white balance, there are three ways of changing the white balance. But in the end, all three methods end up moving these sliders around for you. So let's just see what it looks like when we move the sliders around. If I move the temperature slider, you're gonna find, you're gonna shift the image either towards blue or towards yellow. So if I move it towards the left, you'll see the image looks too blue. If I move it towards the right, the image will eventually look too yellow. Somewhere in between, too yellow and too blue is just right. And it's a matter of finding that just right. Then with tint, if you look at the slider, moving it towards the left is gonna make the image more green, moving it to the right will make it more magenta. So if I move this to the left, this is gonna become more green, and eventually it'll be obvious it's too green. Moving it to the right will bring it more magenta, and eventually, it'll be obvious there's too much. Somewhere in between, it should be just right. The colors that are on the opposite ends of these are opposites of each other. What that means is making something more yellow automatically makes it less blue because those are opposites of each other. You can think of it as yellow absorbs blue. So when I move this slider in this direction, I'm not always mentally thinking that I want to make the image look more yellow, I might be thinking I simply want to move it away from this. If there's an overabundance of blue, it means move it away from blue. And once all that extra blue has been absorbed, the picture should look perfect. If you go too far beyond that though, you will have already absorbed all the blue, and now, you're pushing yellow into it. And the same is true over here when it comes to green or magenta. So it takes awhile to get a good eye for color, to know when it's off. I remember when I was in a photographic darkroom and we have to flip these little filters in front of our eyes, it took me forever. I was looking at a red car and somebody would just look at it and say it's too blue. I'm like, what are you talking about? It's a red car, I don't see any blue in it. But then you flick this little filter in front of it which would absorb some of the blue light, and you could see if it looked better, and if it did, you knew you wanted to use that filter in the enlarger to actually absorb things like that. And it really took me a long time, so let me give you a few tips on how to deal with this and also show you the other methods for changing white balance. So first, the other methods for changing white balance. There's a popup menu right here. If you know what kind of lighting was in the scene, like if it's an office environment, and you know the lights above your head are tungsten lights or they're fluorescent lights, well, they're relatively consistent in color, and so here you could choose a preset for fluorescent or a preset for tungsten. Now this obviously was not shot under fluorescent lighting, this was shot outside, and so fluorescent will not look good. Actually, it doesn't look bad, or tungsten might not look good. I wouldn't expect it to look good because that's not the kind of lighting that was used. But if I look at the sky, it looks like that might have been a cloudy sky, and if so, I can choose cloudy, and that might be closer to an appropriate setting to use. Or in here, if that was blue sky, or something more like a daylight, I could try to see if it would be appropriate, but I mainly use this if I know what kind of light source there was there and I want to quickly compensate for it. You can also set it to auto, and that will be like using auto white balance in your camera, it will try to figure it out for you. It's not always a great choice to use, but I'm glad it's there. But when I choose all of these, watch what happens to these two sliders. All it's doing is moving those two sliders usually to preset spots. So fluorescent equals these two numbers. It's only the one called auto that would be different for each picture 'cause it's actually analyzing the image. The third way I can change white balance is with this eyedropper tool. If I click on the eyedropper tool and I move my mouse on top of my picture, then I can click on things within my picture and it will use that to calculate what the white balance setting should be. What I'm supposed to do is move my mouse onto anything that would be a true shade of gray in the real world. So it could be that the top of these awnings right here is white, which is a shade of gray, and if so, when I click there, what it's going to do is it's gonna see if that area truly is a shade of gray. If instead it's too blue, it's not truly gray, it's bluish-gray, then it's gonna move the slider over there for white balance away from blue. If it was too magenta in this area to make it gray, it will move the other white balance slider away from magenta. But when I click here, it's gonna change the look of my picture. And if the look of my picture does not improve, it means the area that I clicked on was not truly a shade of gray. It could be that those awnings have been installed there for decades and they're dirty, it's really