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In this installment of the Photoshop Lightroom 4 Essentials series, author and teacher Chris Orwig guides photographers through the process of improving images with creative color, sharpening, and other effects in the Lightroom Develop module. The course covers each of the tools and features in the Develop module, and shows how to perform basic adjustments, such as exposure enhancement; how to improve image quality through noise reduction and clarity adjustments; how to apply creative effects, such as split toning and vignettes; and how to perform advanced tasks, such as correcting for lens distortion. Exercise files are included with the course.
All right! Let's get familiar with the Develop module, and let's do this by talking about just a few tips and techniques that we can use to navigate to the Develop module, and start to view and work on our photographs there. Well, for starters in Lightroom, typically, we start off in the Library module. We do all of our work there, and then we are ready to go to the Develop module. Well, to do that, we can navigate to the Develop module by clicking on the Develop button up here in the Module picker, or we can press the shortcut key. The shortcut key for the Develop module is the D key.
Well either way, let's go ahead and navigate to the Develop module. Now, once you are in the Develop module, it's almost like a little bit of a paradigm shift, because here, this is really where the magic happens. Just between you and I, this is my favorite part of Lightroom, because this is where the art and craft of photography takes place. This is where we correct and enhance our photographs. This is where our images really come to life. And the Develop module is just that: it's a place where we process our photographs. Here, you can see I have a photograph up.
This was a recent portrait of Lynda, who co-founded lynda.com with her husband Bruce, and I just love the sparkle in her eyes. One of the things that we will start to do in the Develop module is we will evaluate our photographs; let's say that sparkle in the eyes. So often, when we view our photographs when they are small, we can't really determine if everything is sharp, or even if it's a good picture. Well, in the Develop module, you can move over to the Navigator panel on the left. The Navigator panel allows us to change our Zoom rate.
For example, we can click on one of these options. I will go ahead and click on 1:1. This takes us into this 1 to 1 view. We can see all of the details of the picture. In this case, I can now see that the eye is indeed sharp. It has a really shallow depth of field, and I was fortunate to have gotten that, so that this eye is sharp. Well, if I want to move around the image, I can move this icon here in order to change what I'm viewing, or I can position my cursor on the image, and click-and-drag it one way or another. Okay, well what about zooming out? Well, to zoom out, we can either simply click on the image, or we can use the Navigator buttons up here as well; zoom in to 1:1, or zoom back to fit in view.
All right! Well now that we are talking about our view, you can see that the image is surrounded by this gray tone. Well, you can change that, and you can change that by right-clicking, or Control+Clicking. This gives you a dialog where you can choose different colors for the background. I will go ahead and change this back to Medium Gray, because typically, that's best. Typically, that allows you to evaluate your photograph in a little bit more of a neutral environment. Yet, there may be times when you might want to change that background color. All right! Well, as we are getting started, what else do we need to know about the Develop module? Well, obviously we have these panels on the left, and we have the panels on the right.
Now, when you compare those two panels, you'll notice there are many more panels on the right-hand side. That's because these panels -- this is really the engine of the Develop module. This is where everything is going to take place in regards to processing, and working on our photographs. These panels on the right; they are really important. Now, that's not to say the panels on the left aren't important, but they are just not as important as the panels on the right. Now, to access information in these panels -- we already know how to do this, right? We can simple click to open them, and then we can make a change.
For example, I could increase the Contrast of this photograph, or I could decrease the Contrast. Again, simply clicking-and-dragging one way or another allows us to make a change. Well, let's say that after we make one change, we want to make another. Well, to do that, you simply click-and- drag on the scrollbar; that takes you down to the other panels. Let's go to the Detail panel, and perhaps add some Sharpening. Now, the trick with this is that we have to do a lot of scrolling. Here I am in Detail. To go back to the Basic, well, I have to click-and-drag up. Well, there has to be a better way, right? Well, there is.
There is a much better way to navigate with these panels, and because I think these panels are so important, well, learning how to navigate with them is something that we really need to know how to do. Let's take a look at how we can navigate with these panels a little bit more effectively, and let's do that in the next movie.
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