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  • Resetting the White Balance

To reset both the Temp and Tint White Balance sliders to their original As Shot settings, just double-click directly on the letters WB in the Basic panel.

  • Picking Zooms in the Detail Panel

If you Right-click inside the little preview window in the Detail panel, a pop-up menu will appear where you can choose between two zoom ratios for the preview—1:1 or 2:1—which kick in when you click your cursor inside the Preview area.

  • Hiding the Clipping Warning Triangles

If you don’t use the two little clipping warning triangles in the top corners of the histogram (or you want them turned off when you’re not using them), then just Right-click anywhere on the histogram itself and choose Show Clipping Indicators from the pop-up menu to turn it off, and they’ll be tucked out of sight. If you want them back, go back to that same pop-up menu, and choose Show Clipping Indicators again.

  • Separating Your Virtual Black & Whites from the Real Black & Whites

To see just your virtual B&W copies, go up to the Library Filter bar (if it’s not visible, press the \[backslash] key), and then click on Attribute. When the Attribute options pop down, click on the little curled page icon at the far right of the bar to show just the virtual copies. To see the real original “master” B&W files, click the filmstrip icon just to the left of it. To see everything again (both the virtual and original masters), click the None button.

  • Getting a Before/After of Your B&W Tweaking

You can’t just press the \(backslash) key to see your before image after you’ve done the edits to your B&W image, because you’re starting with a color photo (so pressing\just gives you the color original again). There are two ways to get around this: (1) As soon as you convert to black and white, press Command-N (PC: Ctrl-N) to save the conversion as a snapshot. Now you can get back to your B&W original anytime by clicking on that snapshot in the Snapshots panel. Or, (2) after you convert to black and white, press Command-’ (PC: Ctrl-’) to make a virtual copy, and then do your editing to the copy. That way you can use \ to compare the original conversion with any tweaks you’ve been making.

  • Tip for Using the Targeted Adjustment Tool (TAT)

If you’re using the HSL/Color/B&W panel’s TAT to tweak your B&W image, you already know that you click-and-drag the TAT within your image and it moves the sliders that control the colors underneath it. However, you might find it easier to move the TAT over the area you want to adjust, and instead of dragging the TAT up/down, use the Up/Down Arrow keys on your keyboard, and it will move the sliders for you. If you press-and-hold the Shift key while using the Up/Down Arrow keys, the sliders move in larger increments.

Painting Duotones

Another way to create a duotone effect from your B&W photo is to click on the Adjustment Brush, and then in the options that pop down, choose Color from the Effect pop-up menu. Now, click on the Color swatch to bring up the color picker, choose the color you want, and close the picker. Then, turn off the Auto Mask checkbox and paint over the photo, and as you do, it will retain all the detail and just apply the duotone color.

  • B&W Conversion Tip

Clicking on B&W in the HSL/Color/B&W panel converts your photo to black and white—kind of a flat-looking conversion, but the idea is that you’ll use those color sliders to adjust the conversion. However, it’s hard to know which color sliders to move when the photo is in black and white. Try this: once you’ve done your conversion and it’s time to tweak those color sliders, press Shift-Y to enter the Before & After split-screen view (if it shows a side-by-side view instead, just press Shift-Y again). Now you can see the color image on the left side of the screen, and black and white on the right, which makes it easier to see which color does what.

  • Using the HSL/Color/B&W Panel? Color Correct Your Photo First

If you’re going to be using the B&W panel to make your B&W conversion, before you go there, start by making the color image look right first (balance the exposure, blacks, contrast, etc., first, then you’ll get better results from the B&W panel).

  • The Subtle Change in the Default Curve for RAW Images

In previous versions of Lightroom, if you opened a RAW photo, by default it had a slight S-curve already applied to it (in the Tone Curve panel, the Point Curve pop-up menu was set to Medium Contrast). For JPEGs (which have contrast added in-camera) the curve was flat (Linear) by default. This made applying presets that used a Curve kind of messy, because the amount of contrast would be different if you applied the same preset to a RAW photo than if you applied it to a JPEG. So, as of Lightroom 4, the Tone Curve is now flat (Linear) for both RAW and JPEG photos, but just so you know, Lightroom is still applying that medium S-curve to your RAW photo behind the scenes, but at least now your presets that have a Tone Curve in them will apply consistently for both RAW and JPEG images.

  • Quickly Flatten Your Curve

If you’ve created a Tone Curve adjustment (in the Develop module) and you want to quickly reset the curve to a flat (Linear) curve, just Right-click anywhere inside the curve grid and choose Flatten Curve.

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