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In Up and Running with Photoshop Lightroom 4, author Jan Kabili introduces the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom features for organizing, enhancing, and sharing digital photos and video clips. The course shows how to import photos and video clips from a camera and from a hard drive, explaining how Lightroom catalogs work along the way, and how to manage and organize photos and video clips with the Library module. The course also covers enhancing photos in the Develop module, including cropping, adjusting exposure, recovering details from highlights and shadows, sharpening and adding clarity, and correcting part of a photo, as well as enhancing video clips. The course concludes with a look at sharing photos: posting them on Facebook, creating photo books, exporting, and printing.
Continuing the photo processing work flow in the Basic panel of the Develop module, let's take a look at enhancing color with the Vibrance and Saturation sliders that are down at the bottom of the Basic panel in this section called the Presence Section. Many photos can benefit from an increasing color intensity. Sometimes, but certainly less often, you might have a photo that looks better with color intensity turn down a notch. Both the Vibrance and the Saturation sliders affect the intensity, or you might say, the vividness of color in the photo but they do it in different ways.
With vibrance, offering a more subtle and usually more pleasing effect than saturation does. I suggest you give both these sliders a try and then choose the one that does the best job on a particular photo. There's almost never a reason to apply them both. In this photo, I've already adjusted the white balance and the tonal controls. The photo was taken in pretty bright sunlight so I've turned down the exposure and the contrast. I've brought the Highlight slider down to recover detail in the clouds and in the subject's face and I dragged the Shadow slider to the right to open up some of the dark areas in the scenery.
I brought in some blacks for more contrast and down in the Presence Section, I decreased clarity to soften the subject's face. I usually don't increase clarity when I'm working with a portrait because I just don't like the harsher results. Now, let's take a quick look at what the Saturation slider might do to this photo. Like all the sliders, this slider starts at the zero point in the middle. If I drag the Saturation slider over to the left, that reduces the intensity of color in the photo. If I drag it over to the right beyond the midpoint, that increases the intensity of color.
Well obviously, this is not a result that I want in this photo. The skin tones, particularly, are way over-saturated. The Saturation slider often fails like this, particularly on portraits, because it saturates all colors in a photo equally. So, this isn't going to work in this case. I'm going to set the Saturation slider back to zero. A quick way to do that is to double click right on the head of the slider. Instead of the Saturation slider, I'm going to try out the Vibrance slider on this photo. I'll click the Vibrant slider head and drag it over to the right to about the same place that I had the Saturation slider.
And you can see that Vibrance does a much better job on this photo. It has increased the intensity of the blue in the fellow's jacket and the background colors without making the colors in the skin tones overly vivid. And that's the beauty of this Vibrance control. It adds the most saturation to the colors that need it most in a photo rather than saturating all colors equally like the Saturation slider does. And the Vibrance slider often does a good job of protecting skin tones from over-saturation. So, that's the last step to work through in the Basic panel.
Often running a photo through the controls, in the white balance, the tonal area, and the presence area of the Basic panel is all you need to do to get the color and tone in a photo looking the way you want it. And that's true whether you're working with RAW files or with JPEGs. From here, all that's left to do in a typical simple photo processing work flow is to check for and reduce any noise in the photo and then sharpen the photo for your intended output as I'll show you how to do in the next movies.
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