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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.
In order to get a better handle on how the tonal controls work in the Develop module, let's use one of our demo files. We'll be using this file you can find in the 03_Demo_files folder. It's titled grayscale.psd. To open this image up in the Develop module press the D key. Next what we want to do here is we actually want to open up our Basic panel. To do that by way of shortcut, we press Command+1 on a Mac, or Ctrl+1 on a PC. You can of course always simply click on the title of the panel to open and close it.
Now one of the things that we're going to notice here is that we have this nice full grayscale. When we hover over on Histogram it's going to highlight the respective field, in this case Blacks. So if we increase our Blacks either by clicking and dragging the slider here or by hovering over the Histogram and clicking and dragging to the left or to the right, what we can do then is increase the overall density of the photograph and you can see that's making more of the image complete black. All right, well what are some of the other options? We also have Fill Light. What Fill Light is going to do is act kind of like a balance card, and it's going to try to balance light into this range here.
Now it's not going to tap all the way into the shadows unless we go really far. Well we still have some pure black in the image. One of the things that I found is that the Fill Light and the Blacks controls really travel together. In other words, when you add Fill Light, you tend to then give a little bit of a push back with the Blacks and you can kind of see how that's working. So a little bit more Fill Light, a little more Blacks, what that will do is it will equalize things a little bit so that this doesn't look too surreal. One of the sliders you have to be really careful of in regards to that is the Fill Light slider.
Because it can just look a little bit unnatural if you go too high with that. All right well what about some of these other tone controls here? The Recovery slider, that one is really interesting. When you hover over the Histogram you see that that's really dealing with this top 5% of the Histogram. What it's going to try to do whether we adjust it in the Histogram or here with this slider, it's going to try to bring back some detail in this area. You can see that before and then the after there, bringing in some detail in to these brighter tones. So if an image is overexposed, this Recovery slider can really target those super hot or super overexposed areas and try to bring back some detail.
Now that means that if it's too far overexposed, you won't be able to recover anything, but there are times when this control just works miracles. All right, what about the Exposure slider? I like to think of this as the sledgehammer of the tools. I mean it does the most damage or can be the most good. Mean, if I decrease this, the image becomes really dark; if I increase it, it becomes really bright. It is really drastic. So I just say that, because you want to be a little bit cautious with these movements. Nothing you have to be worried about it, but just know that you have quite a bit of an effect on the image.
In contrast, Brightness is a little bit different. Watch as I slide Brightness all the way to the right or all the way to left. You notice that's changing something in the similar way to Exposure, but Exposure is a little bit stronger, a little bit harder, a little bit more intense. And you'll see this more even with images. So what Brightness tries to do is it tries to target more of the middle area tones, in other words the tones in this range in here. All right, well what about Contrast? Well contrast is going to make the whites whiter; it's going to make the blacks blacker.
So as I increase Contrast, I have more white and I have more black. It doesn't affect the midtones as much. In other hand, if I remove Contrast you can see that it's boosting this middle area a little bit more. All right well now that we know a little bit about our tone controls, let's apply what we know to one of our photographs and let's do that in the next movie.
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