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In Photoshop Lightroom 3 Essential Training, author Chris Orwig provides a comprehensive look at Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3, the popular photo-asset management, enhancement, and publishing program. The course covers indispensable techniques such as importing, processing, and organizing images in the Library, correcting and adjusting images in the Develop module, and creating slideshows, web galleries, and print picture packages. In addition to exploring all of Lightroom 3's capabilities, this course is rich with creative tips and expert advice on photographic workflow. Exercise files accompany the course.
Well, now that we have been introduced to the Tone Curve inside of the Develop module, let's take a look at how we can use the Tone Curve controls in order to improve a photograph. In this case, we'll be working on this portrait of my daughter Sophia, holding this basket of strawberries when we were strawberry picking in upstate New York. Well, what I want to do here is I want to increase the contrast, the color saturation, also work out the overall color and tone. Well, one of the things that we might want to do is start targeting specific areas. For example, we could grab our Target Adjustment tool and then here we could hover over the bright area in the background.
We could bring that down a little bit. Here you can see I'm just darkening up some of those highlights. Well, then I could go to the midtone range and I could hover over some of those areas and I could click and drag up, just bringing up those points here in this image. Well then, I want to go to my dark shadows down below, and try to find a way to bring those shadows back down to have that nice contrast. Well here we have the beginning of a curves adjustment. It's not great, but it's getting there. Take a look. Here we have before, and then now after. Well, a great thing about this is that currently our Point Curve is just linear, so we're kind of swinging that linear line one way or another.
We can make this even more dramatic by going into our Point Curve view here and here let's say we're going to apply kind of a traditional S-curve. We'll click and drag up in our highlights and then we'll also click and drag down in our shadows down in the lower area. Now, this is a kind of generic little S-curve here, but it just gives me the ability to control contrast in an interesting way. Now, with those highlights, I can control those with this top point up here. I could drag that down, just bringing in a little bit more detail into that range, or I could also add more light to that area as well, by dragging it one way or another.
All right, well here I'm going to simply just drag it down just a touch there, and I'll go ahead and move that a bit up, just a little bit more there. All right, well next I'm going to work on my overall brightness at this point, and then also the darkness over here with this point, just increasing or boosting that contrast and then with my dark blacks down here, I'm just going to bring those up just a little bit there so I have little bit more nice detail. Now, once of the things that you might want to do when you're working with your images is you might want to turn on your clipping indicators.
You can do so by pressing the J key. If you remember, when you have your Histogram open, pressing the J key will turn on these two icons here. Now, what that will do is it will show you if you have any clipping in those blacks. For example, when you're working with the point curve, you can make some adjustments, like I'm making here, where you can deepen the blacks, but you can go too far. In other words, you don't have detail there. So, again, pressing that J key could help you out and it can help you find just the right spot for how dark you want to go with those or also how you want to modify your highlights.
Well, here we just have some clipping in the deep shadows, so I think we're fine. So, I'll press the J key again to turn that off and then we'll look at our before and after. Here it is before and then after. Now, I've pushed this image pretty far, increasing the contrast quite a bit. If ever that's too strong, we can either modify it by using these points here, or we can go back to parametric Tone Curve. We can make changes here as well. Just working on the overall contrast or color and tone is worth modifying those different sliders. All right, well, once you've made your adjustments inside of the Tone Curve, you're almost always going to want to go back to the Basic panel, because in Lightroom these adjustments don't live by themselves. Rather we use them in unison with our other controls.
Now, here with this photograph one of the things that I want to do is increase the color temperature. I want to make this image a little bit more warm, so I'm just going to go ahead and increase that. I'm going to try to increase this in a subtle way, but I do want some nice golden color here. I'll reduce the highlights there by increasing the Recovery slider, bringing a touch of Fill Light and then also boost the Contrast here as well. Now, we want to be careful with this. So, let's press the J key, make sure we're only clipping. And we don't and the image is looking a lot better. Well, let's evaluate our overall before and after.
We can do that by pressing the Backslash key. Here it is. Here's the before, and then now the after. So again, we're just opening the image up a bit, adding more contrast and color saturation. Another nice way to see this is by pressing the Y key. That gives you this different view of our before and after. We are able to accomplish this new look by taking advantage of the Tone Curve controls and also by combining what we did there with some adjustments inside of the Basic panel.
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