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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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