brownish in there, and if so, it's going to not get a good reading. So I'm gonna come in here, and if there's a flag with some white on it, I'm gonna attempt to click on it. I get this little zoomed-in version, so I can see am I about to click on that yellow portion of the flag, or I'm about to click on the blue, is there any way to get to a white area and click? I can come down here, there's a white sign, click on it, see if it improves the image. And in the end, I end up going around the image to multiple areas if I have 10 different areas that look like they could be a shade of gray, I might click 10 times, but in the end, I'm gonna try to figure out which one makes the image's colors look the most natural. And I'm only trying to click on things that would be a shade of gray in real life. Now you're gonna find with this eyedropper, with default settings, I think if you click on your picture like if I click right here, that eyedropper is gonna automatically return to its little storage spot over here. Right now, I have to go there and click to say I'm done with it. And so if it automatically puts it back every single time you click, it'll be hard to experiment. So when you're in the white balance tool at the bottom of your screen right down here, there's a choice called auto dismiss, and I think that's turned on by default. I turn it off. With it turned off, it means don't put this eyedropper back, ever, let me do it. And therefore, I grab it once, I can come around here and try the plastic bag that I think is white, and try that card that's there. And whatever I don't like, I always go back to whatever looks most appropriate. Then this zoomed-up version you see here that's near my mouse, that's there only because there's a checkbox near the lower left turned on, it's called show loupe. And if I turn on show loupe, that's when I get the zoomed-in version. If you don't like that, just turn off the check box and you don't have it. When you have show loupe turned on, you can control how much it's zoomed in on your picture. I find it's often zoomed in too much to the useful, and so down here is a slider called scale, and I could scale it, so now those pixels are bigger, like this, or go the other direction, and now they're small. And that helps you tell am I truly clicking on the white of the sign, or am I getting the red letters that are on it? 'Cause we can look at that zoomed-in version. But in the end, when I'm clicking with this tool, it's just moving the temperature and tint sliders, and it's just saying hey, what you're clicking on, we're assuming should be a shade of gray, and if we find blue in it, we're gonna move the slider away from blue. If we find magenta in that area, we're gonna move this away from magenta and tell that is truly a shade of gray, and that should improve the entire picture when we do. So three ways of changing the white balance. One is moving these sliders manually. In the end, that's what I almost always do to finish this, but if I'm not sure where to start with them, I might pick a preset from here. If I know the kind of lighting, then I might start from one of those, and then fine-tune with these two sliders. Or if I see anything in my picture that looks like it's white or a shade of gray, I'm gonna use the white balance eyedropper, move it on top of my image and click on those various areas until I find what's best. You're gonna find that Lightroom will occasionally complain to you that it cannot use an area, and that's if an area is ever truly white, meaning it has absolutely no detail whatsoever, 'cause it can't measure a color in something that's not bright. So it might complain on occasion, and then you'll have to look for a darker area to click on. But at this point, I look at this, and I just move my temperature and tint and say, well, maybe I need a little bit warmer from what I got with that eyedropper, that kind of thing. And if you don't know what the lighting was and there's nothing in the image that should be gray and you're having difficulty figuring out what settings to use, which can happen, let's just switch to a different image so you don't have to stare at the same one the whole time. Let's say I have this image, and I'm just not certain, and maybe there wasn't a white sign up here to click on, maybe there weren't white cages over here, maybe there weren't these white bags, maybe he wasn't wearing white, there's usually all sorts of things to click on with that eyedropper, but if for some reason there wasn't, then here's what you can do. Take the saturation slider that's down here and crank it up really high. Then adjust temperature and tint. The colors will look way too colorful, but it's usually easier to figure out when you have too much yellow or you have too much blue when the colors are all amped up. And you want to move it so that the colors separate the most, meaning you can see a distinct difference between the colors, whereas over here, they all look yellow, over here they all look blue. It's somewhere in between, the colors will separate the most and that's usually closest to the best setting. Then do the same thing for the other sliders. This will be