Color Correction in Lightroom
Illustration by Richard Downs

Using target-based measurements


Color Correction in Lightroom

with Taz Tally

Video: Using target-based measurements

In this final movie of this chapter, in which we are learning how to But, all we care about here is the balance of the colors, the red,
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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 target-based measurements

In this final movie of this chapter, in which we are learning how to evaluate images using histograms and numeric tools like the Info tool, I want to add kind of one more tool to our quiver for doing image analysis and image correction, and that is using grayscale targets. Earlier I introduced the idea, using the white rose image, that we look for neutrals inside of an image and then evaluate them to see if they're neutral, and when we correct them, we're going to make them neutral if they're not. Well, we can actually introduce artificial neutrals by using grayscale targets, and that's what I want to cover here, because it's a tool that can be very valuable, particularly in product photography.

Click on the Books image. It's the only one we really need to look at this time. And just go ahead and go to the develop module, pressing the D or clicking on the Develop module up here, either one. If you remember back to previous videos, we've look at this image, particularly in terms of just the histogram analysis. You know, huge color casting, I mean, you can just see it visually, right? Very, very yellow and orange. And when we looked at the histogram, remember, we looked at the overlapping gray, that is the areas where we've got equal RGB values, and there ain't much here. Everything from here over is a huge color cast.

So, we've got the overlap of the red and the green, and the red is the highest, and then the green creating a very, very strong color cast, and the blue would be very, very low. So, that's the qualitative analysis of this image. We can see a very strong, red-green or yellow color cast, well offset from the blue. When we introduce something like a grayscale target, and this is actually a target that I created, and designed, invented, and manufacture and sell, for exactly this purpose. This is a ten-step grayscale target.

This has RGB values on the side, and then has percent K, and this goes from 0 to 100% rather than 100 to 0. But, these are all grayscale values here, on both sides, depending on how you want to be measuring grayscale value. And, each of these is a grayscale swatch. It's supposed to be gray. Well, you can tell just by looking at it on screen that it's not, and if we take our Eye Dropper tool, and remember, we're not clicking with this yet, we're just evaluating with it, and we're dragging it over the grayscale target. And we're just doing that so we can measure the RGB values without having to look over here all the time.

And, let's just go right up here to the highlight. Now, that's supposed to be a 5% wide highlight. And, when we look at this, the scale in Lightroom is just the inverse of that, where you go up to 100%, which is pure white. But, all we care about here is the balance of the colors, the red, the green, and the blue. And look at the red value, 76, green, 64, and blue, 39. Is that a neutral RGB assemblage? No, not at all. All those values should be equal. And doesn't that match exactly what we see over in the histogram, where the red is way offset, the green is offset pretty well, but the blue is way back.

And when we look over here, we see the red is way offset from the green, which is offset even more from the blue, and that's exactly what we see here. And no matter where we look, if we look in the mid tone here, 35, 29, and the blue, again, is pathetic at 14. So, the color cast, the yellow-orange color cast, is well reflected in the numbers on this grayscale target. So, yes, we can use the white on this book quite effectively. But, there are some cases where there are no neutrals, or we're not quite sure, or if you just want to make it easy on yourself, you can just put a grayscale target in there and use that for your color correction.

Because if you get the grayscale target correct, if those look neutral gray and measure neutral gray, then the color balance is going to be correct in the image. So, we can use targets, placed in images, and then cropped out later, or we can capture the color balance adjustments and then apply them to other images after we capture them as presets. More on that later. So, that's how we can use a grayscale target to help, at least initially, evaluate the image, and then as we see later, it'll help guide us in our actual color corrections.

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