Mastering Global Exposure Changes
Well, we left off we had discovered how amazing white balance can be so in some cases that may bring the colors in your image back in the line and you may not have to do a whole lot to the rest of the settings here in the basic panel in the developed module but let's go ahead and now turn our discussion to those other settings so we talked a little bit yesterday about while you can change all this stuff in light ring you're really theoretically not supposed to be fixing a crappy exposure is supposed to get your exposure's good as you can in camera and fix it over here but let's go ahead and talk about these so the first thing you're going to see here is the auto button so let me find another image to play with here choose this image and I'm gonna go ahead and re set it back tio it's flat low contrast original so if you do have an image that is rather flat which means it is lacking in contrast then in some cases just clicking the auto button over here towards the right hand side may bri...
ng thie image back in tow line now this one looks a little bit too bright so what you could do is then grab the exposure which you can think of as a brightness control and adjust the exposure just a little bit here again the background the line behind the actual triangular sliders is trying to tell you what will happen if you drag this slider to the left see how next to the word exposure that slider looks dark the line behind it looks dark and see how it looks light towards the right so if you drag the exposure setting again which you can kind of think of as overall image brightness if you drive it to the left you're going to darken the whole image if you drive it to the right you're gonna lighten the whole image that's pretty much it so in some cases just clicking this auto button and then doing a slight exposure adjustment maybe all you need to make the image look good to you and that is the most important person in this whole game is you unless it's a paid gig and then that's the client now when it play around with this image just a little bit let me look and see what the next image is. All right? So that would be a good image candidate for an auto correction something that this looks a little flat so let's take a peek at another one I got this shot this is the inside of a tropical hibiscus I mean little thing with a fabulous macro linz and I rented from linz pro to go dot com so try before you buy it people so let's, go ahead and set this one back to the original and you see it's a little bit fluorescent, so we're switching this image and now we're going to open the history and panel that's at the top right? And there is going to spend a few moments talking about what the heck you're seeing here so the history graham is this really siri's of bar graphs? And as you point your mouse cursor at different areas of the graph, can you see how different sliders are being eliminated farther down in the basic panel? See how my cursor also when I start pointing at the history ram has a double sided arrow that is your indication that you can click in drag so the's are tiny little bar graph stacked right next to each other that represent how many pixels at a given level of brightness you have in your image. This area over here toward the left, as you can see is I point my mouse cursor over there illuminates the shadows and the black sliders in the basic panel that means the left end of that history one or the left end of all those bar graphs manage the shadows in your image as we mass over here or point our cursor I'm not clicking at all yet as we porn are cursed into the right side of that history and you can see that now as I point at different areas toward the right side, the highlights, and the whites sliders are now being accentuated down there in the basic panels, that means the right side of that history, and those bar chart paragraphs are affecting the highlights in your image. So if we've got shadows on one side and highlights on the other side, what do you think's in between mittens? So as we point our cursor to the center, part of that hissed a gram, we're not seeing when we see that go down here a little bit. All we get is like an exposure we're highlighting on the exposure, but the left side is for your shadows in the right side is for your highlights, and your mid tones are going to be in between what really affects your mid tones down here in the basic panel is your contrast slider, as well as your clarity slider. Okay, so we'll talk just more about those here in just a second, but I just want to kind of show you how you can point your mouse cursor at the different areas in the history. Ram, too, remember what that is affecting in your image. So if you forget, just point your cursor, and you'll see the little sliders highlight down there, so basically a good history, graham would have these little grafs going all the way across it because the full dynamic capacity of your image you know how many different variations how many different shades of gray did you capture that light room is interpreting into color here you go all the way across this history and so you've got what two hundred fifty six shades of gray normally so in front of shop when you look at the history um you've actually got a little gray scale bar underneath the history ram and it goes from black so white and it really helps you see how many pixels and any given brightness level you have because the taller the's charts right here the more pixels you have it that corresponding level of brightness well what's the corresponding level of brightness well it depends on where you are in history ram so if it's a way over here and I point my mouse over there I see oh I'm in the highlight section because