Color Correction in Lightroom
Illustration by Richard Downs

Using Lightroom's automated adjustment tools


Color Correction in Lightroom

with Taz Tally

Video: Using Lightroom's automated adjustment tools

In this movie I'd like to show you some of the auto correction tools that are in
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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

Using Lightroom's automated adjustment tools

In this movie I'd like to show you some of the auto correction tools that are in light room and show you how they can be used. What the limitations are and show you how to evaluate whether they're providing you with the kind of adjustments you want. So we're going to use two images here to show you some of these automatic tools. The clouded landscape and the harding. Go ahead and select those and then lets do a CMD or CTRL and then apostrophe to make virtual copies of those. We've got single stars applied to, those single, so we go to attributes, and single star just to kind of clear up our interface here.

And let's go to develop module, and let's actually start with, the virtual copy of this cloudy landscape image. There are a couple of different automatic tools. First one, is in auto white balance tool, which is over here. Which you can use as an As Shot, Auto or Custom, and the Auto is the automatic tool. So that's one. The other one is this eyedropper tool that we have been using just for monitoring and measuring, you can actually use this as a neutralization tool. You can click on something you think is neutral and then just click, and it tends to neutralize that portion of the image.

And by the way remember you can double click on the white balance to neutralize any of this. So there's two different kind of of auto white balance tools, and then there's this auto tone adjustment here. Remember the order in which you would use those would typically color balance first and then your auto tone. Although they can be reversed for the automatic tools, but let's just see what it does. When you click on auto here, it'll evaluate the image and didn't do some sort of automatic adjustment to the image. And you can double click on tone to undo those. Alright, so let's take a look at these tools in this image and see what works and what doesn't.

First let's start with the automatic white balance and let's look at the histogram here. Notice it's a fairly neutral image all the way across. It's not a big color cast in this image. In the as shot version. Right? And if we take our info tool and we look over here. We can see the sky is oh, it's almost 52, 54, 56. A little bit to the blue side. This is a little bit more to the blue side in here. And of course this is all colored in here so it's not supposed to be neutral. But any of these could be neutral areas are pretty close to each other. A little bit of a blue cast.

And you can see that sticking out there. So if we take this and do an auto white balance. Notice what happens to this image. Cause you see the auto correction tools don't know that, that is supposed to be a gray sky. Or that this should be white snow or it's gray limestone. It doesn't know any of that. So it takes a look at the entire image. Low and behold when it tries to neutralize it. It puts a yellow cast on it. Now when we look at the RGB values in the gray sky it is 55, 54, 52. And down here it's 60, 59, 54. So we've actually added a color cast to this image by doing this.

So this would not be a good choice if we were trying to neutralize the image. How about this tool? Well, if we use the eyedropper tool and click here, indeed it's going to neutralize that portion of the sky. Notice 68, 68, 68. If we click down here, it gives us a different result. It gives us that color cast. So it depends upon where you click. So you need to be very judicious. Above where you want to click using this tool. And you get different results depending upon where you click. And it seems like with this particular image, the darker the area on which you're clicking the more of the red-green color balance that you're getting.

So here we want to click on the light portion of the sky in order to neutralize that sky. So these tools can be useful and they can work, but you really have to use them judiciously. In terms of the automatic exposure, the tone control, look at the histogram here. No data from highlight to mid tone, no data from three quarter to shadow, when I click on auto, basically what it does is it lightens the image. It moves all the data towards the highlight, cause it tends to favor the highlight data in the image. But notice it's light in the midtone hasn't done much for the shadow at all, so it really over brightens the image and from my valuation this would be an over exposed image, from the auto correction here.

So, really the auto correction is not much help here. If you did the auto correction you certainly want to come back with the blacks. It moves the blacks down to increase the contrast. Unless you wanted the over exposed look. So, the automatic tools can be useful and when you use them in conjunction with evaluating the histogram, you can see whether they're working or not and certainly with the info tool as well. You can see what's neutral and what's not. And just to take a quick look at this image. Very different distribution of tone. Let's go ahead and choose an Auto, in terms of this white balance.

In this image it works pretty well. Notice that the difference here in the histogram, we have the blue offset, to this image we've got a blue color cast. And we look at the RGB values, sure enough, you know, we've got a 74, and a 65, 62. Here the auto balance works pretty well. The auto white balance, because so much of the image is neutral. The more neutral most of the image is, the better this works. So, that works pretty well there. We look here, 88, 89, 88. It's within a percent. So, here, nice job on the auto balance.

Now, for the auto tone correction, when we click here. What this does again, it favors the highlight, notice that. More work on the highlight. And in this case, what it does, because there's so much highlight it actually blows out and loses some of the detail in some portions of this image. So in this case the auto white balance works but the auto tone correction not so much. So do I use these tools? Very sparingly. A little bit later on in the course I'll show you some places I do use them. When I have complete control over the lighting and the background and that kind of thing, particularly in product photography.

But for landscapes and natural light photography, I find them of limited usefulness and use them very sparingly.

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