Editing a Color Images Tones


     I think it is about time for another editing blog. This one is not going to be as involved as the last one. Today I am going to show you my tonal edits on one of my color photographs. I am using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom to edit each of my images. Throughout this post, you will notice yellow highlights around different controls in Lightroom. I added these highlights to show you what tool I am talking about, they are not part of the software.

Let's start off with the original image:

To start my edits, I set my white point to brighten the lightest parts of the image. To do this, I hold down the "Option" [Mac] or "Alt" [Windows] key, while dragging the white slider. That will show me the clipping that is occurring in the image.

Next, I set the black point the exact same way to make the blacks darker.

Now I want some more detail in the clouds, so I am going to lower the highlights slider.

Unfortunately, going all the way down to -100 on the highlights wasn't enough. So I am going to have to use the exposure slider to get more detail in the sky without making it so flat. So I lowered the exposure to -0.90 and raised the highlights to -67. By doing that I got more detail in the sky without making it look bland. Then I reset the blacks to 0 because the darks were getting too much because of the exposure adjustment.

Then I lowered the contrast to -33. That made it so that I could see more into the dark areas of the image, also it doesn't look as processed that way.

But because of the contrast adjustment, the image is looking flat. To help, I went back to the highlights slider, and ended up raising it to +60. My experience has been that raising the highlights also increases the "life" that an image has. It seems to radiate that way without looking over done.

The shadows are still too dark for me, so I raised the slider to +11 to open them up.

To give the whole image some more pop, I raised the clarity, vibrance, and saturation a little to give the picture a last little boost, and complete my edits in the basic panel.

So to end the post, here is the before of the image again:

And the image after the edits we performed:

I hoped that you learned something from this small post, and that you try editing some of your own images. If you found this post helpful, please, share it with your friends by liking below, or consider a purchase. Also, feel free to ask my any question in the comments box below.

-Graceson Aufderheide

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This blog discusses Graceson's interests and ideas, including: Lightroom and Photoshop tips, photography discussions, jewelry crafting, new projects, gear reviews, and more.

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About Me

Image of GracesonMy name is Graceson Aufderheide, but you have probably figured that out already. I am currently a senior in high school who photographs, teaches, and makes jewelry. I have always been creating, that is what I do.
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