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Basic Adjustments

Lesson 3 from: Developing and Global Adjustments in Adobe Lightroom Classic

Jared Platt

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Lesson Info

3. Basic Adjustments

Lesson Info

Basic Adjustments

now, once we have chosen a profile for all of our images, Now we can go into the white balance and start working on the actual white balance. If you do the white balance first and then you choose a profile, it'll change the way the image looks. And so it makes more sense to start with the profile, which is why it's on top and then choose the white balance. In our case, you could click on the white Balance dropper here, and then you could go and click on something that's a known white, black or grey. Problem is, there's not a lot of white anything in this photo or gray anything in this photo. So instead, I'm just going to do it by feel. And I'm just going to grab onto the temperature and I'm gonna move that around till I like what it feels like. And then I'm gonna grab the temperature, and I'm gonna play around with that until I like what it looks like. Now. A lot of times people ask me, How do you get good at white balance? Because some people just like I can't do it. I have a hard tim...

e with it. Some people are color blind, and there's no chance that they're going to get it right. They just have to do it until they like what it looks like. And who knows what other people will see? See it like. But the rial way toe work on white balance is to treat it like you would focus. So as a photographer, when you're looking through a lens and you want to obtain focus, you do it by going past focus and then coming back. This is assuming that you actually have manually focused your camera. There's a lot of auto focus going on, and so maybe you haven't ever auto manually focus your camera, but try it. Take your camera and and manually focus and go from from close. Focus toe far focus and pass the thing that you're trying to focus on. So when you're trying to critically focus on something, it's out of focus, and then you turn the barrel and it goes in focus, and then it goes out of focus again. And then it goes in focus and out of focus, and you're just kind of going back and forth between focus and not focus. And so as you pass focus, that's when you realize what focus looks like. And it's the same thing with temperature intent as you pass into That's to read, or a to magenta or to green. Then you see, oh, I now I see where the the line is. You have to actually pass that line. So my advice is, just take your slider and go back and forth. Do wide swings and and you'll see Well, that's obviously way too green. And that's obviously way too magenta. And just keep sliding past it until you find when it's not objectionable anymore, especially with with magenta and green, both are objectionable. So if it's to magenta or to green, it looks bad. So just keep going back and forth and and slide until you until you can see that's too much. That's too much. And right in there it's the same way that you were work with focus. So just think of that concept when you're working on white balance and I think you'll get it right and fill experiment, play with it like don't don't spend a second at on each photo for the rest of your life. and not get it right. Spend a couple 20 minutes really playing with temperature intent for on a couple photos until you feel like Wow, Now I really got this. I can see what that looks like, and then from then on out, you'll feel a little bit better about it. So if if you're having trouble with white focus or white balance, that's the way to do it. Okay, Um, once you have your white balance, then you've got your exposure. Contrast highlights shadows, whites, blacks, all of these air, your basic adjustments and these basic adjustments can be seen on the hissed a gram to. In fact, if I flow over the hissed a gram, there is actually a arrow with a line in between them, and I can actually adjust the hissed a gram rather than adjusting these sliders. So if I went over the mid range here, you'll notice that the exposure knob here So watch as I go over this the exposure knob, see how the exposure not gets highlighted. So right now it's a plus 0.3, and as I flow over, it highlights that particular area in the basic adjustments because it's showing you that if I were to click right now and drag, it would start moving the exposure knob. So let me zoom out so you can see what that looks like. I can actually grab the hissed a gram, and I can shift the exposure, which is the mid range stuff right there. And I can shift it until it looks right. And then I could go in and grab the blacks right here at the very bottom and grab it and I can move it up or down until I like it. And then I congrats the shadows and bring them down, get a little richer, and I can go up to the highlights here. I can pull those down a little bit, and then I could go into the whites and really pull him down, bring him up. But all of that could be done at the history Graham level. So if you don't like the idea of hunting and trying toe, you know, grab onto one of these little small sliders and you want a more relaxed field. Just go to the history Ram and dragged the hissed a gram around and you'll do the same exact