- Making Your RAW Photos Look More Like JPEGs
- Setting the White Balance
- Setting Your White Balance Live While Shooting Tethered
- Seeing Befores and Afters
- My Editing Your Images Cheat Sheet
- Controlling Overall Brightness Using the Exposure Slider
- Automatically Matching Exposures
- 60 Seconds on the Histogram (& Which Slider Controls Which Part)
- Auto Tone (Having Lightroom Do the Work for You)
- Dealing With Highlight Problems (Clipping)
- Opening Up the Shadows (Like "Fill Light" on a Slider)
- Setting Your White Point and Black Point
- Adding "Punch" to Your Images Using Clarity
- Making Your Colors More Vibrant
- Adding Contrast (and How to Use the Tone Curve)—This Is Important Stuff!
- Applying Changes Made to One Photo to Other Photos
- Auto Sync: Perfect for Editing a Bunch of Photos at Once
- Using the Library Module's Quick Develop Panel
- The "Previous" Button (and Why It Rocks!)
- Putting It All Together (Doing a Start-to-Finish Tweak)
- Lightroom Killer Tips > >
60 Seconds on the Histogram (& Which Slider Controls Which Part)
At the top of the right side Panels area is a histogram, which is basically what your image looks like if you charted the exposure on a graph. Reading a histogram is easier than it looks—the darkest parts (shadows) of your image appear on the left side of the graph, the midtones appear in the middle, and the brightest parts (highlights) are on the right side. If part of the graph is flat, there’s nothing in your photo in that range (so if it’s flat on the far right, that means your image doesn’t have any highlights. Well, not yet anyway).
Exposure Slider: Midtones
Move your cursor over the Exposure slider and a light gray area appears over the part of the histogram that the Exposure slider affects. In this case, it’s mostly the midtones (so the gray area is in the middle of the histogram), but it also affects some of the lower highlights, as well.
Highlights Slider: Highlights
The Highlights slider covers the next brightest areas above the midtones. If you look at the histogram shown here, it’s flat right above that, which lets you know that this image doesn’t have a full range of tones—it’s missing the brightest parts. Moving the Highlights slider to the right can help fill in that gap, but there’s actually a different slider that covers that range.
Shadows Slider: Shadows
This controls shadow areas. You can see it only controls a small area (but it’s an important area because details can get lost in the shadows). Below that area is a flat area, and that means that this image is missing tone in the darkest part of the image.
Blacks & Whites Sliders
These two sliders control the very brightest (Whites) and darkest (Blacks) parts of your image. If your image looks washed out, drag the Blacks slider to the left to add in more black (and you’ll see the Blacks expand over to the left in the histogram). Need more really bright areas? Drag the Whites slider to the right (and you’ll see that area in the histogram slide over to fill in that missing gap).