Adobe® Lightroom® CC Photo Editing: The Complete Guide


Lesson Info

Transforming Raw Exposures into Polished Images

All right, now we're on our fourth day and this is when we get to start adjusting our images. Which is really where I start to get excited about things, because I don't really enjoy doing file management like we've done on previous days in other things. I just need to do those things. I really like adjusting my images 'cause I can really transform them. What I see originally in the camera often looks nothing like the end result. Because there's so many choices in Lightroom to improve your images and that's what we're gonna get into. But before we do, let's talk about this as a whole. Let's kinda review. If you think back to the first day, that's when I gave you an overview, kind of a big picture of Lightroom. How to think about what makes it special and how it works as a whole. Then on the second day, we learned to import our images and when importing there are settings for what preview settings to use and a bunch of other settings. We thought about what was important and what would be...

st fit your needs. We also talked about customizing the interface. So it's setup nicely for you. Then on the third day, we talked about catalogs and folders. And with catalogs we talked about should you work with one catalog or multiple? And when we talked about folders it sounds like such a basic topic, but it was something that could dramatically transform the way you think about your images. Because by coming up with a folder system, we were able to make it so I could go back to many different years worth of photographs, in fact there were 200,000 photographs and you could ask about any shoot I've ever done in the past and instantly I can tell you what images are ready to show you, what images still need work, what images I never need to look at again and all of that. All due to the way I think about and work with folders. And that was on the third day. Now today, that is when it starts becoming a little bit more fun. And that is we're gonna talk about transforming your raw exposures that come out of your camera. They might not be in raw format, they'll either be raw or jpeg, but the raw material that your camera captured, and transforming that into something that looks much better. And we'll be actually doing that over many days during this bootcamp, but today we need to get into the beginning, the start. So let's take a look at a few examples. Here's an image that I captured in Iceland and this is what my camera captured. What your camera captured is not always ideal, it doesn't always look as good as what it looked like to your eyes and it usually looks nothing like what it really could look like. So let's see what this could be transformed into using Lightroom. I like that, much better. Where here I was in Abu Dhabi at the Grand Mosque. And with this I ended up tilting my camera upward, which made this opening be distorted where the top looks much smaller than the bottom, the sky looks somewhat bland and other things. And let's see using only Lightroom how much that was able to be transformed. Much more vivid-looking image and the distortion of me tilting the lens up has been lessened quite a bit. Where here I'm in a slot canyon and there was this slight variation in color that was in there that I really liked, but it was almost not perceivable when you're standing there. You could just see a hint of it, but in Lightroom I was able to dramatically bring it out. And those are the kinds of things I want you to learn how to do throughout this course. Now there's a lot that Lightroom has to offer. Today, we're going to look at the first step which is working with the basic section of the develop module. The develop module, when you get into it is broken up into all different sections. We have basic, we have effects, we have detail, we have all that kind of stuff. We have other days to cover those other sections. For today, we're gonna concentrate on the basic part, because it's the thing that you apply to every image you open. Whereas the other sections are optional. Some images need those sections, some images don't. So again, today is transforming our raw images into polished files and let's get into Lightroom so we can start doing it. I'm gonna navigate between my images using something know as collections, which are covered in a different session. But you can navigate to any photograph that you would like to work with by going on the left-side of your screen when you're in the library module. Either going to your folders to pick a personal photograph you'd like to work with or if you've purchased the class, the class actually comes with some catalog files. If you'd like to work with those catalog files, you can go to the file menu and choose open catalog. And if you've downloaded one of the catalog files that comes with the purchase of the class, you could open it using that menu. And then if you'd like to be able to access the files for any particular class, usually you go underneath collections. And you will have a simplified version of what is here, but you'd be able to navigate and find some of those files. I'm gonna start by clicking on something that's not actually a photograph, it's just something simple. And that will allow us to kind of get an overview of what some of the adjustment controls do before we start applying them to photographs. So here I have what some people refer to as a gray wedge. I'll click on this file, at the top of my screen I'm gonna click on the word develop and that will send me over to the develop module. When I'm in the develop module or any other module, we have these side panels on the right and left of my screen. If you wanna collapse down any of those, you can move to the edge of your screen where you'll find the triangle. Now I'm gonna collapse down the one on the left side 'cause we don't need it right now. And the one on the right side I'll have expanded 'cause that's where we're gonna be working. And we're gonna work with the basic controls that are here. First we're gonna talk about controls that affect the brightness of your picture and that also includes contrast. Let's see how it affects this simple image. First, there's a slider called exposure. And exposure is gonna apply to your entire picture. So if everything in your image is too bright or too dark, the exposure is where you wanna head. So let's see how it affects this particular image. When I bring exposure up, I notice everything gets brighter. Bring exposure down, and everything gets darker. It's actually not that often that I'm gonna use exposure, because most of the time I'm gonna find that something I don't like about the image is isolated into the brightest or the darkest areas of the image. And if that's the case, then I'm going to instead go to two other sliders. They are called highlights and shadows. They're not actually talking about like a highlight like a little shiny spot on a car or something or a shadow that is being cast by an object. Generically highlights means bright areas and shadows means dark areas. And so let's look at how those two particular sliders will affect this simple image. When I work with the highlights and I move the slider towards the right, you see that the right side of this image is getting brighter, over toward the left it's getting darker. But you notice that the rest of the image, the darker portions, is barely changing at all. If it changes at all, it's only so the changes we're making in the brightish areas blend in and look like they belong with that dark stuff. But this is largely trying to isolate the bright areas so that's all we're trying to change. If I do the same thing to shadows, you'll find that I can brighten up the dark part of the picture. Or move the slider in the other direction and I can darken it up. But the bright part of the image is barely changing, it's only changing enough to make the stuff we're doing to the dark part of our picture look like it blends in and belongs with what's in the rest of the image. We do have a few other sliders to work with in here. We have contrast. Let's see if we can figure out what that does. If I increase contrast and then I decrease it, see if you can figure it out. But if we just look at this image, contrast is controlling the difference between bright stuff and dark stuff. If you increase contrast, there'll be a greater difference between the bright areas and the dark areas. That means it's doing two things at once. It will be brightening the bright parts and simultaneously darkening the dark parts. Watch. I'll bring contrast up. Can you see dark things getting darker? Bring it back to the middle. I'll bring it back up, watch the white parts. Bright stuff getting brighter. If I bring it down, it's going to make bright areas and dark areas more similar to each other. So that means it's going to take those bright areas and darken them down a bit. While at the same time, it brightens up the dark areas. So I'll bring it down and you see they become more similar. That will be much more