Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Introducing the Clarity control, part of Lightroom 5 Essentials: 03 Develop Module Basics.
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The Clarity slider in the Basic Panel allows us to add some punch or some midtone contrast to our photographs. And it also affects the color in an interesting way as well. So, let's begin to take a look at how we can use the Clarity slider in combination with the few other sliders, in order to improve our photographs. Now, we'll begin by working with this demo file here. This demo file contains a circle with a gradient in it that I posterized so you can see these little stair steps. And I did that, so that we can start to understand the difference between contrast and clarity. Both of these controls allow us to add contrast.
But they work in different ways. When we work with the contrast slider if we drag this to the right you'll notice that this area of the image becomes much brighter. This area becomes much darker. Drag this to the left and it removes the difference in the overall tonal range of the image. It becomes a bit more even or smooth. The contrast slider works in pretty big and bold ways. It allows us to apply adjustments really to the entire tonal spectrum of the photograph. In contrast, clarity focuses more in on these mid-toned areas.
Here, I'll go ahead and increase the overall clarity and what you'll notice is that, it's adding some texture or detail or punch in this part of the image. Click and drag this to the left and the photograph becomes really soft and smooth. If I zoom in on the image, you'll see the difference even more clearly. Notice that as I drag that clarity slider to the right, it's almost like the ridges here are a little bit more bumpy as if you were to drag your finger across that, you would feel those ridges a little bit more. And that's what Clarity allows us to do. It allows us to add some of this mid-tone contrast in this way.
So, while Contrast allows us to make some pretty big and bold adjustments, Clarity on the other hand, allows us to make some more subtle adjustments. Now, both of these controls also affect color in different ways as well. Let's take a look at how these controls affect color and how we can use them to improve a color photograph. And let's do that in the next movie.
- How raw processing works in the Develop module
- Evaluating before and after versions of your photos
- Understanding white balance and color temperature
- Correcting exposure with the histogram
- Identifying problem areas with clipping indicators
- Enhancing color with Vibrance, Saturation, and Contrast
- Adding warm tones
- Three ways to remove color from an image
- Changing brightness with the Targeted Adjustment tool
- Processing multiple images
- A Basic panel workflow
- Using snapshots and history