way too magenta, this will be way too green. Somewhere in between, the colors will separate the most, where they look the most distinctly different from each other. And oftentimes, that will be close to an ideal setting. Once you're done, put saturation back down so the color's normal now. And then you might fine-tune it, you might just say I want it just a little bit warmer so it feels like a warm day, that kind of thing. All right, so those are two of the sliders, those are designed for doing color correction. The vast majority of the time, I try to use this little eyedropper tool to do so. And in fact, we do things to try to make sure that there's always gray in our pictures. Let's see if I have an example here. Yep, right here. I forced my wife to have this on her camera bag. And I'm usually with my wife walking around when I'm taking pictures. I have one of these on my camera bag as well. And that makes it so I can always turn to Karen and take a picture of her, and it'll include that little card, and she can do the same and take a picture of me, and what we want is just to make sure that whatever light would be falling on the main subject of a photograph that I'm about to take is also falling on that. So if it's by candlelight, we need to get her to stay near a candle before I photograph this. If it's out under a blue sky, I don't want her standing in the shade when I take a picture I want her under that same blue sky light so that that little card is being illuminated by the same light that's falling on the scene that I'm photographing. And if that's the case, I'm gonna click on this little card with the white balance eyedropper, 'cause this is truly gray. It's not yellowish or bluish or pinkish, I'm not guessing, this is designed for that exact purpose. And if you look at it, here's the name, WhiBal. You can Google that. That's just one brand, there's other brands for 'em. I like this particular one because they're durable, they're plastic, whereas many other ones are more like paper. If they got rained on, they'd be ruined. But anyway, that's what I can use, so what you end up doing is here's our WhyBal card shot in the exact same environment as this photograph. So I select both images, I'll click on one and I'll hold shift to get the other. Whenever you have more than one image selected, you'll find one is what they call more selected, meaning the area surrounding the picture is brighter. You see this surround is brighter than that. That means this is the picture we're gonna see when you go to the develop module, and if I clicked on this one, you'd see its surrounding got brighter. Whichever surrounding is brightest is what we're gonna see when we develop. Then I grab my eyedropper, and if I'm gonna click on that to measure what was going on with the color in this image, and it's gonna use it to get to white balance just right, the only thing I need to do is make sure in the lower right of my screen that this is turned on. You see this little light switch? Make sure it's in the up position. What that means is if that's in the up position, any change I make to this image will affect all the other images I currently have selected. So if I click right here and it adjusts the white balance for me, it just adjusted the white balance for not just this picture but also the other one I had selected. But you're not gonna notice a dramatic difference in this particular case color-wise, but it's a nice way to get the colors to look good without having to guess. Instead, you use a little reference. And that's called a WhyBal card. And my wife has one on her camera bag, and I always have one on mine. And most of the time, I even have one in my wallet 'cause you never know when you're gonna need one. And make sure that the exact same light that's falling on your subject is falling on that reference, and then you can use it to adjust your white balance. All right, let's talk about the other sliders that are related to color. We have done temperature and tint, that's white balance, that's for color correction. Now we have vibrance and saturation. Well, both vibrance and saturation will either make your image look more colorful if you move it towards the right, or less colorful if you move it towards the left. For instance, with saturation, if you bring it all the way down, you won't have any color. And if you bring it all the way up, you'll have nuclear color. So what's the difference between the two? Well, saturation treats all colors equally. Every single color in your image, it's an equal boost in how colorful it is when you turn it up. And the problem is, things can only become so colorful before you can't get any further than that. Let's just say for instance that this red area here was getting really close to as colorful as it could possibly be, maybe somewhere around here, If I continue to move the saturation slider higher, since this can't become any more colorful, it's just not possible, it's at its limit, same with possibly this green one up here, the only thing that can happen to get that to become more colorful is to throw the detail away. And so suddenly, that would become a large, solid area of green, or red in