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How to enhance photos on Lightroom CC

Lightroom CC {try out free trial} has many features that can easily mess up those who are starting out. While the program offers lots of various editing opportunities, in order to achieve good results and the best user experience, it is significant to understand the very basics of Lightroom CC. I will try to explain each of the most important tools, so that, you will find it to be an easy, quick and simple to use. Lets start with the Lightroom CC Basic Panel. You will find it in the Develop Module.

These controls are amazing if you shoot your photos in RAW {not necessary, but definitely worth it for better quality}.

First one on Panel is White Balance. These settings are there to make sure that the colour captured in your photo is correct no matter how the camera was set when you was shooting the image. So if it is too blue or yellow, you can easy correct it. Sometimes you even want to make it in different shades, if you want to match a photo to your brand colours. Take a look to those two images, Only thing is changed is White Balance: Temperature and Tint.

Next one is Tone. I always start with Auto feature to let a program decide what settings are good for exact this photo. While it might make a mess of things and sometimes I will not use it, most of the times you can find a good starting point in automatic settings that will only need a little bit of tweaking.

Exposure is extremely useful in correcting any kind of over or underexposure that may have happened. It basically just darkens or lightens the image, it doesn’t change camera settings. So extremely dark shadows or blown out highlights cannot always be saved. It can increase the noise.

Contrast – move the slider to the left to make bright parts of the photos less bright and dark parts less dark, or move it to the right to make shadows and highlights more clear.

And now comes my almost favourite part – Highlights, Shadows, Whites and Blacks. These tools are so powerful and are real life savers, they let you individually adjust the dark and light parts of the image. If using Exposure slider you still see that image is too exposed, you can bring down Highlights and Whites {slide to the left} and bring back some of the seemingly blown out areas. Shadows and Blacks sliders can give more detail to your photo if you move them to the right.

The next is my favourite! Presence tool, which includes Clarity, Vibrance and Saturation.

For portraits turn Clarity more to the left, but for landscapes and photos where you want to effect on the overall contrast, slide it to the right. This tool mostly affects the transition between light and dark portions – makes it less or more sudden, defined. It looks at the edges of the midtones and it adds a little bit of contrast. The darker side gets darker and lighter side lighter. That is way the image Pop after using it. It fools your eye, that it thinks that those areas are sharper.

Vibrance slider, if moved to the right, will make the colours more intense, vibrant, but only where needed – it will not shift them or give a colour cast to the image. If you move to the left, the colours will be much less intense, but photo won’t go completely grey scale. Saturation is often wrongly used to make the colours of the image Pop. While, if a little bit changed, it can make a photo more colourful, if pushed too much, you will find your colours changing. It is great if you want to desaturate your image to look more Black & White. If you want colours Pop, use Vibrance setting, it will look more flattering. You will notice that Vibrance slider is relevant and Saturation slider is absolute. That is the difference between those two. With Saturation you can turn picture grey scale, but with Vibrance tool, it still will keep some of the colours. If you work with Portraits, you may want to increase Vibrance, as it will increase blues and greens in the image.

Check out my Lightroom CC tutorial for Basic tools. I did edited JPEG file. You will find that all the functions found in the Basic Panel will do their job when editing them, however, they will have much less latitude (the Exposure slider, mostly) and will be much more intense. If you had a small error in your WB settings, for example, Lightroom might help you fix it, but only if it is not too critical. With a more extreme adjustment, you will find your image losing quality rather quickly, simply because JPEGs limits the amount of information stored in the image, specifically colour, shadows and highlights. Edit those JPEGs with care. Video:

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