useful once you see it actually applied on a picture, but it's just good to know a little hint of what it does when you're viewing something simple like this. Then we have sliders called whites and blacks. They work with the absolute brightest and absolute darkest areas of your picture. If I bring whites up, this means make more and more of my picture solid white. So solid white takes up more space. If I move it the opposite direction, it means take the brightest part of my picture and make it not so bright. Although there is one exception and that is if you hit solid white, it tries to keep solid wite, solid white. If you had like 99% of the way to white, where you're not quite there, then this bringing it down would actually darken up the brightest part. But solid white and solid black are kinda special. Once you hit solid black and solid white it tries not to change those. But in most photographs you're not gonna have really solid black and solid white unless you have really shiny reflections on like glass or water. Or you have the sun in your photograph. Most of the time with most other photographs there'll be no solid white in the picture so moving the white slider will just take the brightest part of the picture and control how bright it is. Blacks controls how much space does black take up. If I move blacks to the left, more and more of the image will become solid black. If I move it to the right, it's gonna lighten up starting with the darkest part of the picture. Just so you know, I think of the whites and blacks sliders as being what I call finishing techniques. A finishing technique means that I rarely use it on the image as a whole when I'm just starting out. Instead I mainly use it when I think I'm done with the picture and I'm about to move on to a different picture. Then I almost always go to blacks and whites and see if they're gonna help a little bit. And you'll see that when I start working on some pictures. On occasion it seems useful from the beginning, but I almost always think about it at the end. Now I don't think of anything that I just showed you as actually being useful in adjusting pictures yet, it just gives you some sense for how to think about these sliders. So now we're gonna be getting on to working with images. Before I do though, there's one slider down there I haven't messed with and that's clarity. Clarity will do something similar to what contrast did, but it's different. Watch this simple image when I bring it up. It's gonna exaggerate any detail that's in your image. Wherever one area looks distinctly different from the area next to it, it's gonna exaggerate that difference. So here in this simple image, I notice this solid color and right next to it another solid color. So you see a straight line where there's the detail, the noticeable transition. And when I bring up clarity it's gonna emphasize those transitions. You'll see what happens if you bring it up. If I bring it down, it'll actually blur those transitions. Let's start working on images, Where these actually start becoming useful sliders instead of just concepts. I'm gonna click on the word library at the top of my screen to go back to our thumbnails of images. And I'll start by working on this picture here. I'll go to the develop module to work on it. In general when working on images, I try to fix the biggest problem first. I just look at the image and say what bugs me about the photograph? Whatever the answer is, that's what I try to fix first. Then I simply reevaluate the image and fix again, what's the biggest problem after fixing the first one? And I continue doing that until I run out of problems, patience, time, or budget. You're always gonna run out of one of those. If it's my fine art images, the images that I wanna print huge, hang on my wall and have be in my home for 20 years, I'm gonna keep going until I run out of problems. But most of the time I run out of patience. I wanna get on to other images and sometimes I'm working with a limited budget and that's what ends up determining when I'm done. But it's always number of problems, patience, time, or budget. So also sometimes you're not certain why an image doesn't look ideal and so then it mainly comes through over a time and adjusting many images that you start learning what can really improve it. Here what I don't like about this particular image is the brightest part of the photograph is a bit bright. Meaning when I look at like the child's face that's here, the shine on his forehead and things to me looks a little bright. The sky, a little bright. And when I look at the dirt and other areas that are on the brighter side of things, it's just a little too bright for my liking. If that's the case, in here remember we have some sliders for adjusting brightness. If it was the entire picture that was too bright, I would go for exposure. But in this case, I'm fine with the brightness of these kind of shady areas that are in the background and all that. So it's mainly the bright areas and that's the slider called highlights. With all the sliders that control brightness if you move them to the left, you darken, move them to the right, you brighten. So I'm gonna move this to the left and I'm right now looking mainly at his forehead 'cause that's to me the most important part of the image. And I'm bringing it down until I like the brightness of his forehead. Then I can use the other sliders that are in here to fine tune the image if I'd like. And I'm not certain what's gonna make it look best at the moment, but I can tell you if you want an image to pop a little bit more, meaning if it's looks somewhat dull and you need it to have a little bit more life to it, there are three general sliders that will add more pop, more life to your image. And that is increasing either contrast, clarity, or something called vibrance. We'll talk about vibrance later on. So right now I'm just gonna see if I can get this image to pop a little bit. And so I'm gonna first go to contrast and I'm just gonna move it up to see if it helps the picture. And if it doesn't, I'll move it down and I'll just move it until I like and I get the best look on the image. And I'll come down to clarity and see if that'll help. Yep, that one helps I think. Makes that image just kinda pop out a little bit more. And I know we haven't talked about it yet, but I'm gonna try the other one called vibrance. We'll just see if that helps, we'll bring it up. Oh look what it does to the sky. If you ever wanna see before and after on your picture, there is a couple different ways you can do it. But the easiest way I think is with your keyboard. If you look on your keyboard right above the return or enter key on most keyboards is the backslash key. The one that tilts towards the left and if I press it once, in the bottom left of my screen I see the word before. Meaning I'm seeing what the image looked like before I adjusted it. And then I press it a second time and it shows me after. And so before, after. And I think that's improved and that looks more colorful. I don't mind the bright part of the image as much. Just make sure that when you're done, you don't see the word before at the bottom of your screen. Otherwise you're gonna be stuck in that before version. So now let's go in and try a few other images that have similar problems. I'm gonna be switching to the library module and back to the develop module quite a bit and I'm gonna use my keyboard to do that. To go to the library module, I'm gonna type the letter G all by itself and that brings me to this grid of images. When I need to go to the develop module, I'll press the letter D, which will bring me to the develop module. And if I use that all the time, then if I want my picture to take up more space I could go to the top of my screen where I find a little triangle near the top edge, click on it to actually hide that thing known as the module picker. And then I can just go G for grid, D for develop. There are other ways of switching between your images, we just haven't gotten to them yet and that's the only reason I'm not gonna use them. But if you're familiar with different ways of switching between images, feel free to use them. And I'm gonna go to this next image and hit D for develop. With this image, in case you're not sure of what we're looking at, we are looking inside of a stone shaped, I'll call it a bell, even though there's not a ringer in it but it's a bell shaped thing that has different openings. I got my camera lined up with one and there's a Buddha inside and I find that the Buddha is a little bit bright. Now I could think of it as the image as a whole if I would like to darken also this area out here 'cause I don't necessarily want to explore the detail there. So I could go over here to exposure and bring it all the way down. And that would make it so both the Buddha gets a little darker and the surroundings. But there's always different ways of interpreting a picture. If I give the same picture to six different people, we're gonna get six different results. And at the same time, if I had those six people review each