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Improving Presence in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2

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Chris Orwig shows you how to use the Presence sliders -- Clarity, Vibrance, and Saturation -- that are in the Basic panel in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.
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#54 Improving Presence

While the name of the next group of sliders in the Basic panel is a bit vague, the actual sliders are anything but that, providing measurable contrast and color enhancements. The Presence sliders are Clarity, Vibrance, and Saturation (Figure 54a).


Use the Clarity slider to add local contrast, which adds dimension or depth to an image. Think of this slider as adding mid-tone contrast and sharpening, but keep in mind the effect is subtle. First, zoom to 100 percent to see the effects (Figure 54b). Next, increase the setting until you notice a halo near high-contrast edges. Once you see the halo, reduce the setting until the halo has been diminished.


The Vibrance slider allows you to add or remove saturation in a nonlinear or intelligent way. It affects the less-saturated colors and has less of an effect on the more-saturated colors. It also protects skin tones, so if you increase the vibrance on a photograph of a person, it won’t over-saturate the skin tones, but will add color variety and increased saturation in the more muted colors.


The Saturation slider adjusts the saturation of all image colors equally, from –100 (grayscale) to +100 (double the saturation). Be careful not to over-saturate your images, as this can result not only in an unnatural look and colors that are blocked up, but to clipping (loss of detail) as well.

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