Adobe® Lightroom® CC Photo Editing: The Complete Guide


Lesson Info

Fine-tuning Tone, Color, Vignetting and Haze

Welcome back for another session in Lightroom CC Photo Editing. Let's first, if you just happened to tune in now, know that we're in the middle of a 20 day long class on Lightroom and we've gone through a lot so far. So let's take a look at what we covered thus far. First, the very first week we were going through these sessions we tried to create a firm foundation of how to think about Lightroom. That means we gave you an overview of really how it works behind the scenes, we talked about exactly what your workflow is from start to finish, and then we got into concepts like how many catalogs should you work with, one of them or multiple? We talked about a whole bunch of features from adjustments to exporting to printing to collections. But we didn't stop there, we went into week two. On the first day of week two we talked about organizing your images and working on projects and that's where we learned how to most effectively use features like collections, flagging, filters, and stacks.

After that, the next day we made our images searchable by being able to tag them with various words that we could search for later on. And by doing keywords it made it so we were able to find our images very easily. On the third day, we talked about isolated adjustments where if you only need to work on a small isolated area of your image to retouch it, adjust it, crop it, whatever you needed to. On the fourth day, we talked about dealing with noise reduction and distortion. And if you think about it we're not even halfway done. We still have 11 days left out of our 20. So today what are we gonna talk about? Well today is all about fine-tuning tone and color also working with vignetting and haze reduction so it's really how to, once you've done the basics on your image and you got it looking okay, how do you now really polish it off to make it look just much more refined than you can get with the basic controls? So we're gonna drop right into Lightroom so you can spend as much time as possible there and let's get started. We're gonna start talking about a feature in Lightroom called HSL and HSL stands for Hue, Saturation, and Lightness and you can define a color using those three words if you'd like to and we can adjust those colors individually. So let's see what we can accomplish. I'm gonna just pick an image, go into the Develop module, and on the right side I'm gonna go to the area called HSL. And that's where at the top I'm gonna see the headings of Hue, Saturation, and Luminance. Luminance is just another word for lightness or brightness if you're not used to Luminance. When I am in here you're going to see sliders for various colors. We have red, orange, yellow, green, aqua, blue, purple, and magenta. We can isolate things in our image that are those various colors and adjust them. I find the most useful way for adjusting them is not to come in here and just grab one of these sliders and move it back and forth, but instead to click on this little circle, I call it a donut, and if you click on that it means that Lightroom will figure out which slider should be moved when you move your mouse on top of your picture and click on something. So I'm gonna move my mouse on top of my picture and click on this red kayak that's here and then I'm gonna drag up or down. And you notice that when I do that it changes everything that was red in this picture when I drag up to orange and when I drag down to a little bit more of a purplish pink kinda color. But it's trying to isolate everything of the color that I clicked on. Then I can come over here to this green kayak and if I drag down or drag up I can fine-tune the exact color and that's because on the right side of my screen I'm currently working on what's known as the Hue and Hue means basic color. So I can change the basic color of anything that's in this picture. And as I did that, when I moved on top of one of these objects, like let's say clicking on this yellow one or the one over on the far left possibly, and I moved it, if you watched on the right side of my screen all it was doing was moving some sliders for me, but instead of moving only one slider at a time it looked at the area that I clicked on and this kayak might've been primarily yellow, but it had a hint of orange in it so it moved the yellow slider the most, but it moved the orange slider a little bit as well in order to try to properly target it. So after adjusting Hue, let's come over here and click on the word Saturation. And you see that Saturation has not been adjusted yet and Saturation indicates how colorful things are. So let's say that I don't like the text that's in the background. Do you see the blue text in the background? And I don't mind if we lose the color in some of the blue kayaks that are here 'cause there are only a few and they're not all that colorful to begin with. So I'm gonna move my mouse up here to the blue text, I'm gonna click, and I'm gonna drag down and it's gonna make that less colorful. And I might make it so you just can't tell that I made it black and white so I'm looking for, what's the lowest setting before you really notice I did something? And maybe that's about here at negative 50. And that makes it so it's a little less noticeable what was there. Or I can also go to other things in here as long as I don't work on blue items. Maybe I work on the greens and I see what happens if I pump up the Saturation by dragging up after clicking on a green object. Finally, I can go over here to Luminance and Luminance just means brightness. And so if I wanna take all of the orangish things and darken them, I click on orange and I drag downward. Whenever you darken something it will usually become more colorful so you gotta be careful with that. So if you've already finely adjusted the Saturation, if you darken anything know that it's gonna become even more saturated so you might need to