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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.
With this image, I'm interested in enhancing it a little bit in regards to its color and tone, and I also want to the darken the sky a touch. In order to do that, we're going to press the M key to activate the Graduated Filter. Now here, what we want to do is start off by lowering our exposure a little bit, and then we'll simply click and drag in order to darken that sky area. And as we rotate this, we can see that we can rotate left or right. We want to try to get this aligned right along the horizon there. We'll just make sure that our darkening effect is kind of following this particular aspect of the photograph.
Now at this juncture, we can of course move this up and we can also decrease the transition area, so that there's a little bit less of a transition as it moves throughout the image here. All right, well we can of course also decrease the overall Exposure a little bit more, increase the Contrast for more definition, and sometimes surprisingly, even Brightness can help out here, and so we can work on our Brightness. All right, well so far so good. Let's say we're ready to exit this tool. We've applied the adjustment and we're done. We can either click on the Done key here, or my preferred technique is to simply press the M key one more time.
Okay, well we may come back to the image and say, does that adjustment really look good? In other words, we may second guess what we've just done. Well here's a nice technique you can use. Press the M key one more time and whenever you're inside of this tool, there's a little flip switch and here we can see our before and then our after. And at this juncture, we may say, you know, this is good but a little bit too dark. Well, all we need to do is to click on that node and then we can change our setting here, so that we have a more appropriate exposure for the sky. Okay, well let's exit the tool. Press the M key.
Now, I actually decide I really kind of want a little bit more of a warm image. So, I increase my color Temperature a touch,and now I have a little bit more warmth here in the foreground and I like that. Bring up my Recovery sliders to recover some of the detail. Fill Light and Contrast. What I'm trying to illustrate here is a lot of times what we're going to need to do is go back and forth between this tool and some of our basic adjustments. Because now that I've warmed this up, the sky is just a bit too yellow for me, so what I can do then is press the M key.
I'll go ahead and reactivate this adjustment. And here what I can do is actually add a color and this color will overlay on top of the colors that are already there. Or I can work with the Saturation, or for that matter, I can use both of these together. Let's take a look at Saturation first. When I lower the Saturation, we can see that the sky is becoming gray or when I increase the Saturation, it's going to say, "well take the colors that are there, just give those colors a little bit of a boost." And that can be really helpful for skies, right? A little bit more blue in the sky looks nice.
Or, if I want to go even further I can click on this color swatch here and I can pick any kind of a color here and we can see that we can add a real drastic color change. It's following the same gradual type of adjustment. We can also go to a blue, right? If we find a blue that we like that's too intense, we'll simply lower the Saturation and you can see how that's picking a little bit of a more subtle blue I should say. So, we can try to find kind of a subtle adjustment in this particular case and then close this by clicking on the X.
Now at this juncture, what we're seeing is a combination of this color plus the saturated color. What would happen if I decrease the Saturation? When I decrease the Saturation, it doesn't look very good because we're only seeing this muted blue color here. To exaggerate this, let me add a more vibrant color. Again, the only color we see is whatever we select from the color picker. So, a lot of times what we're going or want to do is have some of this color, but also have some of that original color, so we were mixing these two colors together, and we're doing that to try to find the sweet spot for this particular photograph, and there is going to be some give and take here.
All right, well let's take a look the before and after. We know how to do this, right? Click on the flip switch. Here's our overall before and then after, in regards to the work on the sky. Again, before and after. If it's too strong we'll just go ahead and modify your controls in order to get it exactly where you want it. What about the overall before and after of the entire image? Well here, what we can do is press the Backslash key. Here is the image as photographed, and then press the Backslash key again, and here's the image with all of our processing, whatever we've done in the Basic panel and also whatever we've done with the Graduated Filter.
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