Color grading in Lightroom just got a whole lot more exciting with the October 2021 Lightroom update! The latest Lightroom Classic update is version 10. It’s not a new Lightroom, just an update to the previous version and comes with brand new and totally amazing color grading tools.

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Well, Range Masking gives you luminosity masks right in Lightroom Classic. This gives you huge workflow advantages as you’re no longer forced to send your photos to Photoshop, converting them to unwieldy 16 bit TIFF files along the way.


Sometimes setting correct Temperature may not be enough. Adjust this slider to the left if your image seems to have a purple tint, and to the right if it seems to have a green tint. The initial adjustment depends on what the camera was set to when the image was taken.

Sometimes you want to see your photo in all its glory, taking up the full screen. During in person sales, it’s a great way to give the full impact of an image to clients, especially if you’ve hooked your computer up to a nice big TV.


Any colour you want

To rapidly cull (sort) your images in Lightroom, you can use any of the different methods of flagging your images. These Lightroom hotkeys/shortcuts work in both the Library Module and the Developt Module, by the way.

When you’ve got a look you like, save it as a preset so you can use it again. Next time, you might tweak it a little and update the preset. Pretty soon, you’ll have it dialed in and you’ll be on your way to building your own color tone style.


Screenshot of a side by side before and after editing view achieved by pressing the Y Lightroom hotkey. 

Next we are going to use the Clarity slider. Often we use this to add definition and punch to an image by sliding it to the right. However, in order to give our landscape that ethereal high key look, we are going to move this slider to the left. As you will see the image becomes less defined, giving a type of softness to the edges. Don’t go too far with this slider as it will just become a blurred mess. I find -20 to -40 will usually suffice.

Adjusting this setting will either make your image have more or less contrast. Move the slider to the left to make bright parts of the image less bright and dark parts less dark, or move it to the right to make shadows and highlights more distinguishable. This slider is good for making minor changes, but overall doesn’t offer much control over which tones should be considered as bright or dark. The Tone Curve is much better for that, but it’s also slightly more complicated.


The control panel can be hidden by clicking on the circle button located below the Close (X) button on the right side of the panel. Alternatively, the panel can be hidden by pressing on the Cmd/Ctrl+T keys. Unfortunately, the control panel doesn't support remote adjustment of camera controls such as shutter speed, aperture or ISO; nor does it support the "Live View" feature found in many recent DSLRs.

Refer to Lightroom 3 read-me document for more details on inter-application compatibility

Star rating images is a great way to quickly see which are your favorites. As I’ve already mentioned it’s also a great way to work through a shoot selecting your keepers.


This button opens the Lightroom Publishing Manager window as shown in figure 9 below

A: Yes, these presets will work on JPEG’s, however they were designed to specifically work with a RAW file format. If applying to a JPEG image, the photo may appear to look “overcooked” and you may need to adjust the preset accordingly.

These two sliders can go a long way towards giving your photos an extra degree of refinement. However, they are often misunderstood and misused. They both complete the same basic function, in that they make the colors of a photo punchier or more exaggerated. Where they differ is in the method used to adjust the images and the way the colors are adjusted.


Figure 10 below shows how Lightroom 3 displays the progress of the upload

Hold down the Alt/Option key when moving the purple Hue or green Hue sliders to see the range of tones encompassed by the sliders. Affected tones are shown in black and grey, unaffected tones are unchanged.

For example, in the photo like the one below you might darken the sky to add atmosphere. You can do that with a Graduated Filter. But it’s kind of tricky because you don’t want to make the wooden poles darker as well.


None) is used to switch the Filter Bar off. The Filter Bar is activated from the Library>View menu or by pressing on the '\' key. You can use the Cmd/Ctrl+L keyboard combination to toggle on/off the last filter you used.

Caps Lock = When you’re sorting through your images, be aware that if you have the Caps Lock key active, Lightroom will auto-advance to the next image every time you apply any of these three categories of flags/labels! If you don’t want this, just hit the Caps Lock key again to disable the option.


Sometimes the Auto WB setting on your camera may pick the wrong value, or you might choose a wrong one yourself. These settings are there to make sure that the color captured in your image is correct no matter how the camera was set when you took the picture, so if the image is too blue or too orange, you can easily correct it.

One effect many people like to use with their photos is to remove all the color from the image and leave it in only one place in the image. For example, in a wedding shot you might turn the entire image into black and white leaving just the bride’s bouquet in color.


These controls let you choose a Hue (color), a Saturation level and a Luminance level. Then you can use the blending to adjust how it mixes with the other tones. Above are the settings I used to make the changes to the photo below.

P = Pick, U = Unpick, X = Unpick). Holding down the Shift key whilst applying a shortcut will auto advance to next photo. Applying develop presets, keywords, metadata, etc is all done on dedicated panels within the Destination panel track. Likewise renaming photos on import and defining the initial preview size. It's even possible to switch between Grid view (G) and Loupe view (E), and there is even a zoom tool (Spacebar) that allows scaling from 1:4 through 11:1. This is also possible when browsing a Compact Flash or SD memory card.