other's photos, they would have different preferences for which one they like. And there's no right way to process a picture, there's just the way that you like the end result. So let's look at a few different ways. Here I could just bring down exposure until the Buddha is the brightness level I like. As an alternative to that, I could bring exposure back to the middle and I could just bring highlights down to control just the bright areas. And I could adjust the shadows or dark areas separately. Say maybe I want them brighter so you see more of that detail or maybe I even what them darker. There's always more than one way to think about things. It's just a matter of getting used to the overall way of thinking with these sliders to understand what they do. You wanna see before and after? I also go right about the return or enter key, hit backslash, just before where I thought the Buddha looked a bit too bright, press it again and I'm not minding that particular brightness. For those of you in the studio audience, just so you know, this screen here is adjusted so it looks right on camera. And that means that what you see here looks much brighter than my screen. So that if you think what I end up with here, you're like that's still pretty darn bright, that's because on camera it should look similar to my screen, but to your eyes it doesn't. So if this ever looks too bright or something else, know that my screen looks a bit different. And that's one reason why you guys have these same images. And if you wanna try them out yourself you can see how similar settings would affect it. I'm gonna go to the grid by typing G, grab the next image and hit D for develop. I'm only going back and forth to get you used to those keyboard shortcuts. It is not the most efficient way of switching between images, there are other methods, but I wanna drill into you keyboard shortcuts that I use all the time 'cause it'll speed you up. Here is a photograph of my wife doing yoga. I go around the world taking pictures of my wife doing yoga. If you wanna see those images, go on Instagram and search for the world is my yoga mat. And you'll be able to see the whole series. And I upload an image at least once or twice a week and when we're traveling I usually try to do one a day. So in this particular image, I have to decide what to start with. But before I get there, we have an issue. I did something on purpose to this image to get it so we would have a problem. Now let's see if we can figure out what that problem is. When I go to the develop module, remember when we talked about the sliders that were over here? Do you remember how we had one called shadows? We had one called highlights, we don't have those right now. What happens is Lightroom over time has changed. With the very first version of Lightroom we had many fewer sliders that were here. Over time they've improved what was available for the sliders. You notice when I ended up adjusting other images the default settings for all these sliders were zeroed out right in the center. They were all kinda centered. Well in older versions of Lightroom they weren't always centered to begin with. There were all sorts of different settings as the defaults. If you ever open an image and you don't see the sliders you're used to working with, then look just above where those sliders are up in this area called the histogram. And if you don't see the histogram, there's a triangle here where you can expand it or collapse it and look for a little lightning bolt right there. That lightning bolt means if it shows up that this image has been adjusted with an older version of Lightroom. A version that had a different kind of sliders available for adjustment and it's trying to maintain the appearance of that image. 'cause if that is an image that you optimized in that old version and you're just opening it to make another print and you want that print to look identical to prints you made in the past, it should keep those old settings so it maintains the appearance. But if I wanna use the more modern version of the Lightroom sliders, then what I need to do is if I ever see that lightning bolt, just click on it. And if you click on it, it will update the photograph and make it so you have the current version of the Lightroom adjustment sliders. I would not suggest you do that to all your old images, because if you have a bunch of old images when you click that icon, the look of the picture will change. It'll try to maintain the appearance, but it's not always able to with different adjustment sliders available. Or if you remember adjusting an old image and you had a particular technique that you knew how to do with the old version of Lightroom that offered sliders of different names and you don't know how to get the same effect with these more modern sliders, here's how you can force Lightroom to use the old versions of the sliders. You shouldn't need to do this very often, but just it's nice to know about. When I'm in the develop module, if I scroll down here through the various sections of adjustments we could work with, the bottom most section is called camera calibration. I'll expand that by clicking on this little triangle here and at the top of the camera calibration section is this area called process. This means what kind of sliders for adjustment should we be presented with. Should we be presented with the most modern ones or would you rather work with what Lightroom had when it was first released? If I choose 2003, now when I come up here I notice that the names of these sliders are different, they're not called highlights and shadows and all that stuff. And I also notice that little lightning bolt that tells me I'm using an older version of the Lightroom processing module. So if you ever find that you don't have the sliders you expect, glance over here, look for the little lightning bolt and if it's there click on it. Now you will be on the most current type of adjustment. Now I purposely went into this image, it wasn't actually adjusted with an older version, I just knew I wanted to cover that so I made sure I applied it to one particular picture. But you might do it if you've been using Lightroom for awhile and you go back and photos that are five years old, you probably have a bunch that were adjusted with the old versions, you could go revisit them. See if you can do a better version of your processing using the newer sliders. So let's adjust this image. So I look at it and to me it's obvious what the problem is. It's not always obvious, but in this case I think the darkest part of the image is way too dark. The first thing I need to decide is is that problem across the entire picture or only the darkest area? So if I look at the sky, if that sky could be brightened and that would improve the picture, then I would first go for the exposure slider 'cause exposure affects everything. If on the other hand I really like the brightness of the sky, then I'm not gonna go for exposure 'cause it affects the entire picture. Instead I'll come down here to shadows. And I'll bring it up and there's a problem. And that is sometimes you max out with shadows slider. You get it as high as it can possible go and the dark part of your picture still isn't bright enough. And that's where you have to get a little fancy with your adjustment. We have two choices in what to do. The first one is do your remember the concept of contrast? Increasing contrast, didn't it make the different between bright and dark things become greater? So if brighter things became brighter, darker things became darker. And lowering contrast did the opposite. It made the bright areas and dark areas more similar to each other, which means it darkened up that bright stuff and it brightened up the dark. So in this case, I think taking contrast and possibly lowering it would make this dark area look more similar to the sky. Let's just see. I dunno if it will look better unless I try it. It can. That's one approach. Let's look at a different approach. There's always more than one way of doing things and it's a matter of what you think produces the best results or what you're most comfortable with. So I'm gonna put contrast back to the middle and here's a trick that I use. And this trick I use anytime my shadows slider is maxed out as high as it can go. Here's what I do. If I wish I could move the shadows slider beyond 100%, I wish I could put it up to 150, here's how I end up accomplishing that result. Once the shadows slider is maxed out, I next go to the exposure slider. I know that affects the brightness of the entire image and I'm gonna push it up until the shadows are as bright as I want them to be. Maybe about there. The problem with that is it also affected the bright part of the image and I didn't want that area changed. I wanted the sky to remain the way it was. So after moving the exposure slider I go down to highlights. And I'm gonna darken the highlights back to what they used to be. So I'm just gonna grab the highlights slider and move it down until I like the look of the sky or I get it back to where it used to