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Lightrooms Basic Panel

Trevor August 17, 2020

Profile‘s

Camera Profiles in Adobe Lightroom can be found at the top left and top right of the Basic panel. This is where users can add colour profiles that are preset to match the different shooting modes that are also available to you in your camera’s settings. Adobe have also added some artistic effects for you to use and play with also. Just click browse to view all of the presets.

These presets can be accessed through the profile dropdown menu or by clicking the four rectangle symbols to the top right. Click the effect you would like to use and use the slider to control how much of the the effect you would like added to the image.

In previous versions of the software, this section had its own panel lower down in the develop module. In Lightroom CC, Adobe have decided to add it to the basic panel.

White balance

The White balance menu will look differently, depending on whether you are working on a jpeg or a raw file. Click the drop down menu if you are using a raw file, to select from a bunch of preset white balances presets that match your cameras white balance settings. Because raw files are a lot larger and hold so much information in the digital file, they allow you to select the white balance of your image after it is taken. They are all available to you in the dropdown menu.

The first two sliders in this panel are used to adjust the white balance in your image. It uses temperature and tint to achieve this. All light that we see around us has a temperature rating ”or a unit of kelvin”. In photography, white balancing is the adjustment of your camera’s white balance, to match the temperature of the light in the area in which you captured the image. If you havent gotten the desired results in your camera, then this is your tool to fix it.

Move the temperature slider to the left to add more blue or cool down your image. Move it to the right to add more yellow or warm up your image. Balance any colour variants that happen from these changes by using the tint slider. This adds more green by sliding left or more magenta ‘’pink’’ by sliding right.

A quick way to get the correct white balance in your image is by using the eye dropper tool. Click the dropper tool to the left and find something in your image that is close to white. Your image will automatically adjust, and you can then fine tune your sliders to your taste.

Overall Exposure Tools

Exposure

Exposure is the amount of light you have allowed your camera to capture at the time you took the image. The exposure tool brightens or darkens your image according to how you adjust the slider.

Drag the slider to the right to brighten the image and to the left to darken the image.

Contrast

The Contrast tool works with the brighter and darker areas of your image at the same time. Adding contrast means you are darkening shadows and brightening highlights and this also works in reverse by decreasing contrast.

Drag the slider to the right to increase contrast, making the shadows darker and the highlights brighter. Drag your slider to the left to reduce the contrast, making the shadows brighter and highlights darker.

The effect of removing contrast can make highlights and shadows look similarly toned and gives a flat or matte look to your image.

Highlights

Highlights are the brighter areas of your image. The Highlights tool adjusts the brightness in only the bright areas of your image and doesn’t affect the darker areas in your image.

Drag the slider left to make the highlights darker or drag it to the right to make the highlights brighter.

Shadows

Shadows are the darker areas of your image. The Shadows tool adjusts the brightness of only the dark areas in your image and doesn’t affect the lighter areas in your image.

Drag the slider right to make the shadows brighter or drag it to the left to make the shadows darker.

Whites

White Point is a reference to where your image has its brightest pixels. Not every photo has complete white in its tones, but it will have a reference point to where complete white would be on the histogram.

The White Point tool affects the brightness of the lighter tones in your image, by adjusting where the white point reference would be. If your photo lacks white or bright tones and you drag your slider to the right. This will make the lighter areas look brighter because you are increasing the white point. Dragging your slider to the left will make the light areas appear darker because you are decreasing the white point.

Blacks

Black Point is a reference to where your image has its darkest pixels. Not every photo has complete black in its tones, but it will have a reference point to where complete black would be on the histogram.

The Black Point tool affects the brightness of the darker tones in your image, by adjusting where the black point reference would be. If your photo lacks black or dark tones and you drag your slider to the left. This will make the darker areas look even darker because you are decreasing the black point. Dragging your slider to the right will make the dark areas appear brighter and faded because you are increasing the black point.

Image Enhancement Tools

Texture

The texture tool allows you to smoothen or enhance the textures in your image. It is a non destructive tool, so it does this without destroying the finer details in your image. This is a new tool that photographers requested as an easier way to achieve skin smoothing in portrait photography.

Drag the slider left to smoothen or drag it to the right to enhance the textures.

Clarity

The easiest way to explain the clarity tool is to say it is similar to a combination of the sharpening and contrast tool working at the same time. Mostly used for landscape and nature images to make them pop and give them a high dynamic range look. Previously it was also used by photographers in portrait photography to give a smoother look to skin. However, the texture tool has now made this much easier to achieve.

Drag the slider left to decrease clarity or drag it to the right to increase the clarity.

Dehaze

The dehaze tool helps you to add or remove atmospheric haze, mist or fog from your image. It adjusts your images tonality, but still manages to preserve colours and details without completely losing your shadow details. Some photographers use this tool instead of the contrast slider as they feel it gives a more realistic look to their images.

Drag the slider right to dehaze or drag it to the left to add haze.

Vibrance

The Vibrance tool makes the muted colours in your image more vibrant without affecting the already saturated colours tones. The vibrance tool affects skin tones in your image muss less than the saturation tool, so its a great option for increasing the overall colour in your portrait images.

Drag the slider right to increase the vibrancy or drag it to the left to reduce the vibrancy.

Saturation

Saturation is the intensity of all the colours in your image. The higher the saturation, the more vivid the colours in your image are. The lower the saturation, the less vivid and greyer the colours in your image are. By removing all of the saturation to -100 you are making a black and white image. The Saturation tool makes the colours more or less vibrant depending on where you slide it.

Drag the slider right to increase the saturation or drag it to the left to reduce the saturation.

Crop

The crop tool is located above the basic editing panel. It is the rectangle shaped tool with the broken line surrounding it to the left. Once you click this, you will see the panel below.

The aspect tool will allow you to crop to the dimensions selected. These can be selected in the dropdown menu beside the lock symbol.

You can also crop freely by clicking to lock symbol to unlock the free crop.

The angle slider allows you to change the angle of your image.

You can also click the angle tool to the left of the slider to draw a line along the horizon in your image to straighten your horizon line.

To toggle through the different crop previews. Click CMD-O in Mac or CTRL-O on PC.

Preview – Before & After View

This is located below the image you are editing.

Toggle through the preview buttons to get side by side comparisons from before and after your edit. You can see these from a few different perspectives using these tools. Once finished, click the single box to the left to go back to your edited image.

Straight Out of Camera

After Basic Panel Edit

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