go back and fine-tune the Saturation. So maybe I'll go to the blues and see what happens if I darken or lighten them to make that sign, again, in the background a little less noticeable. Maybe lighten it up. If you wanna see before and after, we have the little light switch like icon to the left of the letters HSL and if I turn that off you can see this is what we started with and you can see how radically we've transformed things. But the problem with this is you're not able to truly isolate objects. It's generically thinking about these colors. So when I turn this light switch off and on, if I ignore the kayaks and I look on the right side of the photograph where I see some greenery that's over here, when I turn it off there used to be kinda yellowish flowers and brownish kinda areas over there and those have been shifted to red because of the changes we've made and if I look on the far left here there's a railing near the left side of the photograph that had just a little hint of maybe redness or yellow in it and if I turn my light switch back on it's a little almost distractingly red. So you gotta be careful. I wish there was something in here where it also had the choice of brush. If you remember when we worked with other features in other sessions, sometimes we had the choice of brush where we could erase away certain areas and I hope that one day we have that here so I could erase away the areas that I just didn't wanna change. So you do have to be careful when you're working with this. But let's look at other examples of when this can be useful and some little tricks we might use when using it. Here I have a picture of the Northern Lights that I took when I was in Iceland and if you look at this image you'll see that the Northern Lights themselves are green, but then the sky surrounding it has a little bit of a purple feel. Can you see just a hint of purple in the rest of the sky? Well if I wanna bring out that purple, I could decide, what would I like to do? Brighten it, make it more colorful, or actually shift its color? Those would be my choices when I switch between Hue, Saturation, and Luminance. In this case I'll try Saturation. I'll click on the little donut icon, go for my sky, and see what happens if I drag that up. See if I can make it more pronounced or drag it down to make it less pronounced. Maybe I want the whole sky to look more greenish or something so it blends together. I'll try Luminance and I'll see what happens if I end up trying to brighten that up or darken it. I mainly see it in the upper right corner. I can try Hue as well and see if I wanna be able to try to shift it there and when I shift it I think I can make it separate more where it looks more like almost a pinkish sky near the top. I can also work on this area. Maybe I wanna go to Saturation and then just see if I can get away with more, but I think that's a little overdoing it when I put in more. So, anyway, we can fine-tune. Let's go to a few other images. This image has already been adjusted. The main thing was there were yellow chili peppers in here, red ones, and orange ones and it was somewhat difficult to see the difference between things like a yellow and an orange. So if you look at what I've done here with the sliders, in general I moved similar colors in opposite directions. So if I make the red things less colorful while at the same time making orange ones more colorful, usually there'll be more of a separation between the two. Sometimes I'll do the same thing under Hue, moving these in opposite directions to get more separation between colors. And then I might fine-tune things under Luminance. But let's look at the collective difference. Here I'll turn off the little checkbox so you can see before and then turn it back on and look at how much the yellow objects, yellows and oranges kinda pop out. Now you gotta be careful, though, if you make relatively radical changes with this, especially if you have areas that are out of focus. If you have out of focus areas, that means it's an area where one color most likely smoothly blended into another and that's where you can end up seeing some artifacts. So if I click up near the top of this image, up in here I can start getting kind of weird looking things. Let's see if it's, here it looked a little bit more realistic where those were just kinda highlights on things, but after they became more pronounced and distinctive where I don't like them quite as much. So don't always look at the image zoomed out all the way and if you have any areas that are out of focus where the colors would more smoothly blend together, make sure you haven't lost too much of that smooth transition. Just other examples of when this could be useful, multicolored. You can fine-tune the color of each one of these areas. Here you can fine-tune. In this case what I did is if I turn this off, when I was done adjusting this image I thought it was almost perfect, but then I noticed on these little leaves that are here, the blue sky that was above was coming down and adding just a hint of blue and there's a little bit of blue over in this area. So I went to the HSL sliders, and under Saturation I just said, "Hey, make the blues less colorful." And it made it so I didn't notice the blues on the reflection of those little leaves. So sometimes it's a more subtle change like that. Whenever you have fall color, if you wanna be able to see more separation between those colors, kinda make a big S in this where they're just moving them in opposite directions so that they're getting a little more separation between them. Also, go to Luminance and fine-tune the brightness. What happens to the, should I make the yellows more bright so they stand out a little bit more? Maybe make the oranges a little darker so then yellow and orange separates. So experiment. If I turn this off versus on. In this case the blue sky was also adjusted. You can get really fancy if you want and if you go to Saturation, look what I did here. If