How it works LCH adjustments
With the LCH panel, you can achieve some amazing colour transformations
01 LC H button Click on this button to show the LCH panel if it’s not yet visible. It’s highlighted in yellow when the LCH panel is open. 02 LC H panel Initially, the LCH panel looks very much like the Levels & Curves panel which we looked at last issue. The default view shows the Master Lightness channel with a histogram and a curve (which starts off as a straight line), which you can adjust to modify the contrast within the picture. As with other Capture NX-D panels, you can leave the LCH panel ‘docked’ to this sidebar, or use the menu in its top right corner to ‘float’ it on the screen.
03 LC H channel menu The real control comes from the options in the LCH panel’s drop-down channel menu. You can use these to change the lightness, chroma (saturation) and hue values of individual colours within the image.
04 Color Lightness If you choose Color Lightness, the display changes completely. The panel now displays a spectrum of colours with a horizontal line through the centre. Let’s say you want to darken the blue sky in a landscape shot. Find the same blue tone in the panel, then drag this part of the line downwards to darken this colour range. It’s a little like a Curves adjustment, but with a horizontal line rather than a diagonal one.
05 Chroma What if you want to make a colour more saturated? You need to swap to the Chroma option in the drop-down menu. Again, you see a spectrum of colours with a horizontal line running through the centre. You locate the colour you want to change and this time drag upwards. The colours in the range you’ve chosen are intensified, and you can see the effect rolls off gently towards the neighbouring colours – this prevents sudden shifts in colour, and banding effects.
06 Hue You can use the Hue option to shift particular colours in a different direction. Landscapes are good examples of situations where you might want to do this, because grass and leaves often come out a slightly warmer colour than you expect – more yellow, when what you really hoped for was a cool green. Again, you locate the colour you want to change on the horizontal line, then push up or down to change the hue. Shifting the line upwards for the green-yellow tones moves them more towards blue-green.
07 Master Lightness The Master Lightness channel isn’t used for adjusting individual colours. Instead, it alters the contrast within the image. However, while it sounds the same as a regular Levels & Curves adjustment, it’s not. It works only on the brightness values in the picture, not the colour values, so you get the contrast increase you want, but without the often unwelcome saturation increase that a normal Curves adjustment would give.