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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.
Let's take a look at how we can improve this image using the Adjustment brush. And for this photograph, let's zoom in and start off by working on the eyes. In the Navigator panel, zoom up to, say, a 1:2 zoom ratio, so you can get really close and see a lot of the nice detail here. Next we'll select the Adjustment brush. And from the Effect pull down menu, there is an option called Iris Enhance. Basically this has increased saturation, clarity and some bumped-up exposure there. Next we want to take our brush Flow down so we can kind of progressively build this up, and then position our brush over the image.
When I do that, my brush looks too big. To change your brush size, you can do something which may seem counterintuitive. You can actually zoom in. Let me show you what I mean. If I zoom into a 1:1, well, now all of a sudden when I position the brush over the eye, it's smaller. What isn't really smaller though; is just relative to your zoom rate. So one of the ways to change brush size when using the Adjustment brush is just to zoom in or zoom out. All right! Well, now that we have this, go ahead and maybe a little bit higher Flow amount here.
I'm just going to quickly paint around the iris and the eye here. I want to be a little bit careful to kind of build this up slowly, so it doesn't look completely unnatural. And of course, you want to move to the other eye when you've made progress on one. Take your time there, and than get to the other. Spacebar key allows you to access the hand tool and then click and drag to the right, so that you can move to the other eye. And you want to spend about the same time on each eye; otherwise, it just will look imbalanced, look a little bit strange.
So just go through and again just painting here. In this case, I'm using a mouse. You maybe able to hear me clicking. It would be ideal to have a Wacom tablet. I don't have mine with me today, but the mouse will still work for us. I think we're making pretty good progress on this. What I want to do is zoom out so I can see both of the eyes at one time. Therefore, in the Navigator panel, I'll click on 1:2, so it'll take me to this 1:2 zoom ratio here, and let's see how we've done with our eye work there.
We'll click on this switch to look at our before-and-after. Here we have before and then now after. Now one of the things that I notice with these eyes is there's too much saturation. It looks a little bit unnatural. So I'm going to decrease that Saturation amount. Also my clarity, I don't quite like that high of clarity. It made the eye just look a little bit strange. I will bring up a little bit of sharpness. I think this is helpful to see, because the default setting, well, it's not always perfect for all people, all eyes, and all situations.
You want to experiment and get it right for your image. Now, let's review the before-and-after. Flip that switch. You'll be able to see the before, which they look great. There's nice brightness to the eyes, a little catch light there, and then after just makes those come to life even a little bit more. You also want to make sure that you zoom out further, and you want to zoom out in different ways. So you can kind of see how does this fit into the overall brightness in this image? Again, our before and then after. And you know with eyes, I'm actually pretty cautious.
I'll probably back this off even more, because I don't want it to look exaggerated. The trick with all of this is that you want it to add a little life, but not too much life. Okay, well, I think that's nice there, yet I notice a problem. I was working on the eyes, the eyes are nice and bright, but next to the eyes is this bright highlight here. I need to somehow tone down this highlight. And sometimes by darkening something which is near the eyes, actually brightens them up.
In other words, correcting other aspects of the image can kind of fix the image in interesting and unexpected ways. Well, let's explore how we could work with this highlight right here in order to take that down a little bit, and let's do that in the next movie. So go ahead and keep this image open and I'll see you in the next movie.
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