you bring the Saturation all the way down to negative 100, that means make it black and white. So here I said make everything black and white except for blue and purple. And there's just a reflection on this side that made this side a little bit purplish, but I was able to isolate that. Sometimes you'll have some objects in the background that still remain with a little hint of blue because there's like a blue coffee cup or something in the background, so afterwards I will frequently go in with the adjustment brush that we talked about in a previous session, have it turn the Saturation down and just touch up those areas. But that would be another idea. This one I think I had to do that with, but you can see that I tried to keep the oranges and the blues to be colorful, make everything else black and white. In this case just the yellows and oranges. So all sorts of things we can do with it. The main thing is any time a particular color bothers you you're gonna wanna go to that. And just know it is limited so that you'll often have to supplement it with the adjustment brush. We'll talk about using that same section for converting to black and white later on in a different session. There is one other thing you should know about it, though. So far we've used the individual sections that are called Hue, Saturation, and Luminance. There is another choice over here on the right called All and if I choose All, now you're gonna see all those settings at once. Hue, Saturation, and Luminance just in a row and I find that most convenient when I'm switching between images and I just wanna see what was applied overall to the whole thing and that way I don't have to sit there and switch between all those little panels to see if all of them were used or not. But then you still have those little donuts you can use. You just have to choose only one section to work with at a time. Either Hue, Saturation, or Luminance because it's not gonna be able to work on all three at once. So that's the choice of All on the right side. Next let's look at another section of adjustments. This is a section called the Effects section. There are a whole bunch of things we can do with it and there are some new features that they've added recently, but let's take a look. I'm gonna close up all these other sections like the Basic one and HSL and even Lens Corrections and let's just get down here to Effects. Under Effects, the first feature that we find is called Post-Crop Vignetting. Now the choice called Vignetting is found in more than one area. In a different session we talked about Lens Corrections and when we're in Lens Corrections, that section, especially under Manual, had something called Lens Vignetting and that sounds like the same feature that I'm seeing now here under Effects, but they call it Post-Crop Vignetting. Well, what the heck's the difference? Well, the difference is this image, just as most images are, was not originally a square. Most digital cameras are gonna give you a rectangular image and if I go to the Crop tool, you can see how I've cropped the image. The settings that are found under the Lens Corrections tab, where it's called Vignetting, is designed for compensating for things that your lens did to the image. Lenses will often deliver less light to the corners of the image than they do to the center. So I use Lens Vignetting here to brighten up the corners to get them to be equal to the middle. But it's always gonna think about the original corners of the picture. It's gonna ignore any cropping that's been applied. And, therefore, if I'm not in the Crop tool and I just work on this image and I'm under Lens Corrections to make this change, when I do vignetting you'll see that the top seems to be changing, but not the bottom. You see that? And that's because if you look at the cropping, the top is closer to the corners, the original corners of the image. The bottom is quite a distance away. And that's why we have it, instead, in this area called Effects. And under Effects it's called Post-Crop Vignetting which means let's darken or brighten the corners of the image thinking about the cropped version, not the original because we're no longer trying to fix what a lens did to our image. Instead we're just adding an effect. So in this case, I find the corners of the image to be more of a distraction. My eyes go out there and see those kinda yellowish edges and I wish it was darker so you would concentrate on the center of this image. One thing I could do is first go up to HSL where we were a few minutes ago, go to Saturation, and why not say make the yellow stuff like what's in the corner less colorful. That would make it so my eye is not gonna go there as much. I could also go to Luminance to say let's also make it darker. And there, now my eyes aren't going to that corner so this is a good example of when that would be useful. But often times what I wanna do is just make my image the brightest in the middle. That way my viewer's, usually, attention is drawn to where it's bright. So I'm gonna go here to Post-Crop Vignetting, I'm gonna bring down the amount, and you'll see it darkening the edge. If I bring it up it would brighten the edge. Then we have some other settings below that that let us fine-tune the results. We have one called Midpoint which means how far in towards the middle of the image can this extend, the darkening effect? Sometimes it's hard to tell exactly how far you're going in, so there's a hidden feature in here that can be useful. What it is is if you hold down the Option key, Alt in Windows, and then you click on the slider, what it's going to do is it's going to act as if the Amount slider, which is determining how bright of a change we're making, is maxed out as far as it can go and, therefore, it'll be much easier to tell what these other settings are doing. So here's it without Option held down. I can kinda get a sense for what it's doing. And here it is with Option held. Do you see it's much more dramatic? And