Color Correction in Lightroom
Illustration by Richard Downs

Color Correction in Lightroom

with Taz Tally

Video: Solution: Evaluating and correcting color

Okay, and here we go.
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  1. 2m 20s
    1. Welcome
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 40s
  2. 7m 18s
    1. Overview of color correction tools in Lightroom
      4m 17s
    2. Using virtual copies for color-adjustment variations
      3m 1s
  3. 10m 40s
    1. Setting up the interface for color adjustments
      4m 33s
    2. Setting up the color tools
      1m 45s
    3. Using Lightroom's soft proofing
      4m 22s
  4. 29m 9s
    1. Understanding how the histogram displays tone
      7m 51s
    2. Understanding how the histogram displays color
      4m 35s
    3. Identifying color casts with histograms and the Info tool
      6m 54s
    4. Measuring skin tones
      5m 50s
    5. Using target-based measurements
      3m 59s
  5. 51m 54s
    1. Understanding the interaction of Lightroom's histogram and tone panels
      8m 27s
    2. Adjusting color balance with the Temperature and Tint tools
      5m 51s
    3. Avoiding highlight and shadow clipping
      6m 58s
    4. Adjusting color balance using the Info tool and the Tone panel
      8m 19s
    5. Using Lightroom's automated adjustment tools
      5m 42s
    6. Adjusting overall brightness and contrast
      6m 21s
    7. Using targets for color correction
      4m 0s
    8. Challenge: Evaluating and correcting color
      1m 2s
    9. Solution: Evaluating and correcting color
      5m 14s
  6. 1h 8m
    1. Evaluating and correcting critical highlights, shadows, and contrast areas in landscapes
      7m 28s
    2. Working with near neutrals and images with no neutrals
      6m 42s
    3. Correcting skin tones in a portrait
      5m 37s
    4. Correcting a faded image
      7m 54s
    5. Adding pop to product images
      7m 58s
    6. Making curve-based color correction adjustments
      7m 40s
    7. Color correcting product shots
      7m 12s
    8. Making creative adjustments
      5m 45s
    9. Automating adjustments
      4m 34s
    10. Challenge: Identifying and correcting a color cast
      1m 2s
    11. Solution: Identifying and correcting a color cast
      6m 54s
  7. 1m 26s
    1. Next steps
      1m 26s

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Watch the Online Video Course Color Correction in Lightroom
2h 55m Advanced May 30, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Lightroom is a great choice for color correction. In this course, photographer and educator Taz Tally details the concepts, tools, and techniques behind correcting and enhancing color in Lightroom. Learn to evaluate the color in an image with the Develop module tools, Lightroom's histograms, and (crucially) your own eyes. Then discover how to use the color correction tools to balance and tone adjust an image, using tried and true techniques like neutralization and color ratios. Taz then takes you through a variety of color correction scenarios, from improving landscapes, fixing skin tones, and recovering faded images to making product shots pop, removing color casts, and making creative color adjustments.

Topics include:
  • Setting up Lightroom for color correction
  • Identifying color cast
  • Measuring skin tones
  • Adjusting color balance
  • Adjusting overall brightness and contrast
  • Using targets for color correction
  • Using histograms, the Info panel, and Curves
  • Making creative adjustments
  • Automating color correction
Taz Tally

Solution: Evaluating and correcting color

Okay, and here we go. Here's my solution to the Aster image challenge. We'll start off from library and let's go ahead and make a virtual copy of this and let's go ahead and take that into our develop module. We're pressing d and our first step is to do an evaluation of the image, visually, the histogram and with our info tools. So first visually, we look at this image we see well the important part of this image of course is the daisies isn't it? That's the key component of this image.

Then there is a blurry background which is nice which kind of highlights the daisies in the foreground. When we look at this image we think you know, the contrast is a little low doesn't have a lot of punch to it. But the good thing is that we got a neutral white diffuse white highlight. All these petals and these daisies are going to be really good for color correction because they're bright highlights and they're white, they're just that they're neutral. All right, so we know what we want to really emphasize and that's going to be the daisies for sure. And we suspect we're going to be doing a little bit of adjustment of the contrast. We move over to the histogram, and as always the histogram matches in a semi quantitative way what we were seeing visually.

