If you’ve been editing for a while, you probably know what terms like Exposure, White Balance, Contrast and more are. But what about some of those more “advanced” terms?
1. Camera profile
Camera profiles are relatively new to software programs. These let you edit the overall “style” of your image. Depending on your camera and the software you use, you might see some that are specific to your software, but also some that are specific to your camera. These are similar to presets, but they offer you a bit more control.
The Curves tool lets you affect the contrast in your image — shadows, midtones and highlights. This can let you impact the look of your image, for example, you can create a matte look easily with the Curves tool.
You can create what’s called an “S-Curve” to darken the shadows and amplify the highlights.
Clipping refers to areas of your image that have either pure white or pure black with no detail. This can happen with a blown-out sky, for instance, or in the dark shadows.
In Lightroom Classic and other programs, you’ll get a notification in the Histogram that will light up if there is clipping. If you click on these indicators, you can see the clipping warnings in red (for whites) or blue (for blacks).
To adjust clipping, you can use the Highlights, Shadows, Whites and Blacks sliders to help to bring back some of the detail.
HSL stands for “Hue, Saturation and Luminance.” Hue lets you change the tint of specific colors in your image. You can add more green to your blues, for instance, or make your reds closer to orange. This can be helpful when you have an image with white balance that might be a bit off.
Saturation allows you to alter how intense a color is in your image. I use this while editing landscapes especially, increasing the saturation of blues (for my skies) and greens (for the grass). If you use negative values, it lets you tone down the intensity. This can be helpful when selectively editing a portrait, for example, that has a harsh tone on it (like a sunburn).
Luminance lets you adjust the brightness of the colors in your image. Dragging this slider makes it so that the primary color selected gets lighter or darker, but it can also impact the colors around it, too. For example, if you alter the luminance of the yellow color, your green and orange colors might be impacted as well.
Ever see those rainbow-like patterns in your photographs? Moiré usually happens when your subject is wearing something that has a repetitive pattern, like a suit or dress shirt. Most professional editing tools come with a slider to reduce Moiré — you can read more about it here.
Image compression refers to adjusting the size and quality of your image for smaller file sizes as well as quicker website loading and upload/download times. You can do this by restricting the size of your image upon export, as well as decreasing the Quality amount slider.
This is useful if you want to have an image load quicker on a website, for instance. In this case, you’ll want to find out the largest size the image would display at, and then restrict the width and height of your image in the Export settings. You can also use the Quality slider to take it down to 60–70 percent, which still provides a great image, just at a smaller file size.