so it's easier to tell I want that to extend into right there. And I let go. I come down now to Roundness. Again I'll hold Option. It'll bring the setting to the highest setting it can go and I can see exactly how that effects the image. There. Then I can go to Feathering which is how soft the edge is. See, do I want a crisp edge where I'm just isolating that circle? Or do I want it to fade in towards the middle? Then we do have a choice called Highlights which won't do much on this particular image. We'll try that on a different picture. But now that I've fine-tuned those settings, we can just adjust the amount to control exactly how strong is it. There is a choice at the top, a little pop up menu. We have it currently set to Highlight Priority and that's mainly useful if you have very bright areas near the edge of your photograph like where the sun would fall directly on a wall or something because if you just generically darken those areas, it looks artificial very quickly. Where you know there's bright sun falling on a wall, and there's just a darkening effect on top of it. I'll show you on a different image. If you don't have bright areas near the edges of your photograph, then setting this menu to Color Priority will usually make it look slightly better. The way it blends with the colors and just how naturally it fits in with the image will look a little better. I might fine-tune my Amount afterwards. And then there's a third choice called Paint Overlay which won't usually look good. It can be used for some special effects like if you want just a blatant black edge on your picture, but the main reason why it's there is it used to be the only way to do this in an old version of Lightroom and if you happen to wanna produce the same look as an old version did, you could possibly use that. So let's at it before and after. I'll turn off the Effects checkbox. There's before, you see how bright it was on the edge. And here's after. So now I think my attention is being drawn more towards the middle of the image. Now let's look at an example where that Highlight Priority setting would be appropriate. Here do you see the sun come in and fall in on this wall? And if we just generically darken the edge of the photograph it's not gonna look natural right here. It's gonna look too dark. So let's come in here and first let's reset any settings that might already be applied so you see the original picture, and let's not use Highlight Priority yet so we can see what would happen if we weren't thinking about it. So here's our original picture. I'm gonna bring down the Amount setting to darken up the edges. And when I get to about here isn't this part just looking a little bit unnatural compared to this? It just looks like it's been darkened. Like I can tell somebody did something. If I extend this farther in you might notice it more. And let's switch instead to the choice called Highlight Priority. And watch that bright area near the upper right. Do you see how more of the brightness comes through? And so when you're on Highlight Priority, it's gonna make sure it doesn't darken really bright stuff on the edge because it'd usually be too noticeable that you've done it and then there's a slider down here at the bottom called Highlights and the more higher you bring that up, the more it lets the brightness of the highlights come through. If I bring it down you'll see the highlights darkened up a bit and so you can dial in exactly what you think looks most natural with this. Now I was applying settings to this image that are maybe a little bit much, little exaggerated just because I wanted you to easily be able to tell what's going on so let me just fine-tune this and see if I can get it the way I'd like. I wanted your attention to be drawn to the guy in the middle so I'm gonna darken up the edges, then I'll hold down the Option key when I go to Midpoint. Bring it in here, see how far in I can extend. I can extend it all the way in before his hand is getting very dark so I think that's fine. I'll also go here to Roundness and experiment to see... About there. And then Feather controls how soft the edge is. I'm still holding down the Option key. I'll bring it up to see how far do I want it to blend into the middle. And once I get beyond here his hand is starting to get too dark so I'm gonna back off while his hand stays relatively bright. Now I was holding down the Option key on each one of these sliders which made it more pronounced. Only when I let go do I actually see my end result and now I might fine-tune exactly how dark I'm gonna make the edges. Something like that. And in the very end I might fine-tune now my Highlight setting to see what setting will be most natural at the top. Here is without the vignetting. You see that my eye would wander all over the place. Here is with. It is relatively obvious if you're thinking about vignetting, but if you're not thinking about vignetting you might just think there's a particular light source that's projecting more of a restricted beam of light there. It's up to you as far as how you like it. If it's a little too much just back off on the amount. You might probably be able to get away with this amount here without people thinking that you did anything if they're photographers. But still I think that helps make it so my eye instantly goes to the middle instead of wandering around so much. So that's the first thing under Effects. It's Post-Crop Vignetting and it does think about your cropping first which is great. Next under that same area we have a relatively new feature that I'd like to try out. And we're actually gonna skip over a section called Grain. We might get into that when we talk about converting to black and white 'cause that's the main time I like to use it, but it would add grain to your image and we can talk about it when we get into black and white. Different session. Below that, though, we have a choice called Dehaze and if you look at this image it looks somewhat