Start learning with our library of video tutorials taught by experts. Get started

Up and Running with Lightroom 3

Setting Clarity and Vibrance


From:

Up and Running with Lightroom 3

with Jan Kabili

Video: Setting Clarity and Vibrance

Down at the bottom of the Basic panel in the section called Presence are two sliders that can add that extra punch that a photo often needs to stand out. These are the Clarity slider for enhancing midtone contrast and the Vibrance slider for kicking up color intensity. Increasing the Clarity slider is so good at adding snap to a wide variety of photos that I think of it as Lightroom's secret weapon. Clarity works on the midtones in particular, boosting midtone contrast and bringing out details there. The effect is often to give a photo more depth.

Watch this entire course now—plus get access to every course in the library. Each course includes high-quality videos taught by expert instructors.

Become a member
Please wait...
Up and Running with Lightroom 3
2h 44m Beginner May 06, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this course, Jan Kabili provides an approachable introduction to organizing, editing, and sharing photos in Lightroom. The course offers a quick-start approach to the basics, from importing photos from a camera or a hard drive, to managing photos in the Library module, to improving photos by adjusting exposure, recovering details from highlights and shadows, sharpening, and more. Jan also includes a look at popular Lightroom features for sharing photos: exporting, printing, and creating slideshows.

Topics include:
  • Understanding Lightroom catalogs
  • Importing photos from multiple sources
  • Organizing photos with ratings, keywords, and collections
  • Working with virtual copies
  • Making basic corrections to photo color and tone
  • Making local photo edits with the Adjustment Brush and Graduated Filter tools
  • Removing spots from multiple photos at once
  • Reducing digital noise and sharpening
  • Cropping and straightening
  • Printing and exporting edited photos
Subject:
Photography
Software:
Photoshop Lightroom Lightroom
Author:
Jan Kabili

Setting Clarity and Vibrance

Down at the bottom of the Basic panel in the section called Presence are two sliders that can add that extra punch that a photo often needs to stand out. These are the Clarity slider for enhancing midtone contrast and the Vibrance slider for kicking up color intensity. Increasing the Clarity slider is so good at adding snap to a wide variety of photos that I think of it as Lightroom's secret weapon. Clarity works on the midtones in particular, boosting midtone contrast and bringing out details there. The effect is often to give a photo more depth.

Let's see Clarity in action on this photo. First, I can see from the histogram that I need to set a white point and a black point in this photo. To set the white point, I'll drag the Exposure slider over to the right as I've shown you how to do in earlier movies, and to set the black point I'll drag the Black slider over to the right as I've shown you before also. Let's see what increasing Clarity does to this photo. Keep your eye on the clouds and also on this part of the mountain up here as I drag the Clarity slider over to the right. Here's the photo with the 100% Clarity adjustment, and here it is with no clarity.

So, that's before and after, quite a difference. You can actually see the effect of Clarity best at 100% view, so I'm going to go over here and click right near the mountain to zoom into 100%, or one-to-one view, and let's do that before-and-after comparison again. There's without Clarity. There's with Clarity. Now, one thing you have to watch out for when you use Clarity are visible halos of darker or lighter pixels along the edges in the photo, and you can see here there is a little bit of darkness, and if that's too much, it's too obvious.

What I'll do is just back off on the Clarity slider, and I'll leave it maybe around there. So that's what happens when you increase Clarity. Did you ever wonder what might happen if you decrease Clarity? Let's look at this portrait. If I go over to the Clarity slider and I take it over to the left, if I go really far, I get this kind of otherworldly HDR like look, and that's too much. But if I do just a small negative Clarity adjustment on a portrait, I can often soften the lines and give the skin a nice diffuse look like this.

Those are the two things that Clarity can do for you. Now, let's take a look at Vibrance and Saturation. I'll open another photo for that. To set up this photo, I'm going to set its white point, and I'm going to add a little Fill Light to open up the shadows over in the peppers on the left side. And then to compensate for the Fill Light, I'll increase the Blacks a little bit, all as I've shown you how to do in earlier movies. So now, let's see what Saturation and Vibrance can do for this photo.

Both of those controls increase the intensity of color. So let's say I take that Saturation slider and I drag it over to the right. Notice that all the colors in the image got more saturated, and some I think are just too saturated, like the yellow in this plate, or the reds over here in these peppers, or even the brick sidewalk, and that's often the trouble with Saturation. It saturates all the colors equally. So instead, let's try Vibrance. I'll take the Vibrance slider and drag it to the same level as I had Saturation, and that's a more pleasing and subtle result.

Notice that the plate isn't oversaturated, neither are the peppers, or the sidewalk, and I'm actually able to retain more detail when I don't over-saturate. Another thing I like about Vibrance is that it has built-in skin-tone protection. So I'll often use Vibrance to make a model's clothing look more intense in color without over-saturating the colors in her skin, as the Saturation slider might do. I have to admit that I almost always check out what increasing Clarity and Vibrance will do for a photo. They can give so many photos that extra pop that takes them from so-so to special, so give them a try on your own photos.

There are currently no FAQs about Up and Running with Lightroom 3.

Share a link to this course
Please wait... Please wait...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.
Upgrade now


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Upgrade now

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Up and Running with Lightroom 3.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Welcome to the redesigned course page.

We’ve moved some things around, and now you can



Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked