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Controlling color intensity in the Basic panel

From: Up and Running with Lightroom 4

Video: Controlling color intensity in the Basic panel

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.

Controlling color intensity in the Basic panel

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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This video is part of

Image for Up and Running with Lightroom 4
Up and Running with Lightroom 4

34 video lessons · 19087 viewers

Jan Kabili
Author

 
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  1. 4m 21s
    1. Welcome
      1m 24s
    2. What is Lightroom used for?
      2m 57s
  2. 29m 45s
    1. What is a Lightroom catalog?
      5m 55s
    2. Importing the exercise files
      4m 41s
    3. Organizing your existing files before importing
      4m 8s
    4. Importing from a drive
      5m 31s
    5. Importing from a camera
      9m 30s
  3. 41m 32s
    1. Touring the Library module
      4m 56s
    2. Viewing and selecting photos and video
      5m 21s
    3. Reviewing and rating items from a shoot
      5m 33s
    4. Organizing your library with collections
      5m 10s
    5. Using keywords to organize your library
      6m 49s
    6. Finding photos with filters
      5m 37s
    7. Moving and renaming items
      8m 6s
  4. 1h 0m
    1. Touring the Develop module
      6m 35s
    2. Cropping and straightening
      4m 33s
    3. Setting white balance in the Basic panel
      6m 51s
    4. Using the Histogram to evaluate tones
      2m 37s
    5. Adjusting tonal values in the Basic panel
      8m 28s
    6. Controlling color intensity in the Basic panel
      3m 10s
    7. Reducing digital noise
      6m 37s
    8. Sharpening
      8m 15s
    9. Working with video
      6m 3s
    10. Enhancing video
      7m 32s
  5. 17m 11s
    1. Making local adjustments with the Adjustment Brush
      8m 14s
    2. Making variable adjustments with the Graduated Filter tool
      4m 13s
    3. Removing spots
      4m 44s
  6. 39m 16s
    1. Setting up a connection to Facebook
      6m 50s
    2. Sharing photos and video on Facebook
      5m 34s
    3. Printing photos
      6m 6s
    4. Creating a photo book
      5m 50s
    5. Customizing a photo book
      8m 6s
    6. Exporting photos
      6m 50s
  7. 33s
    1. Next steps
      33s

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