hazy. It looks like I'm looking through almost like a little cloud or something at this and part of that is because no part of this image is anywhere close to being black and Dehaze is gonna help me. Right now Dehaze is grayed out. I can't get to it. It just won't let me. Any time it seems like a lot of the sliders are grayed out you might find that the image you're working with was adjusted with an old version of Lightroom. And if it was, Dehaze wasn't available in that older version and it's just trying to give you the same end result you had previously and if you need to access Dehaze or similar more modern features, go up here to where it says Histogram and if your Histogram is collapsed down like this, see if there's a lightning bolt over here. If your Histogram is expanded, the lightning bolt would appear below here. And if you click on the lightning bolt, it will update your picture so that now it's being adjusted with a more modern version of Lightroom as far as its adjustment sliders go and, therefore, Dehaze will be available. When I bring Dehaze up, it's going to have a tendency of trying to make areas black. It's somewhat similar to how I think about Vibrance. When I think about Vibrance I think it works on the mellow colors and it does less and less and less as it gets into the more vivid areas. When it comes to Dehaze, the way I think of it, is it concentrates on the mellow contrast areas. The areas that are hazy looking. Less contrast. It applies a little bit less and a little bit less as it gets into areas that have more contrast. And so let's see what happens when I bring it up here. It's all the way up to 100 at this point. Now I'm not sure if any other adjustments have been applied to this image. Doesn't look like any have so after I bring up Dehaze I might want to optimize this image. I might choose to make the brightest portions of this image even brighter. I don't think there's any reason to bring detail into the sky. If anything the sky would be a distraction from this. I think having a simple white sky would be fine, but I want the whitest area or brightest areas in here to really brighten up. For that I might actually use whites. Let's see if I can bring it up to get a nice bright white. And I might bring up my Shadows to bring out a little shadow detail. So let's see how much of that effect is happening through Dehaze. I'll turn Dehaze off by turning off this little checkbox or this light switch. See it's still pretty hazy there without it and here it really made it pop more. So anytime we have those images that are just looking really dull, almost looks like you're looking through a film to it, is when Dehaze is probably gonna be useful, but I find that often times I can use it to just enhance the texture in images. Here, if you look, I have a bunch of light bulbs and if you look at the shadows for the light bulbs you see the kind of texture and things that is in there. If I come down to my Effects area and I use Dehaze, it's grayed out again which means this is an old picture. Gotta update it. Now I can try Dehaze, but it can really help make those areas pop. I don't usually bring it up to 100. Here I'll overemphasize it to really let you see it, but if I toggle it off and on now you see how much it's getting it more of, it really concentrates on trying to make sure you have some black in your image and so if your image was hazy, usually you have no blacks and that's gonna help you get there. But you're gonna find on most images you're only gonna be able to bring it up to 30, 40% and once you get it up higher, in normal images like landscapes you'll often find that the blues are too emphasized in the picture. They're just too vivid. You can always fine-tune that. Remember going to HSL that we were in a few minutes ago. You could turn on the Saturation on the blues, but there's a whole bunch of things. Let's look at a couple others. Here I'm just gonna turn off Dehaze 'cause it's turned on. Here's before, there's after. So you see the hazy-ish background that's in the image where there's not much contrast, not much difference between bright and dark. That's where it's gonna concentrate as it gets into the areas that do have a lot of difference in brightness it's not gonna apply quite as strongly so in this case it really can make that pop. It's probably a bit too much, you know, to back off on it a bit. But it just makes the image a little less flat-looking. And one more. This image is one from Iceland and it has had no adjustment applied to it. Default settings. And I just notice the darkest part of the image really doesn't feel like it's close to black. So I bring up Dehaze and it can really amp things up. And then I fine-tune. I come up here and maybe I want just a little bit more shadow detail than that. Maybe the blues are a little overdone so I go to HSL under Saturation and I say, "Mellow out those blues," 'cause the sky might start looking a little unnatural. That kinda thing. If you really wanna use it as a kinda special effect, one thing you can do, I'll reset this image so it doesn't have anything applied, take me just a moment, is max out Dehaze, which it will often be overdone, especially if you have a blue sky. That's overdone to me. Then lower Contrast to compensate. And then you can fine-tune your image. Sometimes getting it all the way to 100 will be too much, but what I will often do is lower my Contrast all the way down to create kind of an artificially hazy-looking image and then recompensate for it with Dehaze and sometimes that ends up giving me just a more dramatic image where the areas that were not, did not have all that much contrast suddenly pop more. Alright, so we've talked about when we were under Effects we've covered Post-Crop Vignetting to brighten or darken the edges of our picture and we've talked about Dehaze. We're going to, for now, skip over the one called Grain because I think it's going to be more useful to talk about it when we have a black and white image. So