One of my former students Keli K., sent me a few photos that she took on her vacation to the Grand Canyon. I was very pleased to see how well the photos were composed and that the overall exposure was close. Correct exposure is one of the items I teach in my classes. However, each of the photos could be made better from a little post processing in Adobe Camera Raw/Lightroom.
See red ovals for the location of the controls used.
All corrections were accomplished in the basic panel of Adobe Camera Raw or Lightroom:
- Auto Correct Tone (digital cameras generally bias the exposure to the left by about a 0.5 exposure unit, this corrects the exposure)
- Move black slider to the right to remove lost shadow details.
- Adjust Clarity, Vibrance and then adjust Saturation slightly to increase overall color.
Clarity adds contrast to the midtones, and makes your image look sharper, even though it doesn’t actually add sharpening.
Vibrance is a smart-tool which increases the intensity of the muted colors and leaves the well-saturated colors alone. Vibrance also prevents skin tones from becoming overly saturated and unnatural.
Saturation is a uniform increasing in intensity of all colors in your photo regardless of the starting point of the colors. This can result in clipping, (over saturation of certain colors resulting in loss of detail in those areas). Over saturation causes skin tones to look too orange and unnatural.