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In Photoshop Lightroom 3 Essential Training, author Chris Orwig provides a comprehensive look at Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3, the popular photo-asset management, enhancement, and publishing program. The course covers indispensable techniques such as importing, processing, and organizing images in the Library, correcting and adjusting images in the Develop module, and creating slideshows, web galleries, and print picture packages. In addition to exploring all of Lightroom 3's capabilities, this course is rich with creative tips and expert advice on photographic workflow. Exercise files accompany the course.
In the 03_Demo_Files folder, you'll find an image titled grayscale.psd. Let's bring this grayscale into the Develop module, and let's do this in order to deconstruct to how we can start to work with the Histogram. All right. I'll press the D key, which will then take me to the Develop module. In the top right, we can see that our first panel is the Histogram, and currently I've created this grayscale inside of Photoshop, and you can see that we have information from left all the way over here to right. When I hover over the image, we can see the different RGB values in regards to their percentages, and they go from a high percent all the way down to a low percent.
Well what we can do is we can take advantage of this Histogram to actually begin to evaluate photographs, in other words to see if we have good information and also to process our photographs. Here's how it works. If you look as I hover over, you notice that I have my blacks, and I can then click and drag to the left or the right to change the amount of the blacks. As I move to the right, I can work on the fill light, and you can see where it's affecting the Histogram. Now primarily, it's going to affect this targeted area, of course though all adjustments affect other areas as well.
Exposure, that's a pretty big adjustment. We can see that's moving everything to the right, and then finally over here on the right, we have what's called Recovery. We're trying to recover some of our highlights there. The other thing that's important, in regards to the Histogram, is using these indicators, which show us clipping. If we click on the triangles, you can see that it's going to show us in this highlight color here of any clipping. So let's add some clipping here. Let's make some "bad adjustments," and you can see that I've quite a bit of clipping. Another way to turn on and off this clipping is by pressing the J key.
That turns out warning indicator on and off. Now if you're wondering well what exactly is clipping? What it is is it's showing us that there's some kind of loss of detail. In other words, the image hasn't been processed very well. By way of the Histogram, there's no detail in the whites or there's no detail on the blacks and so it is just complete, 100% black, which isn't going to print very well, or isn't going to reproduce very well. All right, well, now that we've examined this a little bit, let's take a look at a photograph. I'll press the G key to go to the Grid view mode.
I'll go to my General_Photos, and then I'll select the folder, let's say kids, and here what I'm going to do is select the photograph of my daughter Sophia, then press the D key to go into the Develop module. And one of the things that I may want to do, as I start to work with the Histogram, is to press the J key. The J key will show me right off the bat if there's any clipping, and it's showing me that there's some subtle clipping in some of these drop shadows. Now that's fine if that goes to pure Black. That's not going to really be a problem, and one of the things that I noticed though is that this Histogram is leaning to the left.
It's a little bit on the dark side. So I'm going to go ahead and navigate over to the lower area the Histogram, and click and drag over to the right to bring in a little bit of Fill Light. I'm going to also increase my Exposure a little bit, as well. Now as I did that, you'll notice that some of the clipping indicator from my shadows has been removed. Well if I want to bring back some of the blacks, I can do that by clicking and bringing those back. And a lot of times what you're going to do is you're going to make an adjustment in one area and then also make an adjustment in another. Now you may be thinking, okay well this is kind of awkward; can't we make these adjustments in another way? Well, of course we can.
We can go to the Basic panel, and here you can see we have an Exposure slider. When I hover over this slider, it's highlighting that same exposure area in my Histogram. Yet one of the things that I wanted to do was to begin with the Histogram, so that we can build up how we use this tool. So that's not just something we look at, but rather something that we realize is actually pretty active and dynamic, and so that this little tool can help us, as we dig deeper into processing our photographs, so that they look even more compelling and so that they're even more reproducible, in other words, so that they not only look good onscreen, so that we have appropriate detail on the different areas of the photograph, so that we can create really high-quality prints.
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