the other case. And so you can get what's called saturation clipping, and that means the detail disappears in wherever it's really colorful. That's a view of saturation. But I might to move saturation up, and let's say something else, like this red that's right in here hasn't reached its full potential yet, and I really wish I'd move saturation even higher. But doing so is going to make other areas max out and lose detail. That's what can happen, and that's why we have vibrance. Vibrance is more sophisticated. It doesn't treat everything equally. Instead, what it does is it makes the image more colorful. But the moment something gets near its extreme, its maximum of how colorful it could be before the detail goes away, it'll stop working on those areas, and it will adjust the rest of the picture instead. And so as you bring up vibrance, in some ways, you could think of it as what should happen to the mellow colors? Should we emphasize those mellow colors, or if you move it the opposite direction, should we mellow 'em out? I have found a lot of people just totally ignore saturation, they don't touch it at all, and they just move vibrance. And so if they want the image more colorful, they move to the right. And if they want it less colorful, they move it to the left. But for me personally, I use them both. Let's see if we can find an example. Okay, here's a image. In this case, if you think about what is already colorful in the picture, I would say it is the green that's up here where this top of the tree is, and there's a little bit of color in my wife's skin tone that's here, but the majority the rest of the photograph doesn't have very much color. And right now, vibrance and saturation have already been adjusted, let me reset them. If I bring up saturation, everything is going to get more colorful, and eventually, this green is gonna look artificial. So I might need to back off on that until maybe only about that far before that green starts looking artificial. If I go to vibrance instead, once this gets near its max, it's gonna stop adjusting that, but it's gonna continue going with the rest. So if I bring up vibrance, you're gonna find I'm gonna be able to get the color to come out of this wall quite a bit. And the greens don't get overdone. But I like to move both of the sliders off and let's see what we can do about that. I can take two approaches. I can either say I want the color in the wall to really come out, meaning the mellow colors to be exaggerated, or I want to do the opposite, I don't want any color that's in the wall to distract, and I decide that by moving vibrance. So let's try 'em both. First, I'm gonna max out vibrance as high as it goes, then you see the color in the wall really coming out. But then, I'm going to adjust saturation in the opposite direction and just say, well, what do I want that wall to look like now? I might bring it down a little bit. So there's one version of my image. So that's where we're exaggerating the mellow colors. So if you look at this kind of stone area around here, I see the browns in it, I see the browns up in here, I see some blue in the sky. Now let's do the opposite, let's try to mellow out mellow colors. I'll take vibrance and turn it all the way down. Let's say make the mellow colors less colorful, and then I'm gonna move saturation in the opposite direction until that tree comes to where I want it to be. Maybe somewhere right around there. Now if you look at it, I can't tell with this stone really what color it is at all. I can't see much of anything in this wall with the exception of maybe the tiniest bit right there where some rust was coming out. I only see color where the green tree is, and a little bit of my wife's skin tone. And it's not that I move it to these extremes all the time. But on occasion, I do. The way I think about it in general though is this. I look at the image and I say what should happen to the mellow colors? Do I want to emphasize them to make them stand out, or do I want them to be second class where they just can't notice the mellow colors all that much? And I move the vibrance to control that. If I want the mellow colors to be emphasized, I'll turn vibrance up. If I want the mellow colors to be mellower, I turn it down. After doing so, then I move saturation, that's just an overall color control to say okay, then how colorful of I want everything else? And that's how I think about those two. So in the basic panel here, we've been looking at quite a few adjustments. We looked at it in two parts. We looked at the total adjustments. Those are the things that can brighten the darken and add contrast, and then we've looked at the color, but most of the time, you need both. So I would love to be able to return to the other images that I adjusted. The ones that looked too green when I was done 'cause I would have done white balance on them to make it less green, would have looked better in the image, and on each one of them, I would have adjusted vibrance and saturation as well to control how colorful they are because some of them were too colorful when I was done, and I really wish I would have been able to have control over it, but we