look like. So what was the trick? That was if the shadows slider gets maxed out, supplement it with the exposure slider until the shadows look the way you want. But knowing that that's gonna effect the entire picture, if you only wanted it to effect the shadows, you're gonna have to get the highlights back to normal by adjusting its slider. Now we'd like this image to just pop a little bit more, to me it just feels a little bit dull. I don't know why, it just doesn't look as exciting as some of the other photos I've taken. And remember there are three sliders that can make your image pop more. Those three sliders are called contrast, clarity and vibrance. I'm assuming it's gonna be clarity just from experience, but I'll try the others if you're not used to them. There is contrast, I don't mind that. Let's try a little clarity. And let's try vibrance. Let's see before and after on this picture. I just hit the backlash key, remember right above return, enter. There's our before. On the screen here for the studio audience, well you know if you look at your actual computers 'cause you have these same images, it's a lot darker on my screen. Afterwards though, I think it looks dramatically better. Much more happy with that image. As far as when am I done? It depends on how much time, patience I have and all that. At some point you gotta call yourself being done and if it's my patience, I just don't feel like messing with this image anymore, I'm gonna continue on to a different one. Otherwise I might end up exploring the other sections in here and seeing if I can fine tune the image more. It really depends how important the picture is. I think this is fine for this particular one. I'm gonna go back to my grid of images by typing G. And let's go on to the next picture. Type D for develop. When I look at this particular image the thing that I don't like about it is how bright this area where the sun is hitting is. I wish that was a little bit darker. Just to my eye it's a little bright. There's always more than one way you can do things. I could adjust the overall brightness if I wanted these shadows to also be darker. If you didn't necessarily need to see the detail that's there, then I could go for exposure and just darken the whole thing. Or if I wanted to see the detail that's in the shadows there, then I might not adjust my exposure. Instead I'd come down here to highlights 'cause that only affects the bright areas. Bring that down. I'll just bring it up and down so you can see what it does. Bring it down until I like the brightness. About there. Then if I want the image to pop a bit more, just want it to look a little more exciting, remember there are three sliders that usually can do that. And that is increasing contrast, clarity or vibrance. So I might try contrast, see if it looks better when I increase it. I might try clarity. And I might try vibrance. And if you wanna see before and after, I'll press the backslash key right above return, enter. Before, after, see the brightest part of the image has been darkened down and it's a little bit more colorful. It will take you some time to get used to these basic adjustment sliders. But I apply these basic adjustment sliders to every single image I work with in Lightroom. So after awhile you get so familiar with them that it's not a problem to figure out where to go, it's a matter if they're new to you. It seems like there's so many of them and so many different ways of doing it, but we're just gonna process a bunch of images to try to get you more comfortable with them. So I'm gonna go back to the grid and let's try another image. With this image at least to my eye it's obvious what the problem is and that is the darkest part of the image, I can't see the detail there. So to me in my head the first thing I think of is going to the shadows slider, because the shadows slider works on the darkest part of the image. So I bring shadows up, see if I can get that nice and bright. If I wish I could move it even further, then remember the trick where exposure does the whole image? And if I bring it up until the dark area is as bright as I want it to be, then I'll have to compensate and that is to get the sky back to normal. To get the bright areas back to normal you go down to highlights and bring it down. And then well I hadn't really defined what clarity does all that much, but clarity emphasizes the details in your picture. It's similar to sharpening your image, but it just makes the detail pop out, the textures in your image. If you had something like just a wooden door. The grain within the door would come out. If you have a sandstone wall, the texture of the sandstone's gonna become more prominent. So in this case if I want the details that are within here to be more prominent, I might bring up clarity a bit. And if you're not used to it, just bring it up and down to get used to it. Just know that clarity also can be pushed into the negative side. And if you do that it blurs your photo. Negative clarity is often used on portraits. Because for some reason people don't like seeing every single wrinkle and imperfection in their skin. And moving clarity into the negative range on that can look often like old movies where they used to shoot through some softening soft focus thing. But be careful on landscapes and things. If you're just experimenting with clarity and bringing it up and back down and up and down to see if it helps, just make sure you're not ending in the negative area and not realizing you did. If you ever experiment with a slider and you decide that you don't like what it did, instead of trying to move it back to it's original position, double click on it. If you double click on any slider, it'll reset it to the default setting. If you're not used to that, just move any slider. So wherever you want and then double click on it. And when you do, you'll see it snaps back to the default setting. And therefore you can always experiment with a slider and if you don't like it, double click on it and you're back to the default. If you're not used to that concept, you might also not realize that you can double click on the name of a section of adjustment sliders to reset that entire section. What I mean by that is if you look in here there is this word up here called presence. And presence is the name of this section of adjustments. If I double click on the word presence, all of the sliders that are found underneath that reset themself to their defaults. Choose undo. If I double click up here on the word tone, it would reset all of the sliders in that section. Choose undo. If I double click on the letters WB up here which stand for white balance, it would reset that section. But I think that section's already at defaults. And if you're not used to undo I'll be using it quite a bit, I'm just typing Command+Z on a Mac, Control+Z in Windows. Or you can go to the edit menu and that's where you'll find undo if you hate keyboard shortcuts. So if you ever see any reset a section just to demonstrate it, then I'm typing Command+Z to go back to what I had previously. Before and after. Let's just continue on with some other images. This image is a little different. It's not a straightforward image, it's a little more creative of a shot I was trying to do. I just liked this shape. When I captured it though, the exposure that I used made it so I could see what was in the distance and I don't like that. Because I think it makes the image look more busy. I wanna make it so all you see is the shape that's here and what you see beyond the shape is just white or close to it. So there are many different ways I could accomplish that. My first thought though would be highlights slider, because the highlights slider would make the bright stuff change. So I'm gonna grab the highlights slider and push it up, but I'm maxed out. And I wish I could push it even further to get the highlights even brighter. So what will I do next? Well I'll do the same trick that we did with the shadows slider. Do you remember when we maxed it out? What you do is you go up to the exposure slider and you move it in the same direction as the slider that's maxed out. So this is maxed out to the right, so I'm gonna move exposure to the right. Until about now you're starting to not be able to see what was in the bright areas. That's about what I was envisioning for this image. And then that might be fine or if I find I move this up too far and I start to be able to see too much detail in this area, the area that used to be dark, then I go to the slider for shadows. And I fine tune. I can brighten the shadows or I can darken them. And there's no right answer, it's a matter of what you like. There's always other things I could do, always different approaches. You also have the choice of contrast and remember contrast is how much of a difference is there between bright and dark. So if I wanna increase the difference I could have pumped up contrast. I would have had a similar result. Let's just see what clarity does. Interesting if I bring it up a little bit, makes it a little bit more defined on the