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Making RGB tone curve adjustments

From: Lightroom 4 New Features

Video: Making RGB tone curve adjustments

One of the common complaints of those who use the previous versions of Lightroom was that they wanted some more precise control over working with color and tone. You see a lot of these users were used to working with Curves in Photoshop where they could target specific tones or colors and make adjustments to either correct or enhance their images. Well, new to Lightroom 4 is just that ability. What I want to do here is jump to a slide just to highlight this new improvement, and then talk about how we can work with this inside of Lightroom.

Making RGB tone curve adjustments

One of the common complaints of those who use the previous versions of Lightroom was that they wanted some more precise control over working with color and tone. You see a lot of these users were used to working with Curves in Photoshop where they could target specific tones or colors and make adjustments to either correct or enhance their images. Well, new to Lightroom 4 is just that ability. What I want to do here is jump to a slide just to highlight this new improvement, and then talk about how we can work with this inside of Lightroom.

Well here, you can see the Tone Curve panel which is located in the Develop ,module inside of Lightroom 3. Now if we compare this to Lightroom 4, what you'll notice is there is one significant difference. We now have the ability to target different channels. Let's go ahead and take a look at how we can work with this inside of Lightroom. All right! We are now back in Lightroom. Let's go ahead and navigate down to the Tone Curve panel. In the Tone Curve panel, for starters, we see this as the parametric curve. We can make adjustments here. But if we click on the icon, in the bottom right-hand corner, we can change this to the Point Curve.

Now the Point Curve, we can either make adjustments in the composite RGB channel, or we can go to the different channels like the Red channel. Now what we know from Photoshop and Curves is that if we click and drag up, the image becomes more red; click and drag down, it becomes more cyan, and the same thing is true here. We also learned that we could add a color in the upper part of the Histogram up here in the brighter tones, and then add another or different color in the darker tones down here. So the darker tones have become cyan, the brighter have become red.

You can add a lot of different points here and you can see you can make some really drastic adjustments. To remove those points, simply click and drag them off. All right! Well, for starters, I just want to kind of deconstruct how this works. Let's go to another channel, the Green channel. We now click and drag up, it becomes green; click and drag down, it becomes magenta. Well, let's say that what we want to do is make an adjustment on our image but we want to have precise control over the tonality. So in other words, we want the shadows to become a bit more green. Well, you can use the Target Adjustment tool, move over something that's dark in the image like the shadows, you will notice the point over here is down in the lower region, and then we can simply click and drag one way or another.

Now, of course, this is going to affect the entire image, right, because the curve starts here and it reaches up to the top. Well, if you want to protect tones up above, simply flatten this out, so that now the primary adjustment is just in the lower region, in these lower tones down here--those are now affected in this dramatic way. Now I will make this adjustment a little bit more pronounced so you can see that. And again, I haven't enhanced the image up, but I am trying to show you how this actually works. Okay well, let's drag off all these points, and what you can see here is that you can use this in order to make corrections or just creative enhancement to your photograph.

And let's say that with this picture, what I want to do is I want to add a little bit of a vintage feel. I want to do some creative color work on this picture. Well, let's start off in the Basic panel. In the Basic panel, one of the things I am going to do is desaturate this photo, and then I might modify the overall color and tone here, just making some subtle little adjustments. Next, in order to change the color, in the previous versions, I could use Temperature and Tint, or I could go down to the HSL panel or Split Toning.

Well, now we can also make color adjustments in the Tone Curve. Here I will start off in the Red channel. In the Red channel, I am just going to add a little bit of red here, just a subtle adjustment, and then we will go to the Blue or Blue/Yellow channel. Up goes blue down goes yellow, and I will click and drag this down to add a little bit of yellow. Now this is a subtle color tweak but let's look at the before and after. Here it is. Here is before and then here is after. So you can see that I have this control in order to make these type of adjustments.

I will make it a little bit more dramatic just so you can see it a little bit more clearly, and I will go into some of my other channels, just modifying this a little bit more, and again, I am just doing this so that it's a little bit more of a dramatic change there, making some adjustments, just so that for this movie you can see those, Backslash (\) key, here is that before, press the Backslash (\) key again, it takes me to my after. Now one last thing I want to do here is if we go back to the Basic panel, what would happen if we desaturate this completely? Well, if I did that, I would then only see the color that was coming in by way of the Tone Curve, and in this case, it's kind of a sepia toning.

Well, I could go in and further modify that. Let's say, it's a little bit too magenta and a little bit too red there, well, I could go in and tweak that out and come up with a really nice looking sepia tone type of look here. Now I could always go back and bring in a little bit of the original color, so I have a little bit more of this kind of creative almost vintage toning aesthetic here. All right! So as you can see, you can use the Tone Curve to make corrections to the areas of your images where you have problems or you can also use the Tone Curve in order to make creative enhancements, in order to improve the overall impact of your photographs.

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Lightroom 4 New Features

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