that slider illuminated itself down there in the basic panel but in photo shop if you do a levels adjustment or curves adjustment you actually see that grayscale bar underneath it there so it just kind of helps you understand exactly what you're seeing so if you were to imagine a grayscale bar underneath that history um and you do a straight line down from these really tall collins right here all the way down it would be corresponding to that particular level of brightness but you don't see that here in light room so uh one of my friends and fellow trainers this I think this analogy is attributed to him you never know where these analogies come from right? But the last time I heard it I heard it attributed teo michael menace you used to be I think the senior product manager for in design at adobe and he's just a wonderful wonderful trainer and he likes to explain the history graham as a series of tiles so if you look in a mosaic it's made up of a series of tiles that are all different colors well if you were to take the mosaic apart and you would organize the tiles stack um according to color then you'd get something like a history graham so the taller the mountains that's another analogy that I like to use is to refer to this as a mountain range the taller and wider your mountains the more colors you have at that corresponding level of brightness and if we're over here on the right hand of our history rams that means we've got a whole lot of highlights in the image and if we take a peek over here the image itself we find that indeed that is true we've gotta have a lot of highlights in the image now if we look over here ah shorter mountains the mountain range that means you've got fewer pixels so if we keep coming over here to the shadow side of things well the information the stack of mosaic tiles is really short the mountains were really sure and there's even a little bit of a gap over here on the left hand side as well as the right hand side so that means we have very few if any pixels at that corresponding level of rightness I really do wish there was a great skill bar underneath there because it's far easier to explain in photoshopped in fact I don't have it open I won't put you through that but nevertheless just imagine a grayscale bar anything that's solid black over here and that goes two shades of grey and a solid white on the right so the goal here in fixing exposure using these controls in the basic panel is to spread out that history um so you can use all the colors that are available in that dynamic range of colors there so what we've got is a gap on the right hand side and a gap on the left hand side well, those gaps mean that we have few to know pixels at that brightness level so if we're over here are shadow side and we're looking at that history ram it's pretty obvious that we don't have any solid black we don't really have shadows in this image and if we look at the image over here we can agree that that's true, and we've got a lot of information in the middle in the mid tones, and we've got a lot of highlight data. You'll also notice that this history graham is in colors over in photo shop used to be, well, it really still is just black, unless you are it's on the gray background, it's, hawaii, and you can change it to show you the the bar charts for the individual color channels, but here, light room, we can see that. So the reason this is read right here is because we're going toe a bunch of red in this image, and how do we know we have a bunch? What we're seeing it, but also we've got a tall and wide little mountain area, or when we disassembled, I'm mosaic and took all the colored tiles and stashed them up. We would have a way taller stack of rid than anything else in this particular image, so that is a helpful way of just understanding what the history, um, is trying to tell you, and you can see these history rams in camera might have to root through your owner's manual to figure out how to turn the thing on, and you can see the history, um, after you capture in your lcd pail in the back of your camera, and that could just give you an idea whether you know what you've got if it's over exposed if it's under exposed or what have you but the controls here in this section can help you spread out this information so that you've got looks like you've got more colors in your image and more brightness levels and incidentally that's why the levels adjustment is named levels over in photo shot because you're adjusting the levels of brightness in your image so that's just a little bit about the history um now there are two little triangles at the top of the history and there's one right here and there's one right here if you point your cursor at them and let your mouse be steel, then light room will tell you what those d but those are our clipping warnings so the one on the left hand side is a shadow clipping warning and the one on the right hand side is a highlight clipping warning clipping simply means that you've taken the information in your image if its shadow and you've pushed them you've made a change somewhere in this basic panel that has pushed your shadows to be solid black you'll help procure you will hear pros call that who my shadows were plugged up on the highlight side if you make an adjustment let's say you increase the exposure so that your image is brighter it's real easy to push it to a point where your highlights become pure white when you push your shadows to pure black or when you push your highlights to pure why it's called clipping and that means that those areas air now devoid of any detail whatsoever because there's no information in pure black you can't see through pure black and you can't see through pure white so we're going to be careful about