edges. Before and I wasn't really into it, because the stuff in the background, in the distance, was too distracting. After, now I'm getting just the shape I was thinking of. Let's get more of a straightforward image. I think it's relatively obvious what's wrong with this picture. And that is it's just way too dark in the dark parts. I do like the brightness of the sky, but anytime the brightness problem is like 80% of the image, then I usually go for exposure to start with. It would be okay if I went with shadows, but usually I'm gonna max it out. You just get used to when it's 80% of the image, you're always gonna max out your shadows slider to as high as it can go. And so you over time learn that exposure seems to be a little more powerful and you might bring it up. And then if your sky ends up being a bit too bright, that's the bright area of the picture, you can always bring the highlights down. And if I wanna bring the dark parts even brighter, I might bring up shadows. Later on we'll learn how to paint an adjustment into your image. So if I wanna just brighten the guy, I would be able to do that. But that's just beyond this particular session. So let's look at some other things. Do I want this to pop a little more? Weren't here three sliders? Contrast, clarity and vibrance. Well I could try contrast. Bring it up and bring it down to see if it helps. Makes it pop a little bit. Bring up clarity, we're just gonna emphasize the details in here. All that texture in the stone and everything is gonna be brought up. Be careful with clarity when you have people in the photo. In this case it won't be bad, because the person's face is so small in the scene that you can't see like the individual pores on the skin. But if the person in the photograph is prominent, they take up a lot of space within there, bringing up clarity is going to bring out all the texture in their skin. And when you do that, that means every little wrinkle and imperfection is gonna be exaggerated. So be careful. And I could try vibrance to see if it will help in this particular case. Maybe just a little. Hit my backslash, before, after. Here is an extreme image. And everybody has a different vision for what the end result should look like. In this case I think of two different approaches I could use. First I could use the approach we used when I had just that design that was on the image where I said I wanted to get rid of the distant objects that were somewhat distracting. I could think of the roadways as being distracting. Where I don't want you to even look out there. Instead I want you to just concentrate on what you're seeing which is a tuk tuk, a little motorized bicycle like thing. And if that's the case, I would probably wanna use exposure 'cause exposure would brighten everything and I would be able to more easily see what's in all these shaded areas. And this bright area hopefully would go all the way to white. So I could go exposure up until that darkest part of the picture starts getting good. I could even keep going until the brightest area gets to be almost gone. And then these dark areas are a little too bright. So I go to to shadows. And so I bring it down, darken it up until it's the way I want it. So that would be one approach to try to make it so you concentrate on the interior and what's outside of it is not even able to be seen. Or if I wanna try a different interpretation of it, I want it to look more like a normal scene. Like what my eyes saw there. With my eyes I can easily see the road, I could easily see the interior of this tuk tuk and that's what I'd like to show. So I'm gonna reset this adjustment. I'm gonna double click on the word, tone, 'cause that's the heading above all these sliders to get back to what we started with. And what I'm gonna do is try to bring my highlights, which is this area, down and my shadows up at the same time. Isn't that what contrast does? Contrast controls the difference between bright stuff and dark stuff. So I might come over here and lower contrast to see if it helps. Let's bring in some of the shadow areas back. But it's just not able to do enough of what I need. So instead I'll isolate these areas. I'll say well the highlights, let's get them darker. Let's bring the highlights slider down. Keep going. And we're starting to look pretty good. Highlights is maxed out. I wish I could move it to about 120, negative 120. I can't. Well I learned that there was a trick if you maxed out either shadows or highlights. Didn't we go for exposure even though we know it affects the whole image? I'll do that until my highlights look good. Now the dark part of the picture got darkened and I didn't want it to so I go to to shadows. Compensate. I want the image to pop a little bit more. There are three sliders to make it pop. What are they? Contrast, clarity, vibrance. So I could try increasing contrast, even though we adjusted it previously. Try bringing up clarity, there we go. And try bringing up our vibrance. Vibrance controls how colorful the image is. Wanna see before and after? I hit backslash. Although backslash doesn't always go all the way back. I'll show you how to go all the way back later on when we talk more about the controls that are down here at the bottom. There is a control down here where I can see a before and after side by side. I can click on this icon to switch between them. We'll get into that after we've talked about the adjustment sliders more. So all you have here is a bunch of images to adjust, every person would have a different idea of what their best end result would look like. I know that oftentimes you look at an image and you just think I don't like it. You just don't know why. And over time you get used to how to think about the individual sliders and you realize things like what makes an image pop? Contrast, clarity, vibrance. So if you just don't like the image, maybe it's 'cause it just looks kinda dull. And you don't know how to describe the dullness. If so, you go to those three sliders. Sometimes it has more obvious issues. You go into it and you're like well that person that was standing there, I can't even see him. And so then it's more obvious what to do. And you say well the shadows, let's max it out. That's not far enough. Well fine, supplement it with exposure. And then you're like well exposure though affects everything. So after using it what do you have to do? Bring your highlights back down. Then you can keep moving exposure even further if you need to, but there's a balance. There's only so far you can take it without getting into the other sections of Lightroom that we're not talking about today. I can bring up things like clarity. Before. After. But whenever I'm adjusting an image I'm thinking about biggest problem first. And then after fixing the biggest problem, then I see is there any other problem? If so, keep going until all the problems are done. And when all the problems are done, then I might just try to make it pop a little bit with the three sliders I mentioned. In this case I think pretty much the whole image is dark. I don't care about the sky, because the sky isn't really an important part of my image. So possibly exposure. Once I bring exposure up, I'm not sure, it's just looks a little too bright in some areas. So I could experiment, I could try to make the image pop with a little contrast. The highlights like in this area here are a little too bright for me, so I might bring down highlights until I like them. I might try to make it pop some more with a little clarity. That I kinda like. But this image has a little bit more of a color issue, it's a little bit more yellowish to me. I think it's a little too yellow. We haven't gotten into color yet, we'll come back to that in just a few minutes. The final thing I wanna do when adjusting things as far as brightness goes is I just wanna show you here are three images. One, two, three. Different exposure settings. I'm gonna adjust all three until I see if I can get them to a point that I like. And I'm not gonna describe what I'm doing, I'm just gonna do it. This image, let's see, highlights. And a little bit there. And I'm gonna do it to each one and then we'll compare them. And we'll see if you can tell the difference or not. I'm sure you'll be able to tell the difference, because each time my brain will just be thinking of something slightly different. But there's one. If I need to switch to the next image, I can just use the arrow keys. It's looking at the grid of images and if I use the right arrow, it just switched to the next image. So then I'll optimize this and it's a completely different image, these were processed with the old version if you're trying any of these, so they have the little lightning bolt icon that I had to click on. But I'm gonna then adjust this one. And then I'll go to the next one. Each time since these were processed with the old version, I have to click the little lightning bolt to get the most modern kind of processing. And let's just say that's it. Now I have three different images, remember the originals look quite different 'cause they were different in brightness. I'm gonna select all three of those images and down at the bottom of my screen when I'm in the library module is an icon where I can compare images. It's this icon down here. It will allow me to see all those images side by side. And if you look at them, even though the originals look considerably different than each other, the end results don't look dramatically different. The one that I notice the most was this one here looks quite different than the others and that's just because the original on this one was so bright where there was almost no information captured in this spot. 