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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.
Getting good at color correction is about more than learning how to move a slider inside of Lightroom. It's about learning how to see color, and it's also about learning how to be creative with color. Well let's take a look at this particular photograph and here you can see that the light is kind of interesting. This image was captured at noon. I went to a park with my daughter Annika, and the light was really harsh and really bright. It was really white almost everywhere. So I knew that I wasn't going to be able to get many good portraits. But she said she wanted to go on the swing set and I noticed that part of the swing set created the shadow and here we can see we have this nice cool tone inside of this shadow, and that's a lot of time the color that we'll see inside of shadows.
So learning how to color correct a lot of times is learning how to see color, and as you create your own photographs sometimes it's a good idea to capture clues from that color temperature in your environment. Well in this context seeing that shadow, I was pushing Annika on the swing and all that I need to do to find good light was to push her into that shadow. The background is really bright, and it's a really beautiful picture. I'm holding her an arms length away, yet when I open this image up in Lightroom I think, okay yeah grea.t That captured the moment. That's really fun.
But also I'm remembering that blue that I saw and I'm remembering that and I'm saying, okay I need to warm this image up. Now how can I do that? I don't really have anything here that's neutral. Well in these situations, I'm going to remember the context. I'm going to simply warm up the temperature subjectively. Now this is just a complete subjective, creative adjustment, but let's look at here is our before and there is our after. By removing that blue cast the image now comes to life in a completely new way.
So if you want to get really good of photography and if you want to get really good at color correction, start to notice light and color and even take pictures like this, take pictures of your surrounding, so you can begin to identify different colors or color shifts or begin to identify what happens with reflective color and how color bounces around off different objects. Then when you come back to Lightroom make some adjustments that are subjective but are based on what you observed. The other side of the equation is that sometimes what you do is you capture a photograph like this.
There is a dandelion in my front yard I picked it, set it on the stove, and I turned on the little light, that are lights up your stovetop and I put a book behind it and took the photo. And when I open it up in Lightroom the image was really yellow. Now the dandelion was yellow, and the light source was yellow, and so it doesn't look very good. But what I'm going to do is create color, so I press the W key to select the White Balance tool, and I'm going to force something that was yellow to be white, so I click on this portion of the dandelion.
Now this juncture, I all of sudden have these really interesting colors. All I need to do is maybe add a little contrast, increase my blacks, my fill light, maybe a little bit exposure and again I have this color treatment that I couldn't have come up with really any other way. Here's our before and then is our after. So why am I showing you these two examples? Well what I'm hoping to do here is to get you to begin to think about how color correction sometimes is really scientific. You have a color checker chart and you're color checking things and you want your numbers to be exactly perfect.
Other times, you're going to need to make some intuitive or subjective adjustments and sometimes if you have a little bit of knowledge about the scene or the scenario or the light source, you can make some adjustments that may be a little bit better than others. And then finally there's times when you're going to be using these controls and these sliders simply for creative purposes, simply to create color that you couldn't have created any other way.
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