The HSL/Color/BW tab in Adobe Lightroom can be used for lots of reasons when editing. One of my favorite ways to start a clean edit in Lightroom is with the Color tab. It can be used for a variety of things including brightening skin tone, adjust specific colors and their saturation as well as increasing or decreasing the luminosity of specific colors.
For this example, I decided to use an image of my daughter from this summer. Here in Texas we get a lot of orange in our sunsets – I have been told that it is due to the humidity here… which I can believe. While I love a nice warm sunset sometimes the orange can be overpowering.
To start with I opened the image in Lightroom. Here is the original prior to any edits:
From here, in order to remove some of the overpowering orange in the sunset and haze, I open up the color tab.
Then I slide the saturation slider under “orange” to -20 to take out some of the orange tones.
After I have removed some of the orange saturation, I then go back and use the luminosity slider to brighten the image up a bit. This is a great way to also brighten up skin just a little. All skin tones have a little bit of orange in them, so this is a quick easy way to lift them up a little and give them a little bit of a healthy glow. In this particular image I only upped the orange luminosity to +15. For an over all adjustment, like on this photo, I typically don’t go past +20, but it depends on the image. For boosting skin really quickly, I don’t go past +15.
For this photo I also decided to enhance the color of the grass on the sand dunes. To do that I went down to the yellow slider and changed the hue by sliding it to the right +9. I also increased the saturation +15 on the yellow to add a little more oomph.
Since I really want this photo to have that soft, dreamy sunlit haze look, I also bump up the luminosity in the yellows to +20. This give the grass a little bit of a glow as well and enhances what the sun was already doing naturally.
Here is a quick screen shot of what the Color panel looked like after the adjustments were made.
After I’ve done this, I take the image into Photoshop to polish it off just a little bit.
- Bumped mid tones a bit and reversed the mask to only brush on my daughter.
- Increased saturation to +10.
- Added a soft pink fill layer set to hard light and reduced to 10%.
- Curves layer set to soft light and reduced to 10%.
- Curves layer set to multiply and reversed to mask set to 15% and brushed in a vignette where I wanted.
Jennifer Dell, Texas
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Armed with a Nikon D700 and an assortment of prime lenses, Jennifer enjoys photographing children and families in her own style, candid and full of natural expressions. When asked how she got her start in photography she explains, “I got started in photography in high school for photojournalism when we still used film and had to develop it in a darkroom. I never really pursued it until in college working on my degree in graphic design. We had several classes that required original photography and this re-sparked my interest in the craft! From there, photography was just another extension of creativity and art to me. Once we had our daughter, I knew I had to document her and all the details that I loved so much. It was my way of preserving her babyhood.” Other than photography Jennifer loves to read and finds cooking an elaborate meal relaxing. She also enjoys the show Friends, coffee, a nice bottle of wine, and spending time with her family including her husband, two children, and two stinky English bulldogs.
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