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[Simple Steps to Improving Your Photos in Lightroom]
[with Ben Willmore] [Ben Willmore] So you want to improve your photos. Well it doesn't matter if they were shot
on a fancy camera or just on your mobile phone, Lightroom can adjust them all. Let's take a look. Here I'm in a Library where I'm going to switch
between my images and here's one that doesn't look very good
at least in the small version here, the little thumbnail. So in order to fix the image,
I'm going to go to the top of my screen and switch from the Library module which is where we organize our images to the Develop module
which is where we can adjust them. In the Develop module, most of the action
happens on the right side of your screen. So this area on the left side,
I'm going to collapse it down by clicking on the little triangle
near the left edge of my screen. If I want to make my image take up more space,
I can do the same thing up on the top. And now if I look at the image as a whole, well it's relatively obvious what's wrong with it. In this case, it's just really dark. Now there is a choice
on the right side of my screen when I'm in the Develop module.
It's called Auto. And I could simply click that
and see if it's able to help the image. And in this case, it's a dramatic difference. And what it did when I clicked Auto is it moved these various adjustment sliders that are found on the right side of my screen to try to figure out what it thought
would make it look better. But Lightroom doesn't really know
the content of your picture. It doesn't know which areas are important
and which areas are not. It's up to you to decide that. So after clicking Auto, we can fine tune
the end result by moving the various sliders that are found
on the right side of my screen. Let's explore what these sliders do. And over time as we work with more images, you'll get more and more comfortable
with how to think about them. There are three primary sliders
for controlling how bright the image is. And those sliders are Exposure. Exposure will adjust the entire picture, making the entire picture brighter or darker. Then we have Highlights and Shadows. Highlights will only work
in the bright areas of your picture and Shadows will work on the dark. So if I look at this particular image, after hitting the Auto button, it's mainly
the top portion of the image that I don't like and that's one of the brightest areas. So out of those three sliders we just talked about, I'm going use the Highlight slider. With all these sliders,
if they're going to control brightness, moving them to the right will brighten
and moving them to the left will darken. So I'm going to take the highlight slider
and move it to the left and see if I can get a little bit more detail
to come into that sky. There, I think that looks a lot better. If you want to get back to the original picture
for any reason, in the lower right is a reset button.
I'll press that, and let's see what we started with. Then I could always go to the Edit menu
and choose Undo or use the keyboard shortcut of Command Z on a Mac,
Control Z in Windows, to get us back to where we are. But you can see we've made
a dramatic difference in this image. So now let's switch to a different photograph. I can either return to the Library module up here to look at all the images and choose between them or when I was in the Develop module, it still knows that all these other images exist. So when I'm in the Develop module, I can just use the arrow keys in my keyboard. And if I press the right arrow key,
it will bring me to the next picture. In this case, I notice the majority of the picture is dark. And so if it's ever in the majority of the image, then I usually adjust the Exposure slider because Exposure works on the entire picture. So I'll bring Exposure up
until the majority of the picture starts to look OK. In doing so, I notice that the absolute brightest areas, the white areas at the base of this temple, are getting to be too bright. And that's where I'll look at the other sliders and notice that we have the Highlights slider. Highlights isolates the brightest parts of our picture so I could bring that down to try to darken the highlights back down. And sometimes after adjusting
something like highlights, I'll re-evaluate the image and decide to back up
from one of the other adjustments I've made. But in this case I think we've made a good change. If I hit Reset to show you before, choose Undo to show you after, I think it's improved. Let's try another. Most of the time you might start with Auto
when it comes to bright or dark images, and then you're just going to fine tune
the end results. In this case, I think the darkest area of the image
isn't quite bright enough. Well, for the darkest area of the image,
that's the Shadows slider. So I'll bring it up.
Bring out as much Shadow detail as I like. But let's start exploring some of the other sliders
that are found here. If you ever want more detail to come out in your image, you want to see more of the texture
that's here in these rocks, or more of the texture in this green covered area, there's a slider available called Clarity. And if you increase Clarity, it's going to make
all the detail pop out in your photograph. Be careful with that slider though because sometimes you don't want the detail
to really be pronounced. The main time that is
is when you have people in your photographs and you have close-ups of their faces because bringing out clarity in someone's face is going to make all the little creases
and wrinkles within their face become much more pronounced, and that's going to make them look older. So landscapes and things, clarity can be great, but on close-ups of people,
I might not bring it up. In fact, clarity can also be pushed
to the negative side. So instead of increasing it,
you could decrease it and that would soften the image. And softening peoples' faces aren't a bad thing. So for people, maybe moving Clarity to the left. So let's look at more.