just hadn't talked about that feature yet. Now, there's one other section in here we haven't gotten to, and it's something that has had a recent change in Lightroom. So if you haven't updated your version of Lightroom recently then you're gonna find that you might not have this particular feature, so let's take a look. I'm gonna just choose an image. Go to the develop module, so we're looking at this one, and just one change. All right, here is the new change area. And that is, right up here is a choice called profile. And there, you're gonna find a pop-up menu, and what's contained in your pop-up menu might look different than mine 'cause these are was known as favorites. And I might have sent different ones as my favorites than what yours is. But this is not a new concept, the concept of a profile. In fact, every image you've ever adjusted in Lightroom or in Adobe Camera Raw has used a profile, it's just they moved where it was located. It used to be that it was found down here in an area that few people ventured into called calibration. And they found that just too few people used it, so they moved it, they took it away from calibration and they put it up here. But then, since they were spending time on that, they decided to also improve it and add new features to it. So let's take a brief look at what the profile does. The profile affects the overall color rendering in your image, and also the contrast. It's similar to buying different brands of film for a film camera. Remember how you could buy Fujifilm or you could buy Kodak film, or if it's black and white, you buy Ilford? And each brand would give you a different renditions of the colors. You might be able to buy one brand of film that amped-up blue skies and green grass, and that was great for your landscapes. And then there might have been a different brand of film that you preferred to use for portraits, because with portraits, that one that you'd use for landscapes, the colors would look unnatural for skin, so you'd use a different feature, or a different brand of film. And a lot of people to do that, switch between them, depending on what they needed. It would change the overall rendering of the image, the way the colors are rendered and a bit about the contrast, and that's exactly profile does. So when I click on this menu, these are presets, and I'll show you how to change what's listed there. You can think of them as just your favorites of what you, I shouldn't call them presets, they're favorites, you can choose what's here. Then if you choose browse, it does the same thing as clicking these little four squares that are up here, you can do either one to browse. When you choose browse, this whole panel that's over here is gonna get taken over with a browser. And let's take a look at what we can do. First, here are my favorites, but it shows them visually. So instead of seeing them as just a name, it shows me how would they affect my picture? I can collapse that down by clicking this little triangle if I want. Then we have different sections in here. This section in here are what you could call camera profiles. And these you have to pick something in here in general, meaning every image you've ever adjusted in Lightroom has had something picked in here, there's no such thing as none when it comes to that. And so let's take a look at what's in here. First, down here, is an area called legacy. These are ones they used to have in older versions of Lightroom, and they just want you to make sure you could still create the same look, so that's what we have there. Here, we have camera matching. And that is if you ever shot in a camera set to JPEG mode, so you're getting JPEG file format images, in your camera, there are settings that control what those JPEGs look like, and these would be the names of the settings you can choose in your camera. This particular image, I'm not sure, I'm assuming it was shot on a Canon. Yeah, this is a Canon. So in a Canon camera, if you go into the menu system for the camera, I think it's called picture style, if I get to that, I'd have the choice of faithful, landscape, neutral, portrait or standard, and it would affect the way my JPEGs look. Well, if I want to get the same look that one of those settings when I captured a JPEG would produce, I can choose it right here, and I should get a look that closely matches it. That's what that's for. That's why it's called camera matching. And therefore, if you switch from shooting with a Canon camera to shoot with a Nikon, the choices that are here will be different, same with shooting with Olympus or a Sony because each manufacturer puts different settings in the menu system. So that's what camera matching is for. Then here, there's a choice called Adobe Raw. And this is where Adobe came up with choices that it thinks are more ideal. And so if I hover over one of these, watch the picture, you'll see it changed the image. And it changes the color rendering that we get. So in here, Adobe finds that this one would be better for landscapes 'cause it's gonna make blues more saturated and greens more saturated, it's gonna do things to colors that typically appear in landscapes. There's one