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Overview of the new Develop module

From: Lightroom 4 New Features

Video: Overview of the new Develop module

Perhaps one of the most important aspects of Lightroom is the Develop module, because it's in the Develop module where all the magic takes place. This is where we process our images. This is where our photographs really come to life. And here what we are going to do is focus in on some of the new features inside of Lightroom 4 in regards to the Develop module. Now I want to start off here in the Develop module and just highlight a few things. Well, you notice that we have the Basic panel. Now the Basic panel is a panel that we spend most of our time in.

Overview of the new Develop module

Perhaps one of the most important aspects of Lightroom is the Develop module, because it's in the Develop module where all the magic takes place. This is where we process our images. This is where our photographs really come to life. And here what we are going to do is focus in on some of the new features inside of Lightroom 4 in regards to the Develop module. Now I want to start off here in the Develop module and just highlight a few things. Well, you notice that we have the Basic panel. Now the Basic panel is a panel that we spend most of our time in.

This is where the majority of the adjustments actually take place. Well, at first glance, you may notice this looks a little bit different. We have some sliders, which are in different places and which are named differently. Well because of that, what I want to do is jump to a slide, in order to kind of reverse engineer or deconstruct some of these changes. So I am going to go ahead and open up a slide, which I think might help us get familiar with some of these changes, or some of these new adjustment controls. Well, here you can see we have the Basic panel for Lightroom 3.

Up top, we have our White Balance controls Temperature and Tint, then we have all of our Tone Sliders here, and then Presence below. Well, comparing that to Lightroom 4, we find something kind of interesting. Well, our Temperature controls up here are identical. The Tone controls though are quite different. There's different grouping, different orders, and also a few that sliders are named differently. Then below, we have the Presence controls, which again are the same. So what's different? Well, just to highlight a few things, all of a sudden we have some different sliders or different controls.

We have one called Highlights that didn't exist before. We have one called Shadows, again, there is nothing called shadows over here, and another one called Whites. And if we go back to looking at these two, you can see that Exposure is in both Lightroom 3 and 4, but then Contrast, rather than being at the bottom of this stack, it moved up to the top. So we have Exposure and Contrast to kind of start things off. And you may remember that one of the ways you're supposed to go through Lightroom is from top to bottom. So they're suggesting we start with Exposure and Contrast, and then we move into these other controls down here.

Now these other controls allow us to do similar things that we've been able to do before, but perhaps more effectively. Now, of course, we do kind of figure out how these controls work, and we are going to do that in just a minute. Here is a screen grab of the Lightroom 4 Basic panel again, and what I want to highlight here is that you'll notice that all of these controls now start at 0. And what's so interesting about that is rather than having them start at a certain amount, it's all in this really nice clean view.

And then you may notice that I have this arrow below. Where on the left-hand side it's dark and on the right-hand side it's bright. In other words, we now have a similar flow. So if we want to change our Highlights, we can move them this way to make them brighter or this way to make them darker. Well, let's actually start to work with these sliders so we can see this in action. I am going to jump back to Lightroom here and go to the Library module. And in the Library module, I am going to click on this file grayscale.jpg. Now this is just a grayscale that I created in Photoshop, and then below, I have written out some of the different areas of this tone.

It's a grayscale that goes from bright white all the way to deep black. Now if ever you want to teach yourself how something works in Lightroom or Photoshop, you can create a grayscale and modify it. You can really start to reverse engineer how the controls actually work. Well, that's what we are going to do here. Let's now go to the Develop module. And in the Develop module, we know that the White Balance and Temperature and Tint control so far look the same. So we want to focus in on these Tone controls. Well, before we make any adjustment, you'll notice that on the bottom right-hand corner there is an Exclamation Point (!).

Now if you have upgraded from a previous version of Lightroom, you're familiar with this, because each time Lightroom has been released, they also release a new way to process the images. And so what you can do is click on this little icon here and it will ask you, "Hey, do you want to update this particular photograph, because new processing technology is available for this image." If you want to take advantage of that technology, click Update. All right! Well, back to these Tone controls. Let's take a look at the sliders. Well, Exposure, well that's going to work as we have seen it work before.

It's going to either brighten or darken really the entirety of the image. You can see how it's affecting the brightest Whites and the deepest Blacks. To reset that, double-click and everything goes back to normal. Contrast, we've seen this before. We drag it up, we have more contrast; we drag it down, we have less. As we move to the right, we always have more of something, to the left we have less. Double-click that slider, it goes back to normal. Now onto these new controls, the first one is Highlights. Now Highlights is incredibly powerful. If I go ahead and drag this to the right, what you are going to see is it's going to increase the bright area in my Highlights.

It's going to add more brightness to those tones. Drag it to the left, and it's going to darken those. This works similar to recovery but perhaps a little bit stronger. So if I have some Highlights over here that are blown out or I don't have any detail, I can bring those back or I can recover those. In order to see that, we can click on this triangle here. This triangle gives us an indicator of our Whites where we've lost detail. We don't have any detail there. Well, if I drag this Highlight slider to the left, what you are going to see is it's going to bring detail back into these areas, or in other words, it's going to darken those highlight tones.

And again, you can see how I can bring this up or down and you can see how we can work with the Highlights. So the Highlights really focuses in on those brighter tones in our image. Okay, well, let me turn off this clipping indicator so we can go to Shadows. Well, Shadows, as you'd expect if I go to the left, it's going to make those shadows darker; if I go to the right, it's going to make those shadows brighter. So in a sense, this works a little bit like Fill Light. And what Fill Light did is it brought some light as if we had a reflector or a Fill Light filling in some of the deeper shadows.

Well, this works in a similar way but there were some artifact and some problems in Lightroom 3--those have been perfected or improved here with this control. Now what about Whites? Whites is a little bit like brightness. You can see has a broader reach than highlights. So you can see how I can kind of brighten up more of the histogram there or more of this grayscale, and also, darken more, depending on which way I want to go. And then we have Blacks down below. And again, Blacks you are going to see, darken up the darker tones or brighten up those more there.

So you can kind of think of this as different levels. So you have Highlights and Shadows, which are a little bit more focus. They are little bit more narrow in their reach and then Whites and Blacks, similar type of controls but a bit more broad, give you a little bit more flexibility, a little bit more strength when making adjustments. So it's really all about what type of adjustments you want to make. So far this may seem a little bit bland because we are just deconstructing sliders and we are looking at a grayscale image. What we really need to see is how does this actually work, and how does this new process version actually affect our images, and ultimately, the question is, can it help us make our images look better? Well, let's find out, in the next few movies.

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Lightroom 4 New Features

27 video lessons · 8890 viewers

Chris Orwig
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