Control RAW contrast
Master Lightroom’s Adjustment Brush Tool and you can fine-tune the areas of images you want to brighten or darken. Dan Mold shows just how easy it is.
Use Lightroom’s Adjustment Brush Tool to lighten and darken specific areas.
IF YOU’VE EVER INCREASED the contrast of an entire shot in Photoshop, you’ll be all too familiar with the dark and dingy results you can be left with. The trick to boosting contrast so it doesn’t look unsightly is to apply it gradually to specific areas – and Photoshop’s Dodge and Burn tools are both great for doing this. However, the flattened JPEG you’ll be working on at this stage (post-RAW conversion) will only allow you so much leeway. If you really want to get the most out of your image, it’s far better to get the contrast looking right when you’re working on the RAW file.
While it’s true that RAW files take up more space than JPEGs, this is a price well worth paying as they contain a lot more extra exposure information, so you’ll be able to push them much harder. RAW editing software such as Lightroom or Photoshop’s Adobe Camera Raw will allow you to adjust the exposure of your shot by several stops after you’ve taken the image, or even change its white balance. This is a near-impossible task for lossy JPEG pictures.
The Adjustment Brush
Lightroom’s Adjustment Brush is a fantastic tool that lets you select the part of the image you want to work on. Simply brush over the area in question, then change the parameters of settings such as exposure, whites and blacks. This powerful tool will help you reduce clipped highlights or shadows, and is essential for increasing contrast in your image.
So, set your camera to shoot RAW, or RAW and JPEG, and follow the tutorial to start processing like a pro...
Left The RAW file straight out of the camera is flat and the deep shadows in the model’s face make the shot look dark and uninviting.