called portrait, which is usually gonna render skin tones better. There's one called vivid if you have something that doesn't have people in it and you want the colors to really stand out. And there's also one called neutral, which is gonna give you a mellow version of your picture that if you're really gonna tweak it a lot, you don't want it to start with a lot of adjustments to begin with, you could use. So you need to pick one of these, or one will have already been chosen for you, which is simply the default. And if I go to the upper right corner of any one of these previews, you'll find a star up here. It's only when your mouse is on top of it. If you click there, you're gonna add that to your favorites. And your favorites is what showed up in that menu that I showed you previously, where I said you would have a different list than what I did, so you can mark your favorites by just clicking in that corner. So that's gonna affect the overall look of your image. It'd be nice of you to investigate those, maybe go through about a dozen pictures of various varieties and experiment with them to see which one you prefer, and then you would know which one you might want to use on a regular basis. But in here, there are some other sections that we haven't gone through, and that's this section right here are for more creative uses of this technology. And so in here, let's say I wanted a black and white version of my picture. Well here, it's gonna show me a lot of starting points for black and white, and if I hover over them, you'll see my image changing, and I can try to figure out which one I think makes this image look its best. And then I would use that one to start with. Then I'm gonna use Lightroom's adjustment sliders to fine-tune the result. You also have here one called vintage, which is to get more of a faded look to your photos so it actually looks old and the colors won't be rendered quite as nice 'cause that's a popular look. And there's also one here called modern which gives you choices that are popular these days. This isn't always the best image to be looking at, you should look at a variety of images to decide what you'd like to use. Also, you can purchase these and add additional ones so that somebody can come up with a creative look for a picture and save it out as a profile, and then you can purchase it from them and load it in here to get different looks within your image. So I'm gonna choose this choice here called close, and that brings me back to the adjustment sliders I had before, and what I'd say in general is after you've experimented a bit with this area called profiles, you'll get used to it, you can find your favorites, there'll be two or three of them that you use all the time. Maybe you use the portrait one and the vivid the most. Then you want to mark them as your favorites, so it'll be found right here, and therefore, you can switch between vivid and portrait depending on the image you're working on. And then when you end up with an image that you have difficulties with, just the colors don't render the way that you like, they just look off a bit, then you're gonna probably use that as one of your adjustment choices. So maybe when I was in this image here, I found that I just couldn't get the colors to really separate the way I want it to, so I'm gonna decide well, instead of using the default here of Adobe standard, I'm gonna go over here and browse and see as an alternative, might I want to come in here and try out one of these others? Just hover over each one, see how the colors are rendered, see if one of them gives me a better look, and if it does, click on it. So you can apply it, and if you're gonna use it a lot, turn on the star in the upper right corner to add it to your favorites. But that is a new functionality that Adobe has added. And the ones though that, there's always been a profile, it just was found under the area called calibration, it's just this area in here where you have more creative choices. And Adobe has added some new choices in here, and they moved it to a more prominent location. One last thing about profiles, if you work with the profiles that are in this section, not the ones up here, but the ones in this general section here, if you come in and choose any one of these, let's say I come in here and choose Modern 01 and I click, then you can also control how strong it is. After clicking on this one to actually apply it, right up here will be an amount slider, and if I want to amp it up even more, I can move it to the right, or if it's too much, I can move it to the left. So remember, that is only true of the profiles that are found in between these two horizontal lines in this section right here, or ones you've added yourself down here might have that available. The ones in this section do not have a slider to control how much. So profiles, it wasn't something I'd love to spend this much time talking about, but it's something new and different that they've added, so I thought I'd spend a little bit of extra time on it. Like I say, I think you'll find your favorites. You'll put them in this list, you'll switch between them, and then I'll primarily explore that