'cause there's a limit on where we can darken. And we just didn't capture the detail in the sky, but otherwise pretty darn similar. But the settings used for each image are quite different, because they had different problems with them. Do we have questions about the general brightness and contrast adjustments we've been working with here? Yeah, you were saying earlier that on your whites and blacks, you said maybe do it maybe later on but don't worry about at first. As a general rule I have always, the first I do is set my white point and black point. Now is that just personal preference or do you have any thoughts on that? Yeah, I have some thoughts on that. Let's look at a few images when it comes to when I would use whites and blacks at the beginning. The problem with using whites and blacks at the beginning is it's not you shouldn't do it, it's that you should double check it at the end. Because if you end up adjusting contrast, highlights, shadows, or a lot of the other sliders, it's going to also affect those bright and dark areas. And so you might have established how bright the brightest area was at the beginning and how dark the darkest area was at the beginning, but by the time you were done moving the other sliders, they've now been moved from that point to something different. And you might not realize that you no longer have what you thought you established at the beginning. And that's why I think of them as finishing techniques. It doesn't mean I never use them at the beginning, it just means I always double check at the end. I know we haven't done that on any images yet, but why don't we get into when would I use it at the beginning, that kind of stuff. There are some extreme examples and this would be one. When the image looks so dull that using just about anything, using contrast, can only go so far. You're gonna max it out. Using clarity can only go so far, you're gonna max it out. Whatever it is is not gonna allow you to really get the image to stop looking hazy and dull. And that's one time when I'll go to whites and blacks. Because if you look at this particular image, do you notice that there is nothing in the image that's anywhere close to being black? Nowhere near being that dark. Now for those of you in the studio audience if you're not seeing these images, just so you know I switched to a different collection, one called fixed contrast. So if you happen to be looking, you might need to look there. But I'm gonna grab the blacks slider in this case, because I want the darkest part of the image to be closer to black. I move the blacks slider to the left which darkens the darkest areas and I'll move it until I think the darkest part of that picture is nice and dark. Then I might bring up something like clarity to make the details pop out in that image. And I might bring up vibrance to make it more colorful. We haven't talked about shifting color yet, but I might shift the color on this image as well. But if you look at how flat it was before, just how dull it is and compared to after, getting it to have what's known as a black point in an area that is black can be helpful. If I do that on a different picture, I can show you a little trick. With most of the adjustment sliders there's a setting here called auto. And if I click the auto button, it's going to adjust multiple sliders just to try to fix the image. But the computer's trying to figure out what's wrong and it doesn't know what the picture looks like so I rarely use auto on the whole image, but it can help when it comes to a very dull image. Because what did it do with a very dull image? It moved the whites and the blacks to make sure it's close to white in the bright area, close to black in the dark area. It did move the other sliders as well, but most of the time I find those are things that I'll do a better job of figuring out on my own. So the auto button can be nice, especially when you have a dull image to get it to start looking somewhat normal. I'm gonna double click on the word tone to get back to the defaults, meaning to clear out what was in there. And here's a trick. You can hold down the shift key and double click either on the slider that you're thinking of or the name of the slider and it will apply auto to only that slider. And so sometimes doing that to the whites and blacks on a dull looking image can be useful. And then you adjust the rest of the sliders. But I held down the shift key and I double clicked on either the name of a slider or the slider itself and that means only apply auto to this slider. That's also a good thing to do with a blacks slider whenever you think you're done with a picture. Because whenever you think you're done with the picture, if the darkest part of the picture is not close to solid black, it can look dull when you view the image next to another that does contain solid black. And when you shift click on the blacks slider, double click like that, it will make sure the darkest part of your image either is a tiny area of black or is really close to black. It will make it so your image doesn't look dull. But just make sure it looks right. When you shift, double click, just don't do that because I told you to. Do it and hope it looks better (chuckles) when you see it. If it doesn't look better, choose undo and say now I'm gonna skip that tip because on this particular image it might not have helped. But on most images I find having a small area of black helps. So when I think I'm done with most of these images, I would come in here, hold down the shift key and double click on the word blacks. And it will usually improve the picture. I don't always do that with whites. You don't always need a small area of white in your picture. I can try it, shift, double click on whites. See if it helps. And just choose undo if it doesn't. So in this image come in here, shift, double click on blacks, and it just darkened the dark part of the image to make it closer. Before. After. And so anyway I would try that on my images whenever I think I'm done, shift, double click on blacks. Now there are other ways of adjusting blacks where you can get more precision, where you can actually see what part of your image is turning black and that type of thing. We'll cover that in a tips section, it's just beyond today's content. If you're used to doing that in Lightroom, go ahead and do that. But if you're not used to it and you just wanna get a better looking images, try shift, double clicking on the blacks whenever you think you're done with the picture. So the main time that I use the blacks and whites sliders at the beginning is when I have a very hazy looking image for me. It's not a terrible thing to do at the beginning though if you just like it, the main thing is I double check it at the end to make sure you still are where you think you wanted to be. So here's an image where I mainly wanted a silhouette of this. I didn't want you to see the detail of the bird, I was more interested in the shape of it. So in this case I might take blacks and say darken the blacks up by moving it to the left until you cannot see any detail in that bird. I could take the whites then and say make the bright part of the picture brighter, brighter. And decide exactly how much detail I wanna be able to see in each of those areas by using blacks and whites. So it's not unheard of for me to use blacks and whites, but I always think of them at the end. Regardless if I thought the image needed it or not. Let's briefly talk about color. When it comes to color there are two different things we can do. One is control how colorful an image is and the other is control how much of a particular color is in an image, because sometimes you'll have too much of something. Your entire image will look too yellow or your entire will look too blue. That's the other kind of change we can make. Here's another yoga shot of my wife. This one was taken here in San Francisco and in this case I'm just gonna optimize the image a little bit. I don't like that I can't see the detail in my wife's pants, so I'll bring up the shadows slider till I can see a little bit more detail there. And I might want a little more detail in the sky so I'll bring down my highlights until just a little bit more detail. Color-wise though we have two sliders that control how colorful the image is and they're called vibrance and saturation. Both of those sliders if I move them towards the right make the image more colorful. And if move them towards the