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I am going to pick up where I left off with this image. In the previous movie, we adjusted the exposure in the Exposure brick, and now we are going to do a little enhancement in the Enhance brick. Now these changes that we are going to make in this brick using these four sliders: Contrast, Definition, Saturation, and Vibrancy - those will be global changes. In other words, they will affect the whole image at once. Now Enhance, however, is the first brick going from top to bottom in the Adjustments pane here that has also has brushing tools available, and in the upcoming movies, I am going to show you how to use those brushing tools, and that will allow us to work locally also.
But for now we are going to stick with global adjustments in this brick. We'll start with Contrast. The interesting thing about Contrast is that it pushes our histogram out to the ends. So, it increases both highlights, the intensity of highlights and shadows at the same time. Now generally speaking, I don't use the Contrast slider because I prefer to work on those areas individually in the Exposure brick. But contrast is handy sometimes if you have a very dull image and you just want to bump it up quickly, it comes in handy.
In this case, we are going to leave our exposure where it is, and we are going to move on to Definition. Definition is interesting in the sense that what it does is it bumps up contrast and increases sharpness in the midtones. It's almost like it adds clarity to the shot, like you are wiping away a dirty window or something like that. The thing to keep in mind with Definition, however, is that a little goes a long ways. If you go too far over, the image will start to fall apart. So, keep your Definition pointer down here at the lower end of the scale.
I am going to move on to Saturation. Saturation is what I consider more of an old-school adjustment. It's very heavy-handed. And what I mean by that, when I increase Saturation, it increases the intensity of colors across the board, and it doesn't protect the skin tones at all. So, yes, I have increased the saturation here in the background and the sweater, but look what happens to her skin tones. It's just terrible. They fall apart. So, I tend not use Saturation very much at all, and I especially don't use it if I have people in the shot.
Vibrancy, on the other hand, is much more intelligent. It will increase the saturation in colors that aren't as saturated, such as her sweater and the background, but look; her skin tones stay protected. They are not destructed by using the slider. So, if you want to bump up the color in the shot, especially in things like clothing and background and you want to protect those skin tones, then I would use Vibrancy. In fact, I find myself using Vibrancy more often then not, and I rarely use Saturation these days.
So, these four sliders, and especially these three, are very handy for adding further enhancement to your image after you've made the basic White Balance and Exposure adjustments. You can check your work by unchecking the box, and you can see how it looked when we started working on this in the Enhance brick, and we did just little bit of enhancement. And sometimes a little bit is exactly what a picture needs.
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