In this case, the darkest part of the picture is where a problem is. And I want to see more detail in the darkest area. To do so, I'm not going to bring up Exposure because that would work on the entire picture. I'm going to instead come down here to Shadows. And I'll bring that up until I can see
the amount of shadow detail that I want, and then I'll re-evaluate the image and say is there anything else I don't like about it. In this case, the sky might look
just a little bit bright. And if that's the case, the sky is one
of the brightest areas in the picture, so the choice called Highlights
could be brought down to darken them. So hopefully you're getting the sense
that when it comes to brightness, we have a few choices. The first is I can press the Auto button to try to get Lightroom to make the decision for me. Afterwards, I can fine-tune the result
mainly with three sliders: Exposure if the entire image is too bright or too dark, Highlights if it's mainly concentrated
on the bright parts of the image, and Shadows if it's mainly the dark areas. Then after I've done that, if I want the detail
to come out on the image a little more, we have that choice called Clarity, and if I bring it up, it usually makes the detail
a little bit more pronounced. We have other sliders though
that can be of equal help. If you ever have an image that looks rather dull, it looks foggy/hazy, oftentimes that's because there's not much
of a difference between the brightest portion of the picture
and the darkest. They're very similar across. Well, there's a slider in here that can help us, and it's called Contrast. Contrast controls how big of a difference is there between bright and dark. So if you ever have a hazy image,
taking the slider called Contrast and increasing it
will often help your image but you'll also have to move
some of the other sliders. In this case, I want the image to be darker so I'll also bring exposure down. But even with these images, moving the sliders
isn't always the best thing to start with. Sometimes Auto is enough and let's see in this particular image if it helps or hurts. When I pressed Auto,
we got more Contrast in the image, we had more where the darkest part of the image
got nice and dark where I can start seeing the detail. And then again, I could fine-tune it. In this case, I think the brightest part
of the image is too bright. I'd just like to see more of the detail that's up there. So I'll bring my Highlights down and see
if I can get that to darken up. And I don't like that I can't see much of the detail. So I'm going to take the slider
we used before called Clarity, pump it up, and see if it can exaggerate our detail. The thing we haven't talked about yet is color. There are two primary areas
where you can work with color. The first is down here near the bottom. It's called Vibrance and Saturation. And for most images,
Vibrance will be the one you'll want to use. If you need you image to be more colorful,
just push it towards the right. If you want it to be less colorful,
moving to the left will do so. But if it's not that you just want
to make the image more colorful or less, instead you notice a problem with the color. The image looks too yellow, too brown,
too green or something else, then you want to go to the top. That's where you can use Temperature and Tint. In this case, this image looks rather yellow. And if you look at Temperature and Tint,
you'll actually find yellow in there. You see it right up here on the right side? So if you wanted this image to look more yellow, you could move Temperature towards yellow, or if you want it to look less yellow,
you could move it away. Let's see what it looks like in both ways. Here's more yellow.
It can make it look more like a sunset picture. Or move it away from yellow, just not too far, and you can get rid of the overall yellow feeling. Each image is a personal choice
as far as what you want it to look like. And what's nice is in Lightroom,
you can experiment as much as you want because check this out.
On the left side of my screen, if I expand that side,
there's this whole area called History. And the History lists everything
I've done to this picture from the very beginning. And I can mouse over all these choices
that are here and there's a preview above. And it shows me what the image
looked like at any past state. If I preferred the way it looked a few minutes ago, I can just hover over the choice that I find there until I see the preview above look the way I want. If I click, it brings me to that look on the picture as if I never applied those additional choices. With every image, you get a full history, and because of that, I don't mind experimenting. Even if I go down here to the lower right
and hit the Reset button, it brings the image back to what it
would look like with default settings but we still have the history of what I've done in the past. Click on any one, and I'm right back to that look. Starting with any picture, trying Auto first,
and then fine-tune what you don't like. Sometimes it takes a little bit of experimentation, but if you experiment making images more colorful and sometimes making them look more like sunset by pushing them towards yellow or orange, you can dramatically transform your images from an original that might not
have been all that interesting to something you really feel
like sharing with your friends. So as you can see, you can take a photo
that might not have been spectacular and transform it into something
that you'd really be proud to share.
What you learned: Edit photos in the Develop module
- Select a photo to edit in the Library module. Click Develop at the top of the screen to switch to the Develop module.
- To adjust the brightness of a photo, try clicking Auto in the Basic panel.
- Use the Basic panel sliders to fine-tune an adjustment. For example, drag the Exposure slider to brighten or darken the entire image; use the Highlights slider to adjust light areas; and use the Shadows slider to adjust dark areas.
- To bring out detail and texture, drag the Clarity slider to the right. To soften an image, drag the slider to the left.
- If a photo looks dull, drag the Contrast slider slightly to the right to increase the difference between light and dark areas.
- To make an image more colorful, drag the Vibrance slider to the right.
- Experiment with the Temp slider to change the overall color to a warmer or cooler shade.
- To undo an adjustment, choose Edit > Undo or press Control+Z (Windows) or Command+Z (MacOS). To remove all adjustments, click the Reset button at the bottom right. The History panel lists every adjustment you’ve made. Click an item in the History panel to return the image to that state.
Learn more about Adobe's photo editing software.
Back to: Organize photos in Lightroom Classic | Up next: Move photos between Lightroom Classic and Photoshop
Presenter: Ben Willmore
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