left it makes it less colorful. The difference between the two is that saturation treats all colors equally. So when I bring saturation up, every color gets an equal boost. And the problem with that is my wife's red top here is already pretty colorful and there's a limit to how colorful something can become. And when I hit that limit the outfit she's wearing is gonna start looking artificial. It's gonna look like it's glowing red like it needs batteries to keep it that colorful. Before other areas really reach their potential. Vibrance on the other hand doesn't treat every color equally. Vibrance concentrates on the mellow colors, the things that are not all that colorful to begin with. That's where the largest change happens and then it applies less and less as it gets in to the more colorful areas. So therefore I can boost vibrance quite a bit before my wife's outfit becomes too colorful, because it's applying less and less at it gets into those colorful areas. So therefore the color of the building and the concrete and everything else can be emphasized. And I notice the blues in the windows and things are becoming more pronounced. I find that a lot of people have just gotten used to vibrance as the only thing to use and they almost ignore saturation. I use the two together. I think of vibrance as being what should happen to the mellow stuff and then saturation is affecting the image as a whole. So in this particular case what I like about the image is the red top my wife's wearing and also I actually like the red curb that's in the distance as it goes with it. And I find anything else to be a distraction. So if I bring up vibrance, do you notice in the windows up there you see blue? And I'm starting to see the concrete looking bluish and I'm seeing the blue of the sky reflected here in this metal. I don't think that's helping the image. So in this particular image, I'm gonna actually move vibrance into the negative range. Negative vibrance means mellow out those mellow colors, make them even less colorful. And therefore the color in the window that there's and the color in the concrete will be lessened. And then to compensate for lessening things, I'll increase saturation so the image as a whole comes up. That's how my wife's outfit gets to where I like it. So now you can almost see no color in the concrete. You can see almost no color in these metal loops and I don't notice the blue that was reflecting into the windows, because I ended up deciding what should happen to the mellow things compared to the colorful. So if I have a picture of a flower and it's already pretty darn colorful, when I adjust vibrance I'm thinking what do I want to have happen to everything but the flower? Like the dirt it's planted in and that type of stuff. Do I want to emphasize it, make it more vivid, closer to how colorful the flower is? Or do I wanna de-emphasize it? And after adjusting vibrance, then I go to saturation to just fine tune the image as a whole. Before. After. I'd also wanna straighten and crop this image, but that's a different session. The other kind of change that I want to work with is not just how colorful things are, but how much of a color is in an image. And that is control with white balance. White balance is the letters WB up here and white balance is made up of two sliders, temperature and tint. And what happens is every color has an opposite and you can see the opposites here where the opposite of blue is yellow, the opposite of green is magenta. And so if there's too much of a particular color in an image, I'm gonna move this slider away from what we have too much of. So first I'm gonna make it so we have too much of a color. I'll just grab one of these two sliders and push it until it's obvious that there's too much of a color. In this case it's obvious the image is too blue. And so I move this away from blue, away from blue, away from blue until I think we no longer have an overabundance of blue. If I go too far, we'll end up with too much of the opposite of blue. But somewhere in between too much yellow and too much blue is just right of both. I can do the same thing with the tint slider, I can get too much green in the image or I move it the other way, too much magenta. And somewhere in between is just right. So if you ever open an image and it just looks overly yellow, then these are the sliders to go to. Looks way blue, that's where I'm gonna go to. But sometimes it's hard to figure out exactly where those should end up and in those cases we have two other ways of figuring out where we should end up. Both of the other methods will actually move these two sliders, that's the end result. It's just figuring out where they should end up. And that is there's a popup menu right here and this is designed for compensating for known light sources. If you know this photograph was taken in an office under fluorescent lighting, then choose fluorescent here, because the color of fluorescent lights is relatively consistent and we can compensate for it here. Or if you know it was shot at somebody's home and they have tungsten, normal light bulbs in their lamps, this could compensate for it. Or if you're outdoors and it was just broad daylight, you could use this. Or if you were in the shade, that type of thing. So if you know the type of lighting, you could choose from here. In this particular case, I don't remember. Was it overcast out? Was it bright sunlight? I just don't know. So here I'd be guessing. I can always switch between these and see if it makes the image look better. Oops, I didn't mean to click there. And just try the next one and just see if any one of these happens to make it look better. But watch what it's actually doing. All it's doing is moving these two sliders to preset locations. So every time I set it to shade, it's setting it to these two numbers. And every time I set it to fluorescent, it's setting it to those two numbers. So it's just like a preset. If you don't know what the light source was, then that might not be the most effective way to go. Then the final way we can figure out where to move these two sliders is using this big eyedropper here. If I click on the eyedropper, now I can hover over my picture. And what i wanna do on my picture is look for something that should contain no color whatsoever. Just think about all the different shades of gray you have on a grayscale photograph, where is something that would look identical if it was shot with a black and white shot? That would be things that are white or shades of gray. So I look in this image and let's see there's a box down here. If that box happened to be a white box, that'd be perfect, I could click on it. If this little ring that's in here happens to be a white plastic ring, that'd be great. But I need to look through the scene and see if I can find any things that should be a shade of gray. Any shade of gray. In general I don't care how bright as long as it's not at the absolute extremes. If it's pure white where there's absolutely no detail, it can't pick up what's in there. And if it's pure black, I wanna ignore that. But if it's close to those two, we still will be fine. So I'm gonna come out here and just kinda guesstimate by looking at what I think would be a shade of gray. I'm gonna see that box. Let's see if this was a white box. I could find out if I click on it and all the colors in the image look better, it was. If all the colors shift to something bad, it was not a white box and I shifted it to become a white box. Instead it was a brown box or something else. So I can try that. I can try something else. Maybe these little spools, they look lik they'd be gray so I can try that. I can try this wall if I think it was painted gray. And if all the colors in the image improve by doing so, then I was probably correct. And if they don't, if everything looks too yellow or too blue or something else, then it probably wasn't the case. I'm gonna see if this was painted white. There, that's looking pretty good color-wise. Now you can see this kinda zoomed up version that's moving along with my mouse, you're gonna get that only if you go to the bottom of your screen and down here at the bottom is a checkbox called show loupe. That means let me be zoomed up so I can tell really exactly what I'm clicking on. If I turn that off, you'll just get the eyedropper. The other thing about using the eyedropper is it can be setup where the moment you click, you're no longer in the eyedropper. It auto dismisses itself. You can control that by going in to the eyedropper and on the lower left is a checkbox called auto dismiss. And if that's turned on, every time you click with it, you're no longer in the eyedropper. You'd have to go re-choose it. I don't like auto dismiss being turned on, because I like to experiment clicking on various areas to see which one works best. Hey, Ben? Yes. I was just wondering, do you ever use a gray card? I do. You can also what I would suggest is if you're gonna be traveling around a lot and you have issues with color, is I carry around this little thing. It's called a WhiBal Card. But