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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 certain situations, you may discover that you're interested in improving a small area of your photograph in regards to enhancing its color or tone or sharpness, and let's take a look at how we can do that here. In particular, let's focus in on the eyes. In order to do that, I'm going to click on the 1:1 view, which you can find in the Navigator panel. Next I'm going to press the K key to close my Brush tool. Press the K key one more time to reopen it and then hold down the Option key on a Mac, Alt key on a PC. That will change Effect to Reset.
Click that so that we have a nice, fresh, clean start in regards to the different types of adjustments that we're going to make. Now I want to focus in on the eyes as I mentioned. In order to do that, what I'm going to need to do is to make my brush really small. So I'll go ahead and press the Left Bracket key. I'm going to run into a problem. So I'm pressing the Left Bracket key, Left Bracket key, Left Bracket key, but then now my brush is so small, I can't even really see it. So if you ever find that you don't have a small enough brush, it really has to do with your zoom rate. What you can do then is zoom in even further and here I'm going to zoom into something like 2:1.
Now when I hover over the eye, my brush seems much smaller, and I'll press the Right Bracket key in order to make it a little bit bigger as well and you can see that here. So again, as you get into little details, just keep in mind your zoom rate really matters. All right, well what do we want to do here? Let's say, for example, that we want to change eye color. Well, here is how we could do that. Go ahead and lower the Saturation. Click on our Color, sample that blue, and I'll go ahead and get a nice bright blue there and then close this. Here we're going to turn on Auto Mask.
I'm going to have a relatively low Flow, not super high, nice feather amount. With Auto Mask turned on, we're going to go ahead and click and start to paint over the eye. Now a lot of times what happens is as we start to do this, we're not necessarily sure if this adjustment is good. One of the things that happens with Auto Mask is you may notice that my edges are a little bit too harsh. Well, let me finish both of these eyes, and then keep in mind too, we're going to do a few other things than just color. I'm aware this color doesn't look good, but it's just a nice starting point for us and it will illustrate something.
All right, well, currently, we can see again that there're really jagged edges. If you press the O key to look at the Overlay and then Shift+O, you can toggle through your different overlays until you find one that works well. And again, here you can see my edges are so jagged. That's not going to work for any type of an adjustment. So what I need to do is erase. The best way to erase is to hold down the Option key. The Option key will toggle to the Erase Brush.
Here I have a number of different settings. Size, Feather, and Flow. What I can do here is just start to slowly erase some of these edges and you can see that I'm softening up the harshness of those edges, which will give me a little bit more of a transition. I'm doing this on this overlay view because it's showing me the problem areas in a way that's showing me very brightly and vividly. All right, well now once I've done that and erased from those edges, I'll press the O key to turn off the overlay.
At this particular point, this kind of eye color isn't very interesting. Yet nonetheless, it's starting to show us how we can change our images. Here's our before and then our after. We can also increase Contrast and Clarity and Sharpness, and I'm over-exaggerating this a little bit. But I'm doing that so that you can see the changes. Again our before and then after. Now, if ever we want to turn off the Saturation, well, all that we need to do is to drag this back to normal or perhaps even a couple of points higher and then go to our color picker and desaturate all the way.
By default, that's no color, and then I'll close this. Now here you can see my before and then after. Now, these types of adjustments are subtle, although nonetheless little bit interesting. One of the things that you can do is you can increase the Exposure setting in eyes, but make sure to increase your Contrast simultaneously. Again, I'm going to exaggerate here a little bit. This is way over the top. But in order to illustrate how you could begin to work in this context, let's take a look. Here's our before and then our after.
Now again, what I'm doing here is I'm making adjustments that are way too strong so that you can actually see them, because keep in mind, when you're working with eyes, you don't want to exaggerate things too much. You want your adjustments to be really subtle. If I were to do these adjustments the way that would make sense to me and then flip this switch on and off, you wouldn't even see the changes because this video is compressed. It's a little bit small, etcetera. So just keep in mind that what you're going to want to do is on your own screen, modify these controls until you find something that looks good to your own taste.
Let's go to this 1:1 view and then flip this toggle switch. Here is our before and then after. Again, that's pretty subtle. I'll make it a little bit more exaggerated so you can see some change here, a little bit more significant change. Let's look at the before and after now. Again, here is our before and then our after. Last final word of caution here is that eyes are so important. They're so significant. So as you start to work with eyes, of course, focus in on them, but don't forget that every once in awhile, what you need to do is to zoom out and look at the entire picture, and as you do that, analyze everything.
Ask yourself, "have I gone too far with the eyes or have I not gone far enough?" Because sometimes you'll discover that the eyes might be trapped in shadows. So you need to brighten them a little bit more. Other times, like in this particular case, I would say to myself, "Chris, you've gone way over the top." Let's dial this back or let's bring these amounts back into something a little bit more reasonable so that it's a real simple, subtle, yet significant adjustment.
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