Skip to main content

Histograms and Profiles

Lesson 10 from: Lightroom Desktop for the Photo Enthusiast

Jared Platt

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

10. Histograms and Profiles

Learn how to read the histogram in Lightroom and how to use Presets and Profiles.
Next Lesson: Basic Adjustments

Lesson Info

Histograms and Profiles

So now it's time to start editing our photos and adjusting them and making them look the way we thought they should look when we were photographing them. So in our mind we could see this amazing photograph but they never really looked that way when we bring them in. In fact, oftentimes in order to capture the highlights, we have to kind of dark in the photo down or in order to capture the the shadows. We have to brighten up the image. And so sometimes the perfect exposure is not a photo that looks perfect on the back of the camera, but it's a photo that has all of the details in it, that has all the data. And so I'm looking at this set of images and sometimes it's hard to see what the images are going to look like when you're looking at them in the grid. And so I'm actually going to hit the D key so that I go into the detail view and also you'll see that I still have my images down here in the filmstrip area. Uh And then I also over on the right hand side have the info panel open so I ...

can see how long I had the shutter open and things like that. So this is an eighth of a second. I I was playing with the shutter just to see what I could get out of that water and then sometimes I would slow it down. This is 1/ of a second and the fourth of a second looks pretty good. I did summit an eighth of a second and I really like the way that it shows movement in the water but it also freezes it a little bit, it kind of gives it that like there's a lot of motion to it. So that's pretty cool. Um I gave this one a five star which I really like but I kind of want to play around with some of the really slow motion stuff because it makes it look very foggy but I really like these rocks because they look like huge islands sticking out of the mist. So um I'm gonna go with this one as my main photograph. So let's start working on this image. So we're in the detail mode but we have the info panel open and in order to edit the image, we can either go up and click on this little edit looking button where the sliders, it's got little sliders on it or we can click the e key for edit. So once we're in the edit panel, you'll see that we've got several things open to us first, you'll see the hissed a gram and the history is important because it shows us what kind of data we have. And this hissed a gram is actually very good. This is the perfect hissed a Gram for this photograph. So let's go over what a hissed a gram is A hissed a gram is basically a graphical representation of the pixels and the brightness and darkness of those pixels in a given photograph. And so when you look at this history Graham you see that. It is actually perfect for the scenario. So when I was photographing I was trying to make sure that I had all the data. And so I can see in the history Graham and I saw the same hissed a gram on the actual uh camera itself. But I can see that the in the shadow area, the shadows actually fall off before they get clipped on the left hand side. If they got clipped, you would know that the blacks got clipped. And so there's no more data beyond the hissed a gram. And I want data in there. So when I zoom in, you can see that there's actual detail inside of those shadows. Um and that's represented here inside of that fall off before it clips on the black. And then the same is true for the highlights. So all the highlights are here, maybe in the brightest parts of the water, some of this area here. And then of course up here in the sky, especially right along the edge of this uh sky because that the sun is back there somewhere. And so those highlights right back here are represented in these spikes of white up on the right hand side of the history RAM. But notice that they fall off before they hit the edge as well. And so I have full detail in my whites. I have full detail in my blacks and I haven't clipped anything so that's perfect. That's a perfect capture of data. Now I need to do something about it. And so as we look here we've got the instagram and then below that we have the preset area and we also have the option to automatically adjust this image which I can click on that and do that. It did a pretty good job automatically getting us in the zone. But we're going to actually go through this manually so that you can see the process. Um And then I have the option to turn it black and white or turn off the black and white. So it's a toggle on or off. I'm gonna keep this in color. So then those are your real basic options there and the preset area when you click on it, it just opens up a drawer and that drawer has a bunch of presets. So these are premium presets that come with Lightroom so you can click on any of these. And as you hover over them it's going to show you what the photo would look like if you click on that particular preset but also look around at the sliders as they move back and forth. So presets are just things that slide sliders back and forth. Um and then there's recommended presets here and then there's yours. These are presets that I have put in to lightroom. So we'll talk more about presets later. So I'm gonna close that drawer and we're going to go down and talk about the rest of these tools. So the first thing that you'll see is the profile area and profile. This dropdown menu allows you to select basic profiles but that's not where we're gonna go, we're gonna go to the profile browser which is this little three square icon here with the search magnifying glass. So I'm going to click on that and when I do it opens up a browser it opens up a browser that allows us to see our favorites and I can close any of those. And then I can also open up any adobe raw, I can open up some camera matching profiles. I can open up some profiles that I'm currently working on um and then I can also open profiles that I actually sell. So there's black and white or profiles and there's also color profiles. But the question then is what is a profile? A profile is different than a preset. So I I showed you those presets When I click on the presets it opens a drawer and then as I go through these presets it changes the way the photograph looks based on changing slider positions. So if I go to the light area here and I opened the point curve here as I hover through that as I hover through that you'll see the see how the curve changes there to there. So it's changing slider positions and curves and all sorts of stuff in order to make a style with this particular photograph which is really cool. But it also changes all the sliders. So if you happen to have changed a slider and then you click a preset that has that same slider involved, it can negate what you just did. So presets can be a little problematic in that they can actually change what you've just done. Whereas profiles are very different. So when I hover over these profiles it's doing the same thing, it's changing the way the photos look. But the difference is is that when I click on one of these profiles, none of the sliders change because a profile is actually a an underlying color definition. So it's taking the original raw image and it's putting a definition over the top of it so that it's defining the color and the contrast before it ever gets to your eyes before you ever see it here you're gonna it's changing all of those definitions. So instead of red equaling red, red equals say pink or red equals orange. And so it shifts the colors so that we see them differently before we ever do any sliders. So profiles is the underlying color definition. And so it allows us to do some pretty cool things because I can adjust the image to my heart's content and then I can come back and add a profile later or I can add a profile and then adjust the images because they're completely separate things. The profile is its own thing and then all the sliders are their own thing. And then presets are things that change slider positions and you can even have a preset, tell Lightroom to add a profile. So a preset is a button that does things that you don't want to do again. So it's almost, it's a macro that just tells lightroom to change these sliders, add this profile and then you've got this look so you can use presets to change sliders and add profiles or you can just choose a profile and you can change that profile and it will change the underlying color definitions at will. So that's what a profile is. So I'm going to go down and look at my color art pro profiles and I'm just going to scan down to the cooler ones and just I like that one. It's fairly subtle, but if I want, I can choose one that's less subtle. Like this one, Once I've clicked on it I can go down to the bottom of the profile area and there's an amount slider, that amount slider allows me to go to 0% of that effect or 200% of that effect. So I can slide back and forth until I like the way it looks. So I think I like right there, what is that? That's some odd percent. So somewhere in the nineties is where I like it, and I'm going to click the back button up top here, right under the hissed a gram, and that takes me back to the regular area inside of the edit menus.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Profiles + Presets

Ratings and Reviews

Jean McMillan

Thoroughly enjoyed your class, have learned so much about how take my Ipad to another level, now can't wait to put it all into practise!

Red Tulip

Sometimes it's hard to know what the instructor is pointing to so it's easy to get confused. Better job is needed in explaining what you are pointing to.

Student Work