Light­room in­ter­face ex­plained

GE­NIUS Dou­ble-click the slider names in the pan­els of the De­velop mod­ule to quickly re­set them to their de­fault val­ues

Practical Photography (UK) - - Photoshopgenius... -

The Light­room work­flow op­er­ates in an en­tirely dif­fer­ent way to Pho­to­shop so can seem daunt­ing to get to grips with. But you’ll soon fa­mil­iarise your­self with the lay­out when you’ve made a cou­ple of RAW con­ver­sions. Here’s what you need to know about the De­velop tab, which is where you make your ed­its...

1 Cor­rect your ex­po­sure with the Ba­sic panel

Open Light­room and go to the Li­brary mod­ule. Click the Im­port but­ton, then use the Source panel to find the im­age you want to work on. Make sure it has a tick next to it and hit the Im­port but­ton to bring it into the Light­room in­ter­face. Now go to the De­velop mod­ule, click on the Ba­sic panel and drag the Ex­po­sure slider un­til the brightness of the pic­ture looks right. Then pull the High­lights and Blacks slid­ers to the left a lit­tle and push the Shad­ows and Whites slid­ers to the right, to ex­pand the dy­namic range of your shot. Set the Con­trast and Clar­ity slid­ers to +10 to make de­tails a bit more punchy, then move the Vi­brance slider to +30 and Sat­u­ra­tion slider to +5 to en­hance the colours.

2 Pay at­ten­tion to the de­tails

Go down to the Lens Cor­rec­tions panel and tick En­able Pro­file Cor­rec­tions. Light­room will de­tect the lens used and re­move com­mon lens dis­tor­tions, such as vi­gnettes. Now go to the De­tail panel and set the Sharp­en­ing Amount to 50. As you’re doing this, hold the Alt key down and tweak the Mask­ing slider un­til only the de­tails you want to sharpen are shown in white. For im­ages taken with a low ISO value of 100-400, set the Noise Re­duc­tion Lu­mi­nance slider be­tween 10 and 20. This slider will need push­ing fur­ther for im­ages taken with higher ISO val­ues to re­duce the dig­i­tal noise.

3 Boost con­trast with Tone Curves

To fur­ther fine-tune the light­est and dark­est parts of your shot go to the Tone Curve panel. The High­lights slider con­trols the light­est parts of your shot and the Shad­ows slider con­trols the dark­est ar­eas, while the Lights and Darks slid­ers ad­just the mid­tones. If you’ve got a high­light or shadow that is clip­ping, try tweak­ing High­lights or Shad­ows un­til the shot looks right. To in­crease con­trast, you can ap­ply a slight S-shaped curve, by set­ting High­lights to +5, Lights to +20, Darks to -25 and Shad­ows to -10. To in­crease the con­trast fur­ther, you can change the Point Curve from Lin­ear to Medium Con­trast or Strong Con­trast.

4 Re­fine the shad­ows & high­lights

If you have a part of your shot that is still too bright or dark, go to the Tool­bar and grab the Ad­just­ment Brush Tool. Set the Feather and Flow to 100 and change the Size with the [ and ] keys, un­til ap­pro­pri­ately sized for the area you want to tweak. To lighten deep shad­ows, set Ex­po­sure to +0.25 and Shad­ows to +30, then paint over the area to lift it. Paint­ing onto the im­age will cre­ate an Ad­just­ment Brush Pin. Hover your cur­sor over the pin to see the area you’ve se­lected. To add to other ar­eas, click the New but­ton, paint over the next area you want to ad­just, and then change the slid­ers un­til it looks good. Click on the pins to work on dif­fer­ent ar­eas around your shot. You can also re­move things from your se­lec­tion by click­ing Erase and paint­ing over the of­fend­ing area. Fi­nally, you can right-click on the pin to Du­pli­cate, Delete or Re­set Brush­ing.

5 Ex­port your edited im­age

When you’ve got your shot look­ing how you want it, go to File>Ex­port. Now choose where you want to save the shot un­der Ex­port Lo­ca­tion, and un­der File Set­tings set Im­age For­mat to JPEG and Qual­ity to 100. Then hit Ex­port to save your shot.

Above Im­port your RAW file into Light­room, then use the slid­ers found in the Ba­sic panel to ex­pand the dy­namic range of your pic­ture.

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