In this in-depth video tutorial on how to use the basic sliders in Lightroom (or Photoshop ACR) I give away a bunch of little known tricks and some of my best tips. Often in my classroom and workshops I show some quick image processing tips and I've heard the phrase “mind blown”, so hopefully you'll pick up something you didn't know and learn a couple things. Do let me know if you have the mind blown experience though!
Some of the things covered in this video tutorial include:
- How to set your panel to Solo mode
- How to undo your last adjustment
- How to reset one slider only and not everything you've done
- Using the White Balance eyedropper tool to adjust the color and tint of your image
- How to adjust different tones in your image by dragging on the histogram
- The Alt+slider trick to see which areas of your image are clipped and how to use it to adjust for optimal contrast and tone
- A little trick to automatically set your White and Black points
- Which sliders you want to adjust first, which to do last, and why
- How to find and use scrubby sliders
- Why taking your sliders to extreme is a good way to learn
- How far is too far and how to avoid that
- Artistic license and when to “fix” images and when not to? When are blown out highlights okay?
Note: this is a long video but it's full of tons of information and I know you're going to want to watch it all the way to the end and make notes (or follow along and try it on your own images).
Related articles mentioned in the video:
- How to read and use histograms
- Why is the snow gray in my winter photos?
- Using Lightroom Keyboard Shortcuts
Before and after
Some before and after images to show the adjustments made using only the basic sliders either in Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) in Photoshop.
What NOT to do
How do you know you've gone too far? Here are some examples of taking it too far in the post-processing step.
Time to practice
Now it's your turn to practice. Open up Lightroom or ACR if you use Photoshop or Elements, and pick some images that needs some help. Find some that are too dark, off color, or just lack punch. Follow the techniques and tips outlined here and see if you can perk them up a bit. If you can “fix” bad images then you will be good to go and be able to do magic on the good ones.
Share your comments and questions below if you have any. In particular tell me if you picked up a tip or trick you didn't already know – if so which one (s)?