then let's look at one other way of fine-tuning our color and it's something that is known as Split Toning. Split Toning is most frequently used with black and white so I'm sure we'll get into it again when we talk about black and white, but what it allows me to do is force color into the bright or dark part of our picture. And so in this image, an image from Iceland, notice that the water has a reflection of the sky in it where it's really nice and bright and these little icebergs don't have that so they're a bit darker. And so any time I notice a good difference between two areas in brightness, two different subject matters in brightness, I think about Split Toning. Would I like to push a certain color into those bright areas and possibly a different color into the dark? So let's take a look at it. I'll collapse down most of these sections and get to the one called Split Toning. This one already has it applied from what I can tell here so let's turn it off. Here's what it looked like before. Notice the color of the water compared to the color of the icebergs. There wasn't that huge of a difference. The water looked maybe white, the icebergs a hint of blue whereas afterwards do you see more yellow in the water? Just a hint. Off, on, a little hint of yellow. And when it comes to the icebergs do you see they're just a little bit more blue? So I'll do it from scratch. I'm going to double-click on the headings here. Highlights. Shadows. Double-clicking means reset to defaults. And double-click on Balance. That made this all the way back to defaults just double-clicking those headings. And now here's what we're gonna do. I'm gonna pick a color to go into my Highlights meaning the bright portion of my image and I'm thinking yellow 'cause I want it to look like the sun was reflecting onto the water. The only problem is moving this slider is not gonna do anything because the slider below it called Saturation determines how strong of an effect we're gonna get and right now it's set to none, zero. There is a hidden feature and that is if I hold down the Option key, Alt in Windows, when I'm moving this slider it will act as if the Saturation slider was turned all the way up. So now when I click I can see what color. I'm only looking at the bright part of the image to decide what I wanna get in there and I'm thinking somewhere right along there. Then I can move Saturation to determine how much of that color do I want and I only want a hint of it 'cause if it's too much it's gonna look artificial so I'll bring that up. Then down here on Shadows I'm gonna add a different color. You don't have to add a shadow on both areas. You could just do the highlights if you want. Again, I'll hold down the Option key. I am gonna click on Hue and I'm gonna drag it around. This time I'm ignoring those highlights and I'm looking only at the iceberg areas and I'm seeing what color might look most appropriate in there. Somewhere in this range. And then I'm going to adjust Saturation to determine how much of that color gets pushed in. And, again, I'm only gonna do a little bit so it's not too obvious. It's a subtle effect. Finally, we have a choice called Balance and Balance means where do the highlights end and the shadows begin. And when I adjust it I usually hold down the Option key again 'cause it'll act as if Saturation's turned all the way up and let's see what it does. If I move it towards the left do you see how blue dominates? That means most things are considered a shadow at the moment. If I move it the opposite direction do you see how the yellowish red dominates? That means it now thinks most things are highlights. And if I go somewhere in between I can control exactly where that separation is. So I'm trying to get the waterish areas to look yellowish and keep most of the icebergs blue. Somewhere in there. I let go and it goes back to the settings I had. I had Option held down which intensified the effect. So now if you wanna see before and after, here's before, here's after. It's a subtle effect in this particular image, but I don't mind subtle things. And sometimes it can make all the difference. And I can always, afterwards, amp up the color, maybe in those highlights or even in the shadows. Not too much in the shadows though. Remember, those of you in the studio audience, this screen is adjusted for the video cameras, not for your view so it looks different. It usually looks more washed out so it might've been a little bit more difficult to tell. Let's look at a few other examples of this. So here's another image and in this case what I wanna do is show you how to compensate for a problem you can encounter in a lot of different images. And what that problem is is if you end up increasing Vibrance a lot in your pictures and you fine-tune the color so you got it just the way you like it, Vibrance thinks that anything that is blue in a picture is a sky and that's not always the case. The problem with it is that when you're shooting under a blue sky any area that's in the shade is being lit not directly by the sun, but is being lit by the blue sky which means any areas that are shady, in the shade within a blue skied image, those shaded areas are going to look a bit bluish. And when you bring Vibrance up, it ends up intensifying all the blues and that will often make the shady areas of your picture look too blue. And so in this case there's just a hint of blue in here that I want to try to reduce and one way of doing it is with Split Toning. I would go to my Shadows. I'm gonna hold down the Option key, click on Hue, and I'm gonna go over. Every color has an opposite. The opposite of blue is yellow and so I'm gonna go in here and try to get it where the dark portion of the sand dune looks similar to the area that's lit by the sun. And somewhere over in the orangish area, orangish yellow will be it. And then I can bring up my Saturation to control how much is it being pushed into those shadows. If I bring it up a lot you'll notice the