5 Replies Latest reply on Dec 30, 2017 5:39 AM by trshaner

    Guidelines to follow when making basic corrections

    StanWelks Level 1

      I understand that approaches to color correcting are subjective, though I'm trying to figure out if there are guidelines that can be followed when making some basic corrections. As an example, I can adjust the audio levels in Premiere without listening to the audio just by monitoring the levels and making sure the audio levels do not get into the orange and red areas. Can you do anything similar with BASIC exposure adjustments in LR? If you want a nicely exposed image with a good range of darks to lights:

       

      1. Do you want to adjust the blacks and shadows until they get as close to the left side without clipping the blacks? In other words, can you just use the sliders and the histogram to make your adjustments without viewing the image or is this still completely subjective regardless?

       

      2. Do you want to adjust the whites and highlights until they get as close to the right side without clipping the whites? In other words, can you just use the sliders and the histogram to make your adjustments without viewing the image or is this still completely subjective regardless?

       

      Thanks.

        • 1. Re: Guidelines to follow when making basic corrections
          Neox99 Level 4

          Deke McClelland at Lynda.com has a Photoshop course wherein he uses the Info panel and the Histogram to make color and tonal corrections.  May be worth a look?

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          • 2. Re: Guidelines to follow when making basic corrections
            F. McLion Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            For the whites and blacks you can use the Histogram and the clipping indicators in the image ('J') or even shift-doubleclick the text to the slider to have it set automatically. For most cases, this will be perfect.

            For the rest, you need to look at the picture and have it express what you saw when you shot it, and apply your liking/style.

            Guidelines like 'evenly distributed Histogram' and such are of no use, IMHO.

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            • 3. Re: Guidelines to follow when making basic corrections
              elie_di Level 4

              In general, I edit for just a tiny bit of black clipping and a white point that is just before clipping. But I prefer to use the method of holding the Alt/Opt key down while moving the Basic panel tone setting sliders, rather than using the histogram. IMO, this has several advantages; a) the image display occupies a major part of the screen and the high contrast black and white display is easily seen while the histogram is small and squinty, b) I see exactly where in the image the clipping occurs and can zoom into that spot for greater precision, c) I see by the color of the clipping warning whether all three channels are clipped or only one or two.

               

              I also edit skin tones “by the numbers” using the numeric readout below the histogram.

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              • 4. Re: Guidelines to follow when making basic corrections
                dj_paige Level 10

                StanWelks  wrote

                 

                1. Do you want to adjust the blacks and shadows until they get as close to the left side without clipping the blacks? In other words, can you just use the sliders and the histogram to make your adjustments without viewing the image or is this still completely subjective regardless?

                The general guideline is to not clip, but my philosophy is: If you like the way it looks, then whatever slider position you come up with is fine. So sometimes this guideline works for me (I like the way it looks), but there are certainly situations where you might want to have clipping in the blacks, and situations where you want to stay far away from clipping. Same for the whites.

                 

                Make the photo look the way you want it to look.

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                • 5. Re: Guidelines to follow when making basic corrections
                  trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  If shooting raw file format (not JPEG) the first adjustment you should make is the Camera Calibration panel Profile setting. The default is Adobe Standard, but you may prefer one of the 'Camera' named profiles such as 'Camera Standard' if available for your camera. Next move on to the Basic panel settings as I outlined at this post:

                   

                  Re: camera calibration profiles: standard vs neutral

                   

                  Once completed move to the Presence panel and try adding a small amount of Clarity, Vibrance, and Saturation in that order. If you're using LR Classic try the 'Auto' Tone button, which works a lot better now. To save time you can then use 'Sync' or Copy & Paste Settings to similar images from the same shooting session. Enjoy!

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