clipping by turning on these warnings now you don't have to keep him on all the time I don't there's a keyboard shortcut that I like to use for it is the j key so if I pressed the jakey see how those highlight and shadow warnings that now have a white outline around them that means that they're turned on and currently I have not clipped to my shadows or highlights in this particular image how do I know that a couple of different ways first of all, I've got no information on the far right side of my history and and I got little to no information on the far left side of my history um so I know I haven't clicked anything yet plus the triangles or grey so while these triangles or gray whether you have the warnings turned on or not lets you know that you don't have any clipping occurring in that particular image so as we start moving the exposure slider around we're going to see the's stacks of mosaic tiles or these bar charts we're going to see them scoot around and spread themselves out to take advantage of the full dynamic range of colors that we have available to us and when we do if we have clipping occur then these triangles are going to turn the color of the channel in which the clipping is happening so if I get ah shadow clipping than that triangle is if it's in the blue challenge is gonna turn blue it's over here in the highlights if I start getting clipping over here I can tell which channel it's occurring in by the color that the triangle turns but right now we don't have any on so again the keyboard shortcut to toggle those warnings often on is jay and while they have a white outline around them they're on so on off I accidentally switched to another image and say I have uh the triangle is white so I've got some clipping occurring in the shadows okay, so let's go back to the other image let's do this nice flower here okay, so when I first go in and adjust the white balance because we'll all do that first, right? So let's just do that white balance and try to find a neutral this works pretty well my values were all in the eighties so I'm pretty happy with that so give it a click and immediately my colors start coming into line with what they were when I shot the image now has come down here to our exposure control and I'm going to press the jakey to turn on the clipping mornings now as I drive the exposure slider to the right which will be brightening the exposure yes, you know that because that right into that slider itself is lighter in color than left in so as I dragged that to the right I will push my highlights if I keep on dragging to a point at which they become solid white pure white so I have lost all that beautiful detail in that flower at this point the red areas show you exactly where the clipping is occurring and that's what you get when you turn on your clipping morning so if I press jay to turn off my clipping warnings that I don't see the highlight warning for the clipping morning in highlights so as I bring my exposure slider back down to the left see how the clipping triangle with the top right the highlight clipping warning up there in the history um it will turn off the minute that clipping stops occurring now. Likewise, if I drag this exposure slider all the way to the lift I will start pushing my blacks to solid or my shadows rather solid black when that happens and you have the clipping warnings turn on those areas turn blue so I always turn on my clipping mornings when I'm headed at the exposure adjustment because I just want to make sure that I'm not introducing or I'm not, you know, losing details now I'm far less concerned about losing detail in the shadows and in the highlights, because usually there's not as much detail in shadows as there are in the highlights, but just be aware of it. Some photographers will tell you that you're never supposed to have pure blacks in your image that's a subjective thing, if you like the way really, really, really dark blacks look in your image, great there's, no rule against that, but you will find purists say that you're never supposed to have solid black shadows because they'll be plugged up and you want to see any detail into them. But if you like the way they look, don't worry about it. So with our clipping warnings on what we want to do with this exposure slider is just get the overall brightness of the image toe what we want and to me that somewhere around right there. But now I see, even though I don't see the warning, I see that I do have a little bit of clipping going on in my shadow, so to get rid of that, I think come down here and adjust the slider of the area in which the problem was occurring. So if you know the left side of your history it was all about shadows and the right side is all about highlights, which are white so you think blacks and whites then just go down here to the corresponding slider and if you've got clipping in the shadows, that means that they're too dark, so look at the line behind the slider for the black slider if I drive that slider to the left, I'm going to be darkening my shadows further if you're trying to get rid of a clipping morning that's not the direction you want to drag, but look at the right side of the slider it gets lighter in color, so if we were to drag our black slider to the right, we would be lightening our shadows, which should take care of the clipping fork's exact same way with the whites, so if you get clipping occurring in your highlights, get the exposure slider toe where the the overall image looks good to you. Make sure clipping warnings were on because when you start tweaking these whites and blacks sliders, you'll see the clipping mornings disappearing on me. We'll let you know exactly when to stop with your adjustment so that you've retained the