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This chapter is from the book

Adjusting Individual Colors Using HSL

If you want to make a global change to a particular color in your image (for example, let’s say you want all the reds to be redder, or the blue in the sky to be bluer), one place to do that would be the in the HSL panel (HSL stands for Hue, Saturation, and Luminance), and/or the Color panel (these are grouped with the Grayscale panel, but since we’re just focusing on boosting [or reducing] individual colors, we’ll cover the grayscale part later in the book). Here’s how this works:

Step One:

When you want to adjust an area of color, scroll down to the HSL panel in the right side Panels area (by the way, those words in the panel header, HSL/Color/Grayscale, are not just names, they’re buttons, and if you click on any one of them, the controls for that panel will appear). In this example, go ahead and click on HSL (since this is where we’ll be working for now), and four buttons appear in the panel: Hue, Saturation, Luminance, and All. The Hue panel lets you change an existing color to a different color by clicking-and-dragging the sliders. Just so you can see what it does, click-and-drag the Orange slider all the way to the left, and you’ll see it turns the mast red. Now press the Reset button (at the bottom of the Panels area) to undo your change.

Step Two:

In this photo taken from the desk of a sailboat looking upward, if you look at the original photo in Step One, you’ll see the sail kind of has a yellow color cast to it (it’s supposed to be a white sail). So, to remove that yellow, you’d click on the Saturation button at the top of the HSL panel. The same eight sliders stay in place, but now those sliders control the saturation of colors in your image. Just click-and-drag the Yellow slider to the left until the yellow is removed from the sail (as shown here, where I dragged it all the way to the left).

Step Three:

If you know exactly which color you want to affect, you can just grab the slider and click-and-drag it. But if you’re not sure which colors make up the area you want to adjust, then you can use the TAT (the same Targeted Adjustment tool you used back in the Tone Curve panel, but now you’re using it to adjust color, instead of contrast). Click on the TAT (shown circled in red here), then move your cursor over the blue sky and click-and-drag upward to increase the color saturation of the sky (you’ll notice that it doesn’t just move the Blue slider, but it also increases the Purple Saturation slider a little bit, as well. You probably wouldn’t have realized that there was any purple in the sky, and this is why this tool is so handy here. (In fact, I rarely use HSL without using the TAT!)

Step Four:

Now click on Luminance, at the top of the panel (this panel’s sliders control the overall lightness or darkness of the colors). To brighten up those sails, take the TAT, move it over the sail, then click-and-drag straight upward, and the sail will start to brighten (I dragged it to +79 to get the sail bright enough, as seen here). If you’re a Photoshop user, by now you’ve probably realized that this is pretty much a version of Photoshop’s Hue/Saturation feature, with the only real differences being that it uses two extra color sliders (Orange and Purple), Lightroom calls “L” Luminance, whereas Hue/Saturation in Photoshop calls it Lightness, and Lightroom has an Aqua slider rather than Cyan. Plus, of course, Lightroom has the TAT (which is nice). Two last things: Clicking the All button (at the top of the panel) puts all three sections in one scrolling list, and the Color panel breaks them all into sets of three for each color—a layout more like Photoshop’s Hue/Saturation. But, regardless of which layout you choose, they all work the same way.

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