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Using clarity in collaboration with vibrance and saturation

From: Lightroom 4 Essentials: 02 Enhancing Photos with the Develop Module

Video: Using clarity in collaboration with vibrance and saturation

This movie is going to be a bit of a journey; a journey into exploring how to understand and work with the Clarity slider. Let's work with this picture here. You can find it in the people folder; it's titled rob.tif. And what I'm going to do to make things simple is I'm going to filter what I'm seeing in this folder, so that I can just focus in on this photograph. In order to do that, I'm going to add a red label by clicking on this icon here. Next, you can press your Backslash key; that's the slash which leans to the left.

Using clarity in collaboration with vibrance and saturation

This movie is going to be a bit of a journey; a journey into exploring how to understand and work with the Clarity slider. Let's work with this picture here. You can find it in the people folder; it's titled rob.tif. And what I'm going to do to make things simple is I'm going to filter what I'm seeing in this folder, so that I can just focus in on this photograph. In order to do that, I'm going to add a red label by clicking on this icon here. Next, you can press your Backslash key; that's the slash which leans to the left.

That opens up your library filtering options, and click on Attribute to expand that, and then this red color label. So why are we doing all of that? Well, I want to do all of that just to kind of clear away all the clutter, to really focus in on just one image at a time. Let's go to the Develop module. Here in the Develop module, what we're going to do is make a comparison between Clarity, and Contrast. We're also going to see how these adjustments compare to the original file. Therefore, I'm going to create a couple of virtual copies.

On a Mac, you can press Command+ Apostrophe. On Windows, you can press Control+Apostrophe. And go ahead and press that twice, so that we now have three images. On the second image, let's increase the contrast all the way up 100 points. On the third image, or third virtual copy, let's increase the Clarity. Now let's look at the differences. We can look at these simply by clicking through the images; the original, as compared to full contrast. Interesting, right? We lose some detail in the blacks. The yellow, or color saturation on the face and the shirt; well, it's just really over the top.

Compare that to, say, Clarity. What happens there is we have detail in the blacks; it didn't affect those as much. It's really targeting those midtones, and what's interesting about this as well is we have a little bit of loss of color saturation. Take a look. Here is the original file, and then here's the file with 100 points of Clarity. Well, one of the things that you might need to do when you're working with Clarity is bring back a little bit of the color.

One way to do that, of course, is to increase your Vibrance slider, and you can bring that Vibrance slider up, and maybe even a little bit of Saturation here. I'm just going to go ahead and see if I can move these amounts here a little bit to bring back some of that original color. Let's now take a look at this. Here is our original file, and then here's the file with all of this added extra Clarity. Now it's not perfect; it can't be. It can't be a one to one perfect color, because we have a different amount of contrast. You can see how you can start to kind of bring out some of these colors, and you can use these sliders in order to bring in more or less color.

The reason why I'm pointing this out is just to get you to think about how clarity adds this really interesting texture. Let's zoom in. We click on 1:1, and we see all of that texture. Comparing that, say, to the original file, we have nice wonderful texture. Yet, it also shifts color. So sometimes what we'll do is -- let's go ahead and reset these -- we'll do something like this. We'll say, well, let's add some Clarity. Not too much, but maybe 20, 30, 40 points. I should point out, too, that Clarity in the latest version of Lightroom: it's been completely overhauled. It works completely differently.

It doesn't introduce as many artifacts as it did previously. Previously, you would hear people say, like myself, only add a little bit of Clarity; too much, and your image is going to fall apart. Well, not the case with this version of Lightroom; you can push this pretty high, and the image will still look pretty good. All right. Well, let's say that we want a moderate amount; somewhere right around there. What might do next, then, is add a little bit of that Vibrance, and maybe a touch of Saturation, and you can see that as I toggle between these two views, we have pretty accurate color.

Now, again, it's not perfect, it's not one to one, but you can see how we can start to kind of play with these amounts, and come up with some different color combinations, which kind of hearken back to that original color palette. All right. Well, why all of this conversation, and why all of this time focusing in on Clarity, and also comparing it to Contrast, and how it relates to color, and all of these variables? Well, I want to take time to do that, because what I've noticed is this: very often, photographers go through their workflow top to bottom.

They work on exposure, they add some contrast, they use their other sliders in any way that they need to, and they do their workflow, and then at the end, of course, they add a little bit of Clarity. Yet, the trick with that is that what you're doing, you have to keep in mind, that as you add that Clarity, whatever amount, you're also tweaking the color. Therefore, when you get to Clarity, don't stop there, because you know about Vibrance, and Saturation. You've watched those movies; you know how that works. Well, take advantage of that knowledge, and as you seek to add your Clarity, whatever amount, just keep in mind, you may need to go into some of these other controls in order to just customize the way you want that color to appear.

Now, I'm not necessarily saying you always need to do this every time. You know, sometimes what you'll discover is that you'll go through your own workflow, and you'll get to that final Clarity step, and what that will do is it will create kind of a nice look for your image. Maybe it's a little bit gritty, and desaturated, and you like it. Well, in that case, live with it; go for it. I mean, that's a good thing. Yet, there are certain images where this desaturation, this kind of hip, crunchy type of look; it just doesn't work.

Therefore, in those situations, it may be helpful to tap into using these other sliders in order to really finish the image off; in order to give it a color palette, a color look, which is a little bit more appropriate for that photograph that you're working on.