when I either want a creative look on my picture, or I have a really challenging image where I can't quite get the colors look right, so that's what I'm gonna go in there and actually browse those and experiment. This has been our little exploration of the basic adjustments. And now, question, how many of your images can you really rescue using just the controls we talked about here on screen? If you think about, we looked at only one panel, called the basic panel. There's a bunch in there, and if you're brand new to ever using Lightroom or even Photoshop, it can be a huge number of sliders to get used to, but if you practice, especially with the homework that you'll end up getting for this lesson, and you get used to how to think about the individual sliders, you can rescue or improve just about any kind of image you run into, with very few exceptions. Now your homework actually, if you purchased the class, will be a catalog of images that you are supposed to adjust. They're challenging images. There'll be some that are too dark, some that are too bright, some that are low in contrast. And if you go through and actually learn how to improve all those images, then you should get pretty good at those adjustments sliders before you actually need to use them on your own images. There will be also a Facebook challenge image that I'll put out, and therefore, you can post your result, like after you're done adjusting images, you can export the picture and upload that JPEG to the comments on the post, and you can compare your results to what other people get, so be sure to check out the Facebook group if you'd like to work on the challenge image. Now, we still have 16 days left. We're just getting started. This was a basic panel. There's a lot more to learn about when it comes to adjusting your images and organizing them. We're still gonna end up going through keywording, which is gonna allow us to get our images to be searchable. We still need to learn about printing. We're gonna learn about advanced adjustments when these aren't enough. We're gonna learn about troubleshooting, and much more. Tomorrow though, I'm gonna tell you how to create finalized files so you can share them with other people as maybe TIFF files or JPEGs that have the adjustments incorporated, and we'll talk about printing. But before then, head over to the Facebook group. That's where everybody talks about the lesson. That's where if you have questions about the lesson, comments or examples of what, maybe you have a challenge image yourself you want to discuss, you can do it over on the Facebook group. If you purchased the class, know that you can actually pause me, and you can rewind me, and you can play me back. You can pause and try a technique and then rewind it to watch it again, and it's a much better way of learning than just watching it while streaming. Also, you get a handbook, where instead of having to watch a video or just use your memory or your notes, we've documented it for you, the details to steps. There's a whole bunch of extras you get by purchasing. Well, if you want to find me online, here are the various areas you can go to to see me on social media. But this has been another day of Lightroom Classic: The Complete Guide. I hope to see you next time.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Week 1 Workbook
Week 1 Homework
Week 2 Workbook
Week 2 Homework
Week 3 Workbook
Week 3 Homework
Week 4 Workbook
Week 4 Homework
Week 4 Catalog
Develop Presets
Develop Presets Pre 7.3
Lightroom Endmarks
Develop Presets Guide
Lightroom Keywords Guide
Lightroom Keywords Sampler
Lightroom Endmarks Guide
Ben's Smart Collections
Lightroom Classic Q&A (very large 3+ gb zip file)

Ratings and Reviews

fbuser 199e5619

Just wow! Ben is such an amazing instructor - he is able to explain everything very succinctly and in just enough detail that your eyes don't start glazing over. I've used Photoshop for over 20 years and have been afraid (and didn't really want to learn yet another program) of using Lightroom, until I've heard how awesome it is from my fellow photographer friends. This course is extremely comprehensive and if you're a more experienced user, you can skip some of the lessons and just watch the ones you want - but even experienced users might get at least a few nuggets of information that they didn't know in every lesson. Highly recommend! And thank you, Ben. P.S. You're wife and her yoga poses are amazing. I just got into yoga a few months ago and can only hope to be half as good as she is! :o)


I was taking a lightroom course from another provider and decided to give Creative live a shot as I wasn't happy with the other class. This class blows that one out of the water! I love the detailed instructions, he goes at a good pace and I love the transcription (I didn't even know that was there until I scrolled down). I would definitely recommend this class to anyone wanting to learn lightroom. Thank you Ben for giving this great class!


I have been searching for something to help me with my images. I am fairly confident with my ability to take nice photos but sometimes they need help. I might actually enjoy editing now!

Student Work