mountains in the background becoming less colorful, but if I temper it I can make it so it's mainly in here where if there was just a little bit of a hint of too much blue, we're pushing in either the opposite of blue which is yellow or we're just pushing in whatever color is out here close to it and so that is another reason it can be useful. Let's see if I can show you one here. If I get into Split Toning and turn off its little. Okay, this is an image where when I was done processing it, the highlights in the image in here just didn't quite have the look that I was wanting, but with Split Toning I was able to just push a little warmth into the dark portions of the image and if you look at it in this case it's just pushing a little bit of yellowish orange in just a very small amount into the shadows. Before the shadowy areas felt kinda bluish. After they got the little bit of warmth back. I also use it a lot on black and white photographs because on black and white images if it has absolutely no color it can just feel kinda dull and if I want it to have a little bit more personality to the print, I can have just the littlest hint of warmth or coolness to the image. So this image has had it applied. If I turn it off, this is a black and white version, and if I turn it on you'll find it just has the slightest warm feeling. It's not very prominent. I don't want it to be too obvious, but it does have it. So what I did in this particular case is I only added color to the Shadows. You see there's nothing in the Highlights. It's set to zero for Saturation. I picked a color for the Shadows and I have fine-tuned the Saturation until it was almost not noticeable, but was just a littlest bit there. So what I ended up doing is I held down the Option key when moving the Hue to see what color do I think looks best in there and then just moved this up and down until I decided exactly how much can I get away with. But often time I will put a different color in the Highlights and a different color in the Shadows. I might end up putting a slightly warm tone into the Highlights, slightly cool tone into the Shadows. That type of thing. So here let's say, I'm gonna come in here and just see what I like in my Highlights. Drag this around until I like the look of... Maybe I like that little hint of blue in my Highlights. Bring up my Saturation a little bit just to get a hint of blue. Then I come down here to Shadows, hold down Option and say what looks best? I'll ignore the sky and the highlights. Look at the shadows. What do I like best? I like kinda over in here. And then I bring up the Saturation to decide how much of that do I want. Finally I go to Balance, hold Option, and I'll try to get it so the blue is mainly in the sky and on the rest of the highlights and not so much on the rest. And you can fine-tune it. Without. With. Subtle change, but if you look at the sky I get a feeling for it. There is one other way of doing Split Toning and that is you can collapse down these areas if you hate working with the little sliders and there's just little rectangles here. If you were to click the rectangle, you can choose a color with this little color picker and as you drag vertical in here you get more saturated colors and as you drag horizontal you change the color you were applying and some people prefer to use it that way. With this I should check to see if I can cheat. Can I? Yes, if you wanna cheat browse online. Search 'black and white photography award-winning' and find some stunning black and white photography that you notice is slightly tinted. It's got the color to it. Have your web browser open next to Lightroom so you can see both Lightroom and the web browser. You see that award-winning black and white photograph, you love the color that they have in it. Well, click on this little rectangle until the color picker comes up. Then first click within this area and drag out and now it's gonna pick up whatever color your mouse goes on top of, even if it's outside of Lightroom. So up here I have a little icon that's blue in my menu bar and do you see I'm getting blue when I go over it? So why not go over their photo and steal their color? And you can do that for both the bright part of their image and the dark part and then always fine-tune it so you make it your own and get it good for that particular image, but that is another way of choosing the colors that are used and you don't have to collapse down these sections. It's just if you primarily do that then there's no reason to really look at these sliders. That is Split Toning. I use it all the time, not just for black and white. I use it a lot for color images. Whenever I notice things, like on this image, without Split Toning the Sydney Opera House here, to me, felt kinda white and I wanted it to look more like it had the warm light being projected onto it. Well, if you look at the Opera House and the reflection of it isn't it the bright area of the picture? So why not put some yellows in the highlights? So you see before, after. Can you see that little bit put it in there? And I could even throw something into the dark part if I really wanted to. It's any time the area that I don't like is either the really bright area or really dark that I think about going to Split Toning and often times it has to do with... In this case if you look, I don't know if you can see it very well, but doesn't this dark area that needs noise reduction look bluish? And if I turn my Split Toning on the opposite of blue is yellow so I say, "Push yellow into the shadows." And I didn't completely get rid of it, but I made it where it doesn't feel as blue. I can always overdo it here and try to completely get rid of some of that, but it's in all sorts of images where Split Toning is appropriate. So if you think about what we've been doing here, we've been fine-tuning our images. We've gone through the basics on other days and now we're going through the polish. And not every image needs that kind of polish. And