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This video is part of

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  1. 2m 1s
    1. Welcome
      1m 17s
    2. Using the exercise files
      44s
  2. 22m 4s
    1. Develop module overview and essential shortcuts
      4m 13s
    2. Panel navigation tips
      4m 53s
    3. Using the Develop module presets
      3m 32s
    4. Creating your own presets
      4m 1s
    5. Using the Snapshot and History panels
      3m 40s
    6. Working with the tool strip
      1m 45s
  3. 15m 20s
    1. Working with legacy Lightroom files
      6m 53s
    2. Viewing the before and after
      4m 29s
    3. Comparing and surveying images
      3m 58s
  4. 19m 42s
    1. Understanding white balance and color temperature
      2m 43s
    2. Using the White Balance Selector tool
      4m 22s
    3. Correcting white balance with a color checker
      3m 52s
    4. Working with white balance presets and fine-tuning white balance
      4m 24s
    5. Color correcting multiple images at once
      2m 42s
    6. Creativity and white balance
      1m 39s
  5. 23m 5s
    1. Getting familiar with the tone controls
      3m 19s
    2. Deconstructing the tone controls
      5m 39s
    3. Using the tone controls to enhance photographs
      5m 28s
    4. Correcting clipping with the tone controls
      4m 53s
    5. Synchronizing tonal adjustments with multiple images
      3m 46s
  6. 22m 31s
    1. Understanding vibrance and saturation
      5m 6s
    2. Working with vibrance and saturation
      5m 38s
    3. Color creativity with temperature, vibrance, and saturation
      3m 19s
    4. Understanding clarity
      2m 34s
    5. Using clarity in collaboration with vibrance and saturation
      5m 54s
  7. 10m 37s
    1. Basic panel workflow
      3m 38s
    2. Using Auto Tone
      1m 42s
    3. Workflow considerations
      5m 17s
  8. 18m 27s
    1. Cropping
      3m 29s
    2. Changing the crop aspect ratio
      1m 47s
    3. Straightening with the Crop tool
      2m 49s
    4. Working with the crop overlay
      3m 4s
    5. Crop creativity and orientation
      2m 36s
    6. Synchronizing crop settings
      2m 36s
    7. Exploring how to improve the composition of your photographs
      2m 6s
  9. 15m 55s
    1. Retouching with the Spot Removal tool
      8m 26s
    2. The Spot Removal tool: Clone versus Heal
      4m 56s
    3. Fixing red-eye
      2m 33s
  10. 16m 43s
    1. Introducing the Graduated Filter
      5m 14s
    2. Darkening the sky with the Graduated Filter
      6m 10s
    3. Enhancing a sunrise with the Graduated Filter
      5m 19s
  11. 45m 51s
    1. Adjustment Brush overview
      7m 45s
    2. Using Auto Mask
      5m 55s
    3. Burning and dodging a black-and-white image
      6m 44s
    4. Reducing noise
      5m 40s
    5. Minimizing moiré patterns
      3m 18s
    6. Painting in localized sharpening
      2m 14s
    7. Improving the eyes
      4m 6s
    8. Dimishing a distracting highlight
      3m 42s
    9. The Adjustment Brush and Basic panel workflow
      6m 27s
  12. 15m 38s
    1. Demystifying the Tone Curve controls
      5m 5s
    2. Using the tone curve to correct exposure
      2m 16s
    3. Changing tone and color with the the point tone curve
      3m 39s
    4. Making creative RGB adjustments
      4m 38s
  13. 13m 36s
    1. Understanding the HSL controls
      4m 4s
    2. Using the HSL Target Adjustment tool
      1m 40s
    3. Brightening tones with HSL
      3m 21s
    4. Using HSL to bring out warm and cool tones
      1m 47s
    5. Creative color with HSL
      2m 44s
  14. 36m 35s
    1. Introducing black-and-white conversion
      2m 38s
    2. Converting to black and white
      2m 16s
    3. Modifying black-and-white tones with the Grayscale panel
      5m 26s
    4. Enhancing black-and-white images with the Adjustment Brush
      9m 4s
    5. Using presets to convert to black and white
      5m 13s
    6. Black-and-white workflow with virtual copies
      5m 29s
    7. Black-and-white images and collections
      4m 22s
    8. Creating better black-and-white photographs
      2m 7s
  15. 14m 2s
    1. Split-toning essentials
      3m 34s
    2. Advanced split-toning tips
      2m 44s
    3. Split toning a color image
      3m 5s
    4. Split toning to create a sepia-tone effect
      2m 22s
    5. Using split toning to enhance a sunrise
      2m 17s
  16. 12m 21s
    1. Introducing noise reduction
      5m 10s
    2. Understanding sharpening
      5m 2s
    3. Sharpening workflow
      2m 9s
  17. 13m 35s
    1. Using the Lens Correction controls
      1m 56s
    2. Correcting distortion
      2m 45s
    3. Making subtle adjustments to composition and tone
      4m 10s
    4. Removing fish-eye distortion
      3m 18s
    5. Removing chromatic aberration
      1m 26s
  18. 12m 55s
    1. Adding and correcting vignettes
      2m 24s
    2. Using the Post-Crop controls
      4m 5s
    3. Adding a post-crop vignette
      4m 26s
    4. Working with film grain
      2m 0s
  19. 5m 34s
    1. Understanding camera calibration in Lightroom
      3m 20s
    2. Creative color with camera calibration
      2m 14s
  20. 21s
    1. Goodbye
      21s

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