detail that's in there so let's go ahead and make kind of a a severe exposure adjustment just for the sake of seeing how the whites and the blacks sliders affected okay, so at this point I've got clipping in my shadows I know that because I've got my clipping mornings turned on by pressing the jakey now since my shadows are being pushed to pure black, I'm er mei blackstar I'm gonna drag this slider to their right to see how the clipping morning went away, so I have now recovered the detail that was in those areas so likewise if we were to push the highlights to the point where I start getting clipping if I were to drag the whites cider to the left I'd be recovering detail in those areas. This is an extreme example, but I was kind of giving you an idea of how it works and if at any point you want to reset these sliders to zero just double click the tone button this guy right here just double click it and it'll reset all these sliders to zero so that you're starting over question uh yeah, is there a way to find tune the slide? Because I notice when you're sliding you're trying to get from negative fifty two negative forty nine instead of negative forty five is there a way to yeah, I think you hold down the option key moving in smaller increments maybe it's the command key there is a keyboard shortcut but I can't wear what is off my head but that's a great question so we're going to be looking at, we're gonna fix quite a few images here together, so we're gonna be looking at using the exposure slider in conjunction with the whites and blacks, so I just wanted to explain that whole clipping thing, because it is important to have those clipping mornings turn on, at least for a little while when you're adjusting the image just to see what's happening. Okay, so our clipping morning's air on, uh, I've already sent my white balance here, so now I'm going to brighten the exposure, just a touch. And now let's talk about contrast, so contrast is just going to make your lights a little bit lighter in your dark eyes a little bit darker in areas of high contrast, which means where uh, the white pixels of the flower up against the blue of the sky so light room's going to go in and look for areas of high contrast and it's gonna accentuate them almost a little bit like sharp earning. So the edges, the light part's going to get a little bit lighter in the dark parts, coming a little bit darker to make it look like it's got a little bit more contrast in it, so we're gonna drive the contrast up to the right a little bit, and as you change these sliders, you may occur you might have clipping occur so that's, why it's, good to have that warning on while you're in this area, just so you know, what's happening in your image. So now, in my opinion, I like the overall brightness of the image and the contrast is pretty good, but my my highlights are too light. I don't want to darken the whole exposure because it remember that's like overall image brightness. What I really want to do is target the highlights and just darken them a little bit without messing with my mid tones or my shadows. That's exactly what this slider does right here highlights what's gonna happen if you drag that slider left or right? Well, let's, look at the bar behind it, so I love how helpful light room is. But then again, if you don't know to look at the colors of those bars, you might not realize is trying to be helpful. So the highlights slider it's darker on the left in that it is on the right, and so we drag this slider to the left. We're going to be darkening our highlights if we drag that slider to the right, we're going to be lightning are highlights, so for this particular image, if I drag the highlight slider to the right look what's happening to just the highlights of my image now to see a before and after we can either press the waikiki and use your space bar to zoom if you want or we can simply press the back slash so there's our before and there's our after but you can see how powerful these controls are I mean in photo shop if you not camera robin in photo shop if you were to try to do this, you would have to do masking you don't have a tool to just target highlights I mean there's a there's a shadows and highlight adjustment a dialog box that you can get in and you've got some measure of these sliders but nothing as powerful as we have here in latin room or in camera wrong and remember the develop module of light room is really camera raw tucked inside of all this other functionality s o I mean pretty amazing, huh? As I dragged this highlight slider to the left and back you can see that it's amazing change now as I'm dragging that slider back and forth remember when we were talking about pushing our changes into the files yesterday we looked at how to push that information into the metadata with a preference do you realize that would've happened every single time I touched the slider? Can you imagine save, save, save, save, save, save, save that's why it's off by default at least of the interwebs kind of chimed in I am xu mentioned that when they want a really specific number in those sliders they just click on the number and just type in the number that they want oh yeah, you could do that team they were saying they like to do that for really incremental stuff definitely let me zoom in and show you that thank you guys so couple different things you khun double click and just type in whatever you want I do think there is a keyboard shortcut for smaller incremental changes with thes flatters back here remember what the heck it is so you can also just double click any of those numbers any of them doesn't matter which one they all work that way to type in what you want but she can also if you point your mouse first or two see how