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Using the Histogram to evaluate tones

From: Up and Running with Lightroom 4

Video: Using the Histogram to evaluate tones

Let's continue to explore how to process a photo using the controls in the Basic Basic panel in the Develop module. In the last movie, I showed you how and why to use the White Balance controls. Once you've done that, I recommend you move straight down to the next section of the Basic panel which is a section that contains the Tonal controls. These controls are very powerful and they have a big effect on the image. So, before we start using this, I want to make sure that you have your Histogram panel open because that will help you to evaluate the tonal issues with the image as it stands and to see what the various controls are doing to the image as you use them.

Using the Histogram to evaluate tones

Let's continue to explore how to process a photo using the controls in the Basic Basic panel in the Develop module. In the last movie, I showed you how and why to use the White Balance controls. Once you've done that, I recommend you move straight down to the next section of the Basic panel which is a section that contains the Tonal controls. These controls are very powerful and they have a big effect on the image. So, before we start using this, I want to make sure that you have your Histogram panel open because that will help you to evaluate the tonal issues with the image as it stands and to see what the various controls are doing to the image as you use them.

If your Histogram panel isn't showing, then click this triangle to reveal it. If you're not familiar with the Histogram, it's a bar chart. The right side of the chart represents the brightest possible tones in an image and the left side of the chart represents the darkest possible tones with all of the grey tones across the chart. The mounds of light gray and color that you see in this particular Histogram represent the tones in the open image. So, before I get started adjusting this image, I'd like to take a look at the bar chart and see where the tones are falling.

I say that this image looks pretty good in terms of a histogram. It has tones across the histogram and there are no high spikes on the right which would represent a clipped highlights or highlights that have no detail nor on the left, which would represent dark areas, shadows that have no detail. And in most cases, it's a good idea to have some highlights and some shadows that do have detail. But I do see that there aren't very many bars over here on the far right which means that there aren't any really bright tones in the image. So, that's something that we'll work on.

As I said the histogram can also help to understand what the individual sliders are doing to an image as you're using them. In Lightroom 4, individual sliders in the tonal area are targeted pretty tightly to separate parts of the tonal range. And you can see which is which by coming up to the histogram and just hovering over part of the histogram. So, if I hover over this area, it gets a little bit lighter in the chart and you can see underneath the chart, Lightroom is telling me that this area is going to be controlled primarily by the black slider, this area by the shadows slider, this area by the exposure slider.

And that's important to know that the exposure slider is targeted to the midtones. This area is controlled by the highlight slider primarily and this area by the white slider. So, keep that in mind as we move on to the next movie where I'm going to show you how to use the individual controls in the tonal area of the Basic panel.

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This video is part of

Image for Up and Running with Lightroom 4
Up and Running with Lightroom 4

34 video lessons · 19160 viewers

Jan Kabili
Author

 
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  1. 4m 21s
    1. Welcome
      1m 24s
    2. What is Lightroom used for?
      2m 57s
  2. 29m 45s
    1. What is a Lightroom catalog?
      5m 55s
    2. Importing the exercise files
      4m 41s
    3. Organizing your existing files before importing
      4m 8s
    4. Importing from a drive
      5m 31s
    5. Importing from a camera
      9m 30s
  3. 41m 32s
    1. Touring the Library module
      4m 56s
    2. Viewing and selecting photos and video
      5m 21s
    3. Reviewing and rating items from a shoot
      5m 33s
    4. Organizing your library with collections
      5m 10s
    5. Using keywords to organize your library
      6m 49s
    6. Finding photos with filters
      5m 37s
    7. Moving and renaming items
      8m 6s
  4. 1h 0m
    1. Touring the Develop module
      6m 35s
    2. Cropping and straightening
      4m 33s
    3. Setting white balance in the Basic panel
      6m 51s
    4. Using the Histogram to evaluate tones
      2m 37s
    5. Adjusting tonal values in the Basic panel
      8m 28s
    6. Controlling color intensity in the Basic panel
      3m 10s
    7. Reducing digital noise
      6m 37s
    8. Sharpening
      8m 15s
    9. Working with video
      6m 3s
    10. Enhancing video
      7m 32s
  5. 17m 11s
    1. Making local adjustments with the Adjustment Brush
      8m 14s
    2. Making variable adjustments with the Graduated Filter tool
      4m 13s
    3. Removing spots
      4m 44s
  6. 39m 16s
    1. Setting up a connection to Facebook
      6m 50s
    2. Sharing photos and video on Facebook
      5m 34s
    3. Printing photos
      6m 6s
    4. Creating a photo book
      5m 50s
    5. Customizing a photo book
      8m 6s
    6. Exporting photos
      6m 50s
  7. 33s
    1. Next steps
      33s

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