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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.
In order to get to know how to work with the Tone Controls in the Basic panel, we have explored how we can work with one image at a time. But you and I know that the reality of it is that we work on one image, and then we apply those settings to other photographs that were captured in the same lighting situation. Like here, you can see I have this picture, and then I have others which were captured under the same light. Well, how can we work with the tone curve, or the Tone controls I should say, in order to process multiple images? Well here with this image, the first thing I want to do is just increase the Color Temperature just a little bit.
Now that I've done that, I am going to go through my Tone controls. Well my Exposure, it seems pretty good. I'm not quite sure, though, so I'm going to press the J key. This will turn on the clipping indicators, as we have seen before. Okay, so far so good. We have decent detail there. I'm going to increase my Contrast, which will also affect the color. Next, what about those highlights? Wouldn't it be nice to bring down some of that detail? Sure. We'll go ahead and click and drag this to the left, as well as click and drag our Whites slider to the left, bringing in some more detail into that jacket.
Shadows; let's boost those up, adding a little bit of fill there, and then Blacks, we can go ahead and darken those in order to find just a nice spot for those shadows there. I'm going to increase my Contrast just a touch. I think this image is pretty good to go. Let's look at it. Here is our before, and then now our after. So here, really what I'm trying to do is simulate a little bit of a workflow in regards to working on an image, getting that correct using these controls. Well now that we have done that, all that we need to do is to hold down the Shift key, and then to click on the last image in the set; in this case, this photograph here.
So we have all of these images selected. Next up, of course, is to synchronize this. I'm going to turn this switch off, so that I can access the Synchronize menu. In order to access that, click Sync... This opens up the Synchronize Settings dialog. Now, what do I want to synchronize? In this case, I want to synchronize White Balance, and Basic Tone: all of those adjustments that we just worked on; that looks good. Here we will click Synchronize. That will then apply those settings to the other images.
Here, we can use the Arrow key in order to navigate through this set of photographs. What's great about this is it allows us to apply this particular look to these images. They all have this warm tone, and also, the same amount of contrast and detail. Yet, what's interesting about this type of a workflow is that sometimes we will come to an image, say like this, and this one is just too dark. Well, what we can do there is we can modify the photograph. We can increase the Exposure perhaps a little bit, in order to give it a bit more of a boost, or we can modify the Blacks, and also the Shadows, in order to bring those up just a touch.
So as you seek to work with these various images, you will need to kind of make some micro-adjustments in order to get them just right, because each image, well, it's going to work a little bit differently. In this case, because the face isn't covered by the hat, well, it's a little bit of a brighter image. This one, perhaps a little bit darker. So again, here we may need to just make those adjustments in order to make corrections, so that each image looks really good. In this way, what I'm trying to illustrate is how you can start to really expand how you work with these Tone control settings, so that you're not just working on one image at a time, but rather, so that you can work on one image, apply those settings to other photographs captured in similar scenarios, and then make any final fine tune adjustments in order to help make your images look even better.
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