it turns into a scrubby bar or scrub her sir so I could just click in the hold and then I would be adjusting that just by dragging not particularly dragging the slider someone more really quick question is there before after function for the current adjustment you're making not the overall before and after not really for the basic panel to the basic panel doesn't have a switch leg room lay okay so we talked about exposure contrast in highlights now what do you think the shadow slider does? It lets you target just the shadows without any kind of masking going on. So if we wanted to lighten our shadows and you'll hear pros call that we want to open up our shadows, then which direction do you think we're going to drag? So look at the slider itself, the bar behind the triangle so if we dragged to the lift, we're going to be darkening our shadows. If we drag to the right, we're gonna be lightening our shadows. So if we drag to the left and this one, see how the shadow areas and our image is getting darker, darker, darker now you've also noticed, over here in my history, graham, I have pushed my information farther up against the shadow side. So now I have more pixels in the image now that are at this corresponding level of brightness, which is, if we had a great scale bar underneath, this dadgum thing would be black. So that's, why it's important to have your clipping mornings on? Because all of these sliders right here, thes six sliders are gonna affect your history and clarity. Will t so seven of really so it's important to have those warnings on. So as you come down, and like I said, I do use them in the order in which they are presented here in light room then that history is going to keep changing, but your overall goal is to spread it out as much as you can. Theoretically, that should be a better x closure, but again it's it's up to you. So now, as I drive that shadow slider to the right, see how my history ram is changing sea I'm opening up my shadows now the level of control that you've got with emir set of drag, a ble sliders and light ring is really astounding is your question? Yes, um, so I'm relatively new to photography in general, and especially in developing and so what's the difference really between using the highlights and shadows of versus the white on them. Relax that's a great question! Well, I'm watching it almost looks like it's doing the same thing that's ah, really great question so your highlights in your shadows will target just the highlights in your image or the shadows in your image and let you either lighten our darkened them. The whites and blacks sliders are meant to get rid of those clipping morning, so they are that you really supposed to use the whites and blacks sliders from more fine tuning, so smaller adjustments, but they're really for detail recovery in either the shadows or the highlights these are like a so much more for fine tuning their not as extreme adjustments so really you'd only used these to if you're getting clipping mornings that you need to get rid of but what it really does is just let you lightner dark ing darkened what light room things white is or lightner dark and what lightman thinks black is and what does it think those colors are well depends on what your white balance is what the color of light wass so yeah in some images you may not have to use the whites and blacks sliders at all or you can use them creatively like we were talking about earlier if you like the shadows in your image to be black where they really look nice and rich and black and velvety then you might want to change the color of your blacks here with this ladder by dragging that slider to the left but they're much smaller adjustments if we drag our our highlights slider all the way the right we get a pretty extreme adjustment here but if we drag our white slider all the way to the right I've got my clipping warning on typically it's not as extreme but they're really just meant for fine tuning when you get clipping mornings so clarity oh and incidentally the highlights and shadows slider replace recovery and fill light in older versions of light room or camera raw okay so it used to be fill light which was which would simulate you know if you had your flash turned on, which would open up shadows or recovery, which is what you used tio have tio recover details in your highlights. Okay, option drag all right? If you don't want to have those clipping warnings, turn on so I just turn mine off by pressing j you khun temporarily see if you've got any clipping going on bye option dragging the whites, slider or the black slider so that temporarily shows you that you've got clipping in the areas that show up in color over in the image, but I usually just keep the clipping mornings on while I'm in this section, then I turn them off because they're annoying especially, you know, if for artistic reasons you've got, you know, an exposure that's, you know, a little dark and you really want your blacks to be nice and rich. Well, how the heck are you going to continue editing an image? Looks like that that's when you got to turn those warnings off because you're making the the artistic decision hey, I like the way that looks so stop warning me that it's bad. Okay, so now let's switch to another image just because we can and let's take a look at this one let's, reset it back to its original and let's come back up here and we're gonna make a white balance adjustment so we're going to try to find an area that's a neutral but we're not going to spend a whole lot of time right now I've got values that are on the sixties so let's call that good and then we can change the temperature for the temperature slide a little bit if we like now we can start fixing the exposure it looks a little