thing. But the important thing is, and I think it's really important to actually play with this to Graham is so that you can see what is actually being affected in what area. So the exposure knob is where most facial skin tones exist. So because that's all that mid range, that's that kind of zone five area on people. And it's it's where most of the activity exists when you're adjusting an image and so that a lot of people take the shadow and they think, Oh, well, because the person is standing looking at me and the sun is behind him and they're in their own shadow. They think I should adjust the shadow and bring it up until their face looks nice, which is the total wrong way to do it. Because there they have to take the shadow way up to the very top and actually create like, a lot of noise in order to get the face to brighten up. And the reason they're doing it wrong, because all of that data is actually in the exposure knob, because that's what represents the mid tones of the image. So take a look at those and as you flow over any of these controls. Contrast are not a contrast, but exposure. Highlight shadow, whites and blacks. When you hover over those, it will actually show you by highlighting in the history. Graham, what area of the history ram is being covered? So here's my methodology for working on images, um, inside of the basic area. And I'm actually going to go to an image that doesn't have a special effect on it right now, just so that you can see a fairly normal image being edited this way. So the first thing that I look for and let's just reset this so that it's completely normal. This is exactly what the image looked like from the beginning. So I am going to first thing I'm gonna do is come in and say, I want a profile to be portrait, and it's slightly changes the colors so that they're not quite as rich. And then I'm gonna go in and change my white balance so that I have the right color there. So I like that color. I like the way it looks. Now. I'm gonna go into the exposure. The first thing I'm gonna do is bring that exposure up, see how it's working on her face tones. That's what I'm looking for. I'm looking for I'm a portrait and wedding photographer. So I photographed people, lot, lot of lifestyle, work, stuff like that. If you happen to be a landscape photographer, look for the thing that the middle of the road thing, the thing that's in the middle of the of your history, and that's what you're looking for. So you're looking for that one area for me. It's the face, and I want it to be exposed right. I like the way that looks. It's exposed nicely, and so now, once I've got that exposure, I actually like to take the contrast down. A lot of people keep pushing the contrast up, but if you take the contrast down, you actually make it smoother. So it's a nicer look, especially with portrait's. It tends to even out skin a little bit better. It makes everybody look a little softer and nicer, so a little negative contrast is a good thing. Aan den. The highlights is that's where you're going to recover a lot of the data that you're losing in a sky or right on the edges of someone's hair, stuff like that. So, like, right here, there's some data being lost on this side of her shoulder. And if I hit the Jakey, it will show me where it's blowing out. So that's a highlight warning. And so if I take my highlights down, see, I'm recovering that data and you can see that there's more information. Some of this stuff is just lost forever, but most of it can be recovered, and it and it looks pretty good there. So I recovered that shoulder pretty well. But that's the highlights job, and then shadows job is like that hat. So the brim of her hat is in the shadow, and that bag of hers is the shadow. So I'm gonna bring it up just a little bit so that I have some detail in there. And then I usually leave the white alone like I don't even touch the white most of the time and I'll take the black down so that I get some nice, richer tones in some of the areas, like right here and in her eyes and on her, you know, eyebrows and and right here, you know, right at the edge of things where their shadows. That's where I want the black to be. And it's interesting because we think of black as black, but it's actually when we think of shadows. Usually we're thinking of things in the black category. So the black category here the black slider usually controls what you might think of as the the deeper Shadows. So once I've got an image like that and it looks pretty good, that's when I'll go back to the white. And the white is a great way to just kind of add a little bit of a pop. So if I like the image, but I wish it was just a little bit more vibrant a little bit more, uh, it popped out at you a little bit better. Then I'll take the white and I'll bring it up just a little bit. And that helps to just kind of bring out some of the highlights on her cheek. It brings out some of the highlights on her shoulder notice that it starts to blow that out again, but I'm OK with that, because if I turned that off, that doesn't look bad at all. so I'm OK with it. I could furthermore come. I can further come back to the highlights and try and pull them down a little bit more. But I'm OK with where it is, so we'll just leave it there.

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