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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.
Let's take a look at how we can use Clarity on a couple of different photographs. Here we are working from the folder titled surfers. I am going to go ahead and navigate to the Develop module. Here you have noticed that I have opened up my Histogram. One of the things that's kind of helpful to do is to compare Contrast with Clarity. Now when I increase my Contrast, watch the histogram up top. You notice that I have higher whites and higher blacks. In other words, more white or black information here. You see the image. We can see that, right, here is without any contrast or even a little bit of negative contrast, and then here we have with lots of contrast.
Blacks become blacker. Double-click that triangle to reset it. What about Clarity? What is going to happen? Well, it is interesting. If you look at the Histogram, it is not doing that much. It is just shifting a lot of these in midtones here. Negative Clarity, again it is not doing that much in regards to Histogram. Now visually a lot's happening. Let's zoom in and take a look. Now negative Clarity here looks horrible, and I've mentioned that too much Clarity, either negative or positive, can have really adverse effects. Double-click this slider to bring it back to normal. Well, how about if we increase this to let's say 10, 20, or 30 points? Well, pretty interesting.
Let's look at the before and after. Here's our before and then our after. There is just a little bit more dimension. I am going to exaggerate this, not that I would typically do this on the photograph, but I am going to exaggerate it for demo purposes. Again, our before and after. Again, it feels like there's a little bit more shape in regards to the overall image. Now if I combine that with Contrast, I can come up with a really distinct look and then maybe go down to my Saturation controls. I could desaturate a little bit or add a little bit of Vibrance or change the overall color Temperature.
Now again, I'm not saying that this is the way you want to process the photograph, but what I am saying is it gives us this really distinct look. Here's our before and then our after. Again, zooming in a little bit, let's take a look at the Clarity before and after. If I double-click this slider here's before, and then here is after that. Now in this particular case, I think we went over the top, but hopefully it's starting to show you how you can work with this tool. Well, I am going to hold down the Option key on a Mac, Alt key on a PC, and I am going to reset my Presence.
I am also going to reset my Tone. So I am going to reset both of those back to normal. In regards to the color Temperature or White Balance, let's choose As Shot. Well, now that this image has been normalized, how would I actually work with Clarity? Well, in this case I am just going to add a handful of points here and again I am thinking about how Clarity affects the overall sharpness of the image. I am going to add a little bit of Contrast as well and then maybe some Fill Light at the same time. And here we can look at our before and after. Here is before and then after. Subtle yet significant.
Let's take a look at one more photograph. Here is another pro surfer here. I will zoom out, and we can see image and I am going to zoom in so that I can focus in on the face. Now one of the things that's going to happen here, because the light is a little bit more smooth versus really direct, when we have these different shadows and highlights is this is going to illustrate something interesting about Clarity. Watch as I increase this. So here is Clarity all the way up, and then I will double-click that and take that back down. What you are going to notice is that it's as if there is more shape, the shadows have a little bit more contour, and that's a lot what Clarity does.
It's really good at working with contour. Again, that's a way too strong so we would want to increase that somewhere right around there, probably somewhere between 10 or 20 or so Contrast, a little bit Fill Light, even Exposure, and there are other things we would want to do with this image as well, yet this Clarity will be an integral step to the overall processing of our files and again keep in mind subtle yet significant. Also keep in mind that the amount of Clarity is really contingent upon the lens, upon the light, upon how you want to shoot, and also the style that you want to create when you are going to through your postproduction workflow.
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