dark to me, so I'm gonna brighten it a little bit withy exposure slider in doing so I want to add a little contrast now my highlights look to light so we're going to drive the highlights slider to the left look at all that detail is coming back and that crazy do your shadows look good to you? Why? I don't know, maybe I want my shadows a little bit darker, so let's drive that slider to the left a little bit my clipping warnings were on I've got a tiny bit of clipping going arm in the shadows, but I don't even see the warning anywhere, so I could if I wanted teo drive that black slider to the right. You see how that triangle turned grey is blue. I've got a little bit of clipping going on in the shadows in the blue channel and now if I dragged that to the right just ever so slightly now I don't have any clipping going on I've got a nice sista graham that spread out to take advantage of all the colors and the dynamic range or all the levels of brightness rather and dynamic range, which are then translated in the color by light room and that's pretty much it now I don't have any of this stuff happening automatically. I have not said any of this upto happen as a default remember we do that by pressing the option chiana mac er, altan pc in choosing set default because this stuff is all at least in my shooting is on an image by image basis, you know, there there are a few images if I'm taking a sequence and we're gonna look at those here in a second where I would need under the same lining conditions exact same position exact, same zoom everything, then I could get away with applying the settings to another photo and have it work out ok, but typically you're adjusting this kind of stuff on an image by image basis, but by all means, if you do find yourself just kind of keep a note of what you're doing repetitive lee if you find yourself in the basic panel and you always always, always, always, always bump up the exposure to brighten it, you could set that as a defaults what happens automatically or you could say that as a preset so if we did want to save these settings right here as a preset, all we do is press shift command in. We did that earlier for new preset, and then we just turn on or off the check boxes for the panel adjustments that we want light room to save. And then, once you've got it as a preset it's available right over here in your pre set list, it'll show up way down here at the bottom under user preset. And then you could just single click it to apply to either the single selected image. Or if you had several images selected, you could apply that preset to the image. But also we talked about the, uh, we talked about the sync button, so we could use that to apply the adjustment to several different images as well. Okay, let's, do that on another image. I think it's worth going through it several times. So it's, quick reset. So we're back to the defaults have flat and images that's akaka falls on the big island of hawaii, by the way. So let's, fix our white balance first. Let's, come over here, grab our right balance tool or press the w key come over here and try to find a place that's devoid of color. And it doesn't necessarily have to be alike agree, but this is pretty neutral so it's all in the mid thirty so let's just give it a click and see what happens to our white balance did it do anything little bit now? Why is the white balance told being put back every time I use it that's because we have that auto dismissed turned on at the very bottom of your work space let's just turn that feature off and find a good neutral give it a click me accurate doesn't look that great to me I'm gonna warm it up a little bit by grabbing the temperature slider and dragging it slightly to the right and it's got a green tint to it the color of light here so let's grab the tent slider and drag it to the right to try to bring it more in line with what we saw when we actually shot the image so now let's come down here and fix exposure that's still little that looks a little bit better to me okay, so we can fix exposure so what's going on in our history in here? Well my gosh, we don't have any shadows ik way so we want to do something that's going to kind of spread out that data so let's grab our exposure slider and dragged to the lift see how the history rams changing all shadows no highlights all highlights no shadows where do you stop what looks good to you but do bear in mind that the goal is to kind of spread that history amount now let's add in some contrast see how that's spreading out the information in our image see what's happening to our history and now so the lights are getting a little lighter the darks you're getting a little darker now the image is starting to look more like it did when I shot it. So now my highlights are looking a little light there's some detail in that water so let's grab a highlight slider and let's drag it to the left darkened at my highlights we seem a little bit here we go see how now we've got some detail in that waterfall team back out our shadows. Okay, well let's take a look. We darken our shadows that's what the image looks like if we lighten our shadows that's what the image looks like. So in my personal opinion on this particular image I would lighten my shadows a little bit dark in your highlights. And then if I had a clipping warnings on that I could adjust the whites and blacks to make them a little bit lighter or a little bit darker to take care of the clipping and recover detail or you can feel free to experiment with these two so, as I dragged the whites to the left and my white skin a little bit darker, if I want to darken it my shadows and make them look more rich, then you can drag that to the left. So here's a before gross, here's an. After