remember I work my images until I run out of problems, patience, time, or budget and this is where if I got infinite patience 'cause I really like an image, I'm gonna be headin' in to all these areas to fine-tune it. So of course we have homework which means we have a Lightroom catalog for you to download if you purchased the class so if you wanna be able to practice this and you want examples where the shadows are too blue in an image and you want an example of a good black and white, you want other kinds of examples where it'd be good to practice on this, you can get your practice on my images so that once you get comfortable with it on mine, the moment you run into one of yours that needs it you're no longer kinda fumbling around figuring out how to do it. Instead you've had the practice so you can do it with your own. Now if you think about what we're goin' through here, we still got two weeks left. We're really at the halfway point in class. And so here are some of the subjects that we have leftover to cover. Black and white, HDR, panoramas, some more advanced adjustments, troubleshooting is gonna be a big one 'cause there's always some weird things that happen in various areas and you need to know how to make it through it. If you wanna find me online here are a few different areas you can go to. I can add one in here. Somebody asked during one of our breaks about the bus that I own. I own a vintage bus which will be my home in the future. If you go on Facebook search for 'Creative Cruiser' to see updates on that project. In one of our Q&As, the very first one, I'll actually be up where my vintage bus is and I'll give you a tour of the vintage bus. It's a 1963 bus that's been restored and the interior is almost ready to live in. And then finally my website,, if you wanna see anything about what I'm up to. This is another day in Lightroom CC Photo Editing. We're about halfway through now and we still have a whole bunch more to do.

Welcome to CreativeLive’s comprehensive Lightroom® workshop! Join one of our best software instructors, Ben Willmore, to learn how to process and organize your images more efficiently - and have more time to spend doing the stuff that matters. In this series of lessons, you’ll learn how to:

  • Import and organize your images
  • Optimize your photos and workflow
  • Make your images searchable within the program
  • Exporting, printing, and troubleshooting

When you purchase this course you’ll gain access to both an enduring resource to build your skills and a community with which to share the fruits of your work. Ben will provide a workbook that acts as a reference guide.

Don't have Photoshop yet? Get it now so you can follow along with the course!

Software Used: Adobe Lightroom CC 2015.2 - 2015.3



  • Creative Live is a godsend and, in my opinion, Ben Willmore is one of their best instructors - if not the best. He is as natural and thoughtful a teacher as he must be a learner. He knows a lot! He is clear about what his students want and need to know, from basic to advanced concepts, and he is constantly aware that he has students watching who are of different knowledge levels. He never takes off, leaving the less experienced behind - instead he moves forward at a good pace while referring back to create mental links during the progression; good for all levels. I work with Lightroom already and so have both experience and questions about how to work more efficiently and creatively. This bootcamp is definitely helping me. I've watched others of Ben's classes, and they always help. Thank you, Ben and Creative Live.
  • Thanks again Ben, for your fabulous teaching and your ability to actually teach and not just show and tell...As other people have commented you have a gift to teach in the way that you do. I have purchased many of your courses and was not going to purchase this, thinking I have all your prior courses...alas, you are just too good!!! I had to buy it in the end and thanks again for all the goodies, so worth the money: Really looking forward to June for your Photoshop class. Once again, I have taken many of your photoshop courses but you keep adding such great info that I cannot resist...see you in June!! Keep up the fabulous work, byw, I love all the yoga poses, what fun you both have with this idea...
  • I have had the privilege of participating in this excellent class from the front row seat in the Creative Live San Francisco studios. After only a few of the 20 sessions, I quickly appreciated the many features and benefits of using LightRoom to organize and edit all of my images. If you're like me, you've had access to LR for a while, and have opened it and fumbled through the myriad of complex menus a few times, then have gone back to using Photoshop. After these classes with Ben Willmore, (and they're not even done yet), I have tackled the job of re-organizing and keywording tens of thousands of images that reside on various backup drives, many of which I've never even had time to look at. I now have a path forward to enjoying what is in my archives rather than letting them gather dust. I have made HDR images, panoramas, slide shows and Blurb books with ease based on the techniques learned in class. Throughout the class, we lobbed many questions at Ben, and every single time he knew the answer in an instant, or could give us a work-around or several ways to do what we're trying to accomplish in LR. His deep knowledge of LR (and PS) simply cannot be matched, and he's a natural trainer. The days have flown by, and after each day I can't wait to get home and start working on my images. Regardless of your type of photography - professional, avid amateur, or hobbyist - if you shoot and edit a lot of images, LR can be a huge benefit in your workflow. Even if you think you already sort of know how LR works, there is still plenty of useful info in this course that will help you to extract maximum benefit from Lightroom. For me it has been nothing short of transformative!