And that is we see that the image lacks tunnel detail from the highlight down to the beginning of the quarter tone. But then we have all this data down here to the near shadow, and that's why the image is a little bit low contrast, but we know we are going to be adjusting that. We also see by looking at the histogram because the blue areas sticking out to the right of the grey histogram which represent the neutral portions of this image, telling us you bet that there is a blue color cast here. And then if we take our handy dandy info tool over here, and we look at the areas that we know should be white and we look at the RGB values, 77, 76 and then boom, 82, right? 81, 82 on the blue.

So sure enough, we're getting quantitative agreement with what we saw over in the histogram with the semi-quantitative analysis with the blue color cast. So, two major things we want to do to this image, right? One is we want to take out the blue color cast so that white is going to pop and then two, we want to do a little bit of tonal adjustment. So that we get a little bit brighter whites after we neutralize 'em. So let's go do it. Where do we go to do this? Well, using the basic panel, we're going to start with the temperature. And because we see that the red and green values are pretty darn close to each other, we may be able to accomplish this with just working on the blue portion of the color spectrum.

Let's go ahead and take this slider here, and we can just move that away from the blue and we can measure. But an even better way, a slicker way to do this, right, is to activate that field and then we can put our cursor over here so we can monitor while we do the adjustment. That's a lot faster and easier. And then we just start going down, right? We go on the up arrow, which reduces the amount of blue. And then we just watch the red and green until they get up to about the same values as the blue. And there we go, we neutralized the image.

And we check back over here visually for the neutral histogram. And look at that. It just completely covers that whole highlight portion, there, so we've done a nice job. It wasn't that difficult, right? It's all in the evaluation. A lot of these things are a lot simpler than you think they are. You just need to be pointed in the right direction, which is what the numbers in the histogram allows us to do. Okay, the next step is, we certainly want to work on the highlight end just a little bit, don't we? So what are we going to do? We're going to hold down the Option key, Alt in Windows. And drag the whites until we start to see where the lightest portion of the image is.

That's the diffuse white highlight and we're going to let that kind of stick out there. And we can see where we want to put our cursor, right in here in this area right in there, notice it's all at 100 when we look over at the histogram or on our info-panel. Now we're going to select that field and come back in. Then we're just going to lower these values until we get to 95%, all right? So we take this down to the 95. And remember, 95 is the magic number because that's going to allow us not only to see the detail on screen, but guarantee that it's going to have detail when we go to print as well.

Okay, so there's the major adjustment for the highlight. Do we need to do the shadow? You know? We could, we could come in here and hold down our Option key, Alt in Windows, and drag and see what the darkest portion of the image is for the shadow. And that's going to be right down in here. And we select this. Move this over to here. And then we can see that these values are all below five. Now the question becomes: is this detail important or do we just want this to be dark? And as we go up, we can see a little bit more detail comes out. So, I think we can go ahead and take this to five, and we'll still end up with some, some good contrast in the image.

So, at least one of those numbers goes to five, any detail that's there will be preserved, even though it's nice and smooth because of the blurring. But you don't want to have any just flat areas in that background, even though it's blurry. Okay, well, good. And we can do a tune-up, a little bit, if we wanted to just increase or decrease the contrast a little bit, decrease contrast, increase contrast. You know, on this image, I'd probably increase the contrast just a little bit maybe take it up between 10 and 15. Why? Because it makes the darks a little bit darker, and the lights a little bit lighter, giving us a little bit more punch in that foreground.

And there we go! Adjustment of the image, you hit the Y key to see the before and after and badabing badaboom. Big difference, and not too much work and not too much time. Remember it's all driven by the evaluation of your eyes, the histogram, and the numeric analysis

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