42 Master the HSL panel
George Cairns shows you how to enhance a photo by targeting specific colours and changing their hue, saturation and luminance values
Target specific colours in an image and alter their Hue, Saturation and Luminance using Lightroom’s HSL panel
Sometimes in photos certain colours appear weaker than others. If you boost the overall colour intensity of the image using the Basic panel’s Saturation slider, the weaker colours will have more impact, but the stronger ones may become over-saturated. This can lead to colours that won’t print correctly. In addition, a model’s skin tones may become too orange and garish.
Lightroom’s Vibrance slider is designed to solve this problem by enabling you to increase the saturation of weaker colours without over-saturating the stronger ones. It also tends to boost natural landscape colours such as blues and greens more strongly than oranges, which helps you to avoid creating over-saturated skin tones.
If you venture beyond the Basic panel you’ll find alternative colour-tweaking tools that can help you enhance a photo. In our unprocessed start image the sunset is slightly blown out, and we’re losing the vibrant colours that we saw on location. The hills and shoreline are underexposed, so we can’t see the textures in these areas. The HSL (Hue, Saturation, Lightness) panel offers an effective way to target specific colours (such as the oranges and reds of the sunset) and change not only their colour intensity but also their lightness (luminance). This enables you to lighten and boost specific regions based on their colours, as you’ll see…
The Hue, Saturation, Lightness panel offers an effective way to target specific colours
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