Join Richard Harrington for an in-depth discussion in this video Working with the preset chooser, part of Enhancing Photos with Perfectly Clear.
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- At the heart of Perfectly Clear are well-designed presets. These are essentially recipes that take the 20 or so different corrections that Perfectly Clear can apply and bundles them into an easy workflow. A recipe just means certain adjustments are turned on and set to preset values. But what's unique about those preset values is that Perfectly Clear analyzes the image and then applies it based upon the optimal state. So simply setting the vibrancy slider to a higher value won't just add that value, rather, it says go to natural color and then, boost it this much more.
If the image is dark, it will lift it to a good base exposure, and then make the details adjustments. You'll notice this as you work with different types of images, that the slider values are more relative, based upon what Perfectly Clear determines to be the ideal image. Because of this, the presets are often incredibly effective to batch process photos, which is a workflow we'll explore later. But for now, let's open up a couple of images from Lightroom into Perfectly Clear and I'll show you the presets. To start, let's select these first three images and I'll right-click and choose Edit In, Edit in Perfectly Clear LR.
For now, I'll make sure that the colors space is set to SRGB, we'll talk about ideal color spaces more later. And we'll work with a copy. When I click the Edit button, these three images are duplicated into new states and handed off into Perfectly Clear. Now, if you look closely at the bottom here, you'll notice that it says one of three. The Lightroom version has the ability to load multiple images into the Perfectly Clear dialogue, so you can work on all of your images, and then when done, simply click the Save All button.
For now, let's start with the presets. Looking at this first image, this is a type of image where Details can come in handy. Remember, clicking on the image will show you the before and the after. Details is designed to put more information into the image itself by increasing the range in the shadows and the highlights. If you look at the before and after, you see that the whites are brighter and the darks are darker, but the midtones have not become muddy or cluttered.
On the other hand, the Vivid preset is useful to bring out a little more color. If you look at the two there, you'll see that it's a little bit brighter, with more color intensity. Now, the next two presets are well-suited for portraits and we'll look at those in one second. But the Fix Dark preset is great for dealing with a very dark image. You see it lightens things up. And you'll also find presets for noisy images, to remove image noise such as high ISO, and the ability to remove color cast, in this case, it removed a bit of a purplish tint.
Now, the Landscape preset is well-suited for images with vegetation. In fact, I really like what that did. Look how the water is just beautiful and creamy on this long exposure, with rich, intense greens and very crisp blacks. All right, let's jump over to the next image, which is more of a portrait. I'll press the z key to toggle between 100 percent and Fit Image. Now, Details is great for popping the color, and you'll notice that even by default, it does some of the Beautify fixes.
For example, if you look at this photo, my daughter had just gotten off a red-eye flight, so her eyes have a bit of dark circles from not getting a good night's sleep a couple nights in a row from flying. The Beautify preset takes that a little bit further. Rather than popping the skin colors though like Details and adding a lot of brightening, it keeps things pretty much the same. All that's changed is that the skin's a little bit smoother, some of the shine is removed from the oily areas of the skin, which is, of course, completely natural, and it applies a nice, natural tone to the image.
If you're looking for more of a retouching type workflow, Beautify+ adds some other shaping features. It goes a bit heavier on the skin and then goes in and also applies some thinning, or slimming to the face, which is useful if you've got wide-angle lens distortion, which is common on portraits. In fact, this slimming is not because there's anything fat or wrong with her face, it's just because the lens sometimes makes faces look thicker when you shoot a portrait, particularly if you're using a wider angle lens.
But either preset is totally fine to use, and it's up to you. Now, we'll explore the manual controls in just a moment. If I click the next button, it takes me to the last image here, and in this case, notice how different presets, such as Fix Dark really brightens up that image. There's the before and the after. And Fix Tint is exceptionally good at removing some of that color cast and getting things back to a very clean white.
Now, this can be refined, and we'll talk about it here. In this case, it's accurate, but the white is almost dominant, so I'd like to tweak that a bit later. The use of presets allows you to quickly change between different settings. You'll find those same presets available here in this preset picker. And if you'd like, there are abilities for you to create your own presets, which is a simple way of saving your own settings for quick access. For example, here is my landscape for afternoon sun, and you see it not only as detail and contrast, but warms up the image, making it look a lot oranger for that particular time of day.
Change your mind, and here's one with a lot of sharpening. It really pops the image, and now, if you look at the detail and the rich texture on that space suit, well, it's really coming through. As opposed to something like Beautify, which softens it and makes it a bit more glowy. So pick the preset that works for you. You've got eight to start with and down the road, you can actually create your own once you understand how to use the Adjust tab.
- Installing Perfectly Clear
- Applying Perfectly Clear in Photoshop and Lightroom
- Choosing presets
- Refining adjustments manually
- Controlling exposure
- Restoring and removing color
- Sharpening images
- Removing noise
- Retouching skin, eyes, and other features
- Working with raw files
- Using the Lucid desktop and mobile apps