there are many different manufacturers that make something similar to this. And it's just a little gray card and this says certified neutral, meaning they actually measured this to make sure it's not slightly yellow or blue. It's neutral, meaning no hint of color in it. And what I'll do is when I'm traveling I'll actually put this in the scene wherever the light is falling on my main subject. I'll make it fall on this and I'll take a photo of it. Then that gives me something to click on with that eyedropper I just showed you. And we can adjust more than one picture at a time. So when I click on that, it could correct all the pictures that were shot in the same lighting as this. And so this little card, this is the same size as those little plastic cards you have on your keyring for your gym and your grocery store and everything else everybody has. Well you can add one that's a little gray card so it's always with you. And I actually attach one to my wife's camera bag and she likes it when I have one on mine. So then whenever we're out shooting together, I always just turn my camera to her and I take a picture of her in the environment 'cause the light's falling on her and that little card sitting right on her bag and I have something to click on. And so yes, I always have one of those. It's called a WhiBal Card, but there are other brands of those. You don't have to have a WhiBal. The only reason I really like the WhiBal is it's durable. It's durable plastic, some of the other ones are a little more fragile. And here it is on my wife's camera bag. Always seen on the bag, so I'm always taking pictures of her wherever we go whenever the lighting changes. We go into the shade, I take a picture of my wife standing in the shade. If we go out in the sun, I take another picture of her. And therefore whenever the color of the light might have changed a little bit, I have a reference I can click on. If you have more than one image selected like this in a series and you go to the develop module, when you use that white balance eyedropper, if down here at the bottom, oops, I didn't mean to zoom in that far, if this says auto sync, it means whatever I do to this photo should apply to all the other photos selected. And if you want it turned on, it's a little light switch right here. If it's turned off, it means whatever I do only affects the one photo I'm looking at. If it's turned on, it means all the photos that are selected. So if I had more than one picture selected before I went over there, I would just make it so I click on that little card that's on my wife's bag and therefore all the pictures taken in the same environment, same kind of light, would be compensated for. So that's a great thing to do. Here's another example where I just didn't like the color blue that was in here. And so I think this is in Iceland, just so you know. Also it was at sunset and this doesn't feel all that much like sunset. So if you think about what would look more like sunset, wouldn't it be more yellowish and more magentaish than it would be blue or green? And if I look at the color of these icebergs, if anything they're too blue. So I'm gonna move this away from blue and you see the entire picture changing. And now it's like wow, look at that. So now I have to decide how much can I push in there to get more of that color of the sunset without taking too much blue out of the iceberg. And then I'll try the other one, tint. Push it towards orange or green. Sometimes I start off with a setting called daylight just to start in some sort of range and then I'll kind of push it away. Once I've done that, I can adjust how colorful the image is with vibrance. And then I could fine tune the image. I haven't even done that. I could make it pop more with a little clarity, I could bring out some detail in the shadows if I want to see the detail in the dark areas. All sorts of things you could do. But for now I just mainly wanna talk about that color. So you can interpret the same picture in many different ways. Here we have a white object, a building that's painted white. So if I use my white balance eyedropper an click on it, it should be rendered as white. But you should know that areas that are in the shade are a different color, because shady areas, unless it's an overcast day, if it's a blue sky kind of day, are lit by the blue sky. So they're more blueish. So if I click within the shade, it's gonna warm up this picture. If I click outside of the shade, it's gonna make it more neutral. Or I can say I don't want either one, I want it to look more like sunset and I can force it over to be a little bit warmer. Because sometimes you just want that feeling in the image. If I go to a same image, all I did was walk to the edge of the building here. Do you see these guys standing here? They were playing with a dog and here was taken a few minutes later. This shot, same building, just different angle. And if I set this, I could come in with my eyedropper and click on the white building and it's gonna look neutral like it would to my eye. But it's like no, I don't want that. I'm gonna push it towards yellow 'cause I want it to feel more like sunrise or sunset, warmed up to give it an effect. And I like that better. So when it comes to color we have a couple of different controls. The main ones are if we have too much of a particular color, if the image is too blue, too green and so on, white balance is gonna do it. If we have something white or gray in the scene, the eyedropper will help us figure out where we should end up. But we can always fine tune the end result with these two sliders 'cause in the end that is white balance. Regardless of how you're setting it, it's these two sliders. And then down here we have vibrance and saturation to control how colorful the image is. Remember vibrance controls the mellow colors, should they be amped up or mellowed out? And saturation controls everything. So I'll use kind of a combination of the two, much of the time. The more you get used to the sliders, the better you'll be at adjusting things. So let's think about what we've been doing here. If you think about the adjustments we've talked about so far, just the basic ones, and you think about what some of my original images looked like compared to the end results. Some of the results were quite dramatic. If you think about the monk that was sitting there in this overly dark area, it's kind of one of those images you might even skip by, you think it's not worth working on. Or when you think about those three shots that were the exact same shot, just difference in brightness, how I could adjust all three of them to get them to be pretty acceptable shots. So even though the original picture might not have looked amazing, doesn't mean that through using Lightroom's basic adjustment controls you can't radically transform it. So think about with just that knowledge how many of your images are you gonna be able to transform to really fix and dramatically improve them? Well, if you want some practice, we have some Lightroom catalogs that you can open up that have some challenge images in them where you can simply get used to the basic adjustment sliders by being guided through it by having images that have specific problems. So you don't have to search through yours to find the images that are best to learn with these, instead you can open up your Lightroom catalogs that come with the class with purchase, you can adjust those and do your homework. We have a PDF that someone guides you through the process. And therefore, by the time you're done, you can feel much more comfortable with it. Now if you think about this, we've still got 16 days left. We've only gone through a few days. So if you've felt you've learned a little bit now, imagine what you're gonna learn over 16 more days. We're gonna learn about things like keywording, that's gonna make it so we can search for our images. My goal is to be able to find any memorable image in five seconds or less. Any image. If I can remember it and it's a finished image that's good, ready to show people, I should be able to find it in five seconds. Think about could you do that right now? If the answer is no, then you wanna keep going and get through keywording. We'll talk about printing. We'll talk about panoramas. We have a whole bunch to cover, but we have 16 whole days. If you wanna find me on the internet, you wanna look me up on social media and all that kind of stuff, here are where you can find me. One thing that's interesting here, I mentioned earlier the world is my yoga mat, which is the yoga photography. You saw some of that with my wife. Another thing that's in here is on Pinterest. You'll find all my general interests, it's not as much about my straight up photography. But if you're into architecture, design and all that, I have over 20,000 followers there. Then there's my main website, which is But here we've been another day with Lightroom's CC Photo Editing. Let's keep going, we've got quite a few days left. Quite a lot more to learn.

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!