Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video The core color tools, part of Lightroom: Creative Color.
- In this movie I want to begin to talk about some of our core color tools that we will encounter in the basic panel inside of the develop module, yet before we get to working with our sliders and controls, first I want to minimize the interface because in this course we'll primarily be working in the develop module, I want to collapse this area above where we can navigate to other modules, also we'll collapse the panels on the left by clicking on that triangle icon, then with the tool bar if you tap the t key that allows you to show or hide that and then you can hover over the dividing line right here and click and drag down to either decrease or increase the size of film strip.
The reason I want to do this is I really want to focus in on the image in this case a demo file. We'll start with a couple demo files and we'll apply what we've learned to an image. But with this file you can see we have nice bright blues which become less and less saturated. Now the reason I wanted to start with this file is to begin to highlight that we have some color controls which we may not even be aware of. And we tend to think of modifying color here in the basic panel with our white balance controls and maybe vibrance and saturation. But there are some other adjustments that affect color as well, for example if I drag my exposure slider to the left can you see how I have more color in the image? If I drag it to the right now I have less color, it becomes all washed out.
So actually the mix of our adjustments here will affect the color look in the image. Drag the contrast slider to the right and as you probably know that increases color saturation. Drag it to the left and it decreases it. Now what about the brighter tones? Well we could bring our highlights and our whites down recovering detail there but also recovering color. Our shadows will affect that area changing the color look as will the blacks here I can darken that up and you can see I have a much different image much different color palette, much different color saturation than before.
So one of the reasons why I want to highlight this is just to illustrate this idea that the way that we modify these sliders does affect the color. So typically we'll want to go through those and then maybe we'll add some other adjustments, say like vibrance and saturation. Now often these two are confused so I want to clarify how they work. Now I like to think of vibrance as a control which is friendly or favors the weaker colors. It searches for hidden color and it tries to bring it out. Watch as I drag this to the right, can you see how it's bringing out color which I didn't even really know was there and so it's helping those weaker colors more than it's helping the colors which have more color saturation in them.
If we drag this to the left, well it's going to remove the color in the weaker colors first and leave some color up there in the stronger colors. Now saturation on the other hand is linear and what I mean by that is if you drag to the left, no color if you drag to the right, more color. But take a look how when I drag to the right, it added more color but it didn't really help out the weaker color so much where as vibrance comes to save the day with those tones down in this area. Okay, let's add another layer on top of that to do that we'll move to another photograph another file.
This is an image of some artist's chalk. And let's talk about our white balance controls as we know drag to the left it cools things off, drag to the right it warms them up. We can also double click any of these sliders to reset and then we can affect the tint right in here you can see that I'm changing all of the colors and these sliders tend to sort of overpower whatever color was there. Double click those sliders to bring them back to their default settings. Next, let's go through our tunnel adjustments. Here if we set the exposure that really sets how much color we have.
Contrast we can increase or decrease the color saturation with that contrast slider. If we want to bring more color and details from these brighter areas, we could drop the whites down and the highlights so I'm bringing both those sliders down now I have more color in that area than before and you can see how I'm bringing more detail into that area. The boxes we've seen make deeper, richer colors and the shadows sometimes we need to bring some back there so that's bringing some light back into those shadowy areas.
Okay well so far so good, we have created or crafted a unique color look using these sliders, contrast, exposure, highlights, shadows, whites you get the idea. Now what about using some of our presence controls? Well one slider we haven't talked about is clarity. What clarity does is add mid-tone contrast and let me zoom in on the image so you can see that a little bit better, here's without clarity and here's with clarity. It adds really nice kind of texture and tone but sometimes it can also make the image look a little bit dirty or dingy and here you can see why that is, is what's happening is it's actually removing color.
So when you increase the clarity slider it actually drops the color down a little bit so often if you have increased clarity what you need to do is bring up a little bit of vibrance and maybe even a little bit of saturation. Now when I have a mix of clarity, vibrance and saturation, we have a pretty good looking image. Tap the backslash key and you can see here's before. Tap it again and you can see the after. Another thing I want to highlight which I'll do by moving to another image is that with our vibrance as I mentioned before what it really likes to do is find these hidden colors, so with this image you can see I have some artist chalk, it's all gray except for one blue piece of chalk and here perhaps we increase our exposure or set our contrast and our blacks.
Maybe we add a little bit of clarity and decide hey, I want to increase the color saturation so I drag this to the right, well in doing that sure, the blue's a little bit bluer, we some little orange specks here but the gray chalk is still basically gray. Take a look at what happens as I increase my vibrance, but when I increase that it found all of this hidden blue. All those colors were there but now when we increase that vibrance it brings or draws those out.
- Using the core color tools
- Changing a background color
- Painting in a new hair color
- Working on a landscape
- Fine-tuning color with split toning
- Working with the HSL controls
- Creating your own color presets
- Finding and managing third-party color presets
- Crafting unique color looks