The biggest visible differences between the older Lightroom 3 and newer Lightroom 4 are possibly found in the Basic Panel. The older version, instead of having separate Highlights/Shadows/Whites/Blacks sliders has Recovery/Fill Light/Blacks/Brightness sliders instead. While they are slightly inferior in flexibility to the new controls, they can still give you the desired effect. Use the Recovery slider to bring back the highlights and the Fill Light slider to make shadows brighter. While the Blacks control can not be moved to the left beyond the value of “0”, a combination of Recovery, Fill Light, Brightness and Exposure sliders can save you a lot of detail in both blown out parts of the image as well as the darker shadows. Experiment with these options to find the best balance for your image – even though the tools are slightly different from Lightroom 4, they are still very powerful. After you are done with all these settings your image should have perfectly fine colors as well as a correct exposure for both shadows and highlights so that you’re ready to move on to more advanced editing.

You will need to import them into Lightroom CC and turn on syncing to sync them to your smartphone

When applied, the lens profiles are designed to automatically apply three types of correction. That is, geometric distortion such as Pin Cushion or Barrel distortion, Lateral Chromatic Aberration, and Vignetting. When profile-based correction is activated (figure 16 - Automatic Corrections) Lightroom will use embedded Exif metadata for the lens and camera within the image to look for a matching lens profile. In the example shown in figure 17 below, the lens used was the Canon EF 16-35mm f2/8 USM. The three sliders located under the Amount heading are actually intended for fine-tuning the automatically profile correction. In the example shown in figure 17 you'll see that I have already reduced the amount of vignette correction to 75%. This is because the profile for this particular lens tends to over compensate for the lenses natural vignetting. Again, in this example I have already saved this correction as the new default for the lens, which means that my correction will be automatically applied each time the profile is activated.


But in Lightroom Classic adjustements are applied to the masked area instead (with the exception of an inverted Radial Filter). In other words, it’s a selection rather than a mask.

The first (All Photos) lets you see all of the photos within a given folder or subfolder. By default, if a photo is already in the catalog it will be greyed out and unchecked. The second view (New Photos) only shows photos that are not already in the catalog. This is the default view when the import dialog is accessed from the Synchronize Folder command. The last thumbnail view (Destination Folders) separates the photos into the folder structure that you've chosen in the Destination panel. Compact mode also provides support for adding keywords and metadata preset.


The aim of a high key image is to have the majority of the tones towards the highlight end of the histogram. High key is not about over exposing an image, it is more about carefully exposing the shot to keep the shadows lighter but preventing the highlight areas from clipping. Any mid tones should be exposed so that they are much lighter than normal. The overall effect is a light, ethereal looking image that retains some definition in the details.

This works the same as the balance slider in the split toning panel used to work. You can specify if you want the shadow color or highlight color to be more prominent.


Range Masking is a relatively new feature in Lightroom Classic (it first appeared in version 7/2). If I had to nominate an under-appreciated feature this would be it!

Keep in mind that sliders that control colors, such as Temperature and Tint, will not change the color (article source) of the adjustment. The Adjustment Brush desaturated the image, so these sliders will not affect color.


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Selective coloring is a post-processing technique where you convert an image to black and white, but leave part of it in color. It has a bad reputation because it can be used to create some truly horrendous images where the only thing on display is the photographer’s lack of ability.

For example, you may have read articles explaining how to use luminosity masks in Photoshop. You’d be forgiven for thinking that you have to export your photos from Lightroom Classic to Photoshop in order to use them.


It is designed so that its default value of 25 does a "pretty good" amount of colour noise reduction, balancing the competing requirements of suppressing ugly colour noise blobs whilst maintaining colour edge detail. Setting the slider to 0 means that no colour noise reduction will be applied at all. Setting the slider to higher values than 25 means that much more aggressive colour NR will be applied. However, doing so will likely cause "colour bleeding" at edges. The default value is 25 for raw files and 0 for non-raw files.

The actual column layout can be saved as a custom preset by clicking on the Custom Filter pop-up located on the top right corner of the Filter Bar. Figure 13 above shows an example of the Metadata filter in use.


Press the ‘O’ key to show the Mask Overlay. Here, you can see the Graduated Filter affects the poles and buildings as well as the sky.

However, with a suitable image, it is possible to get a high key effect using Adobe Lightroom

Applying the manual corrections to multiple images has also been taken care of with additional checkboxes being added to the Synchronise Settings dialog. As you can see from figure 19 below it's possible to apply all of the lens corrections or any combination of the four.


So, lets focus on what we did get. By default, the import dialog will open into the expanded mode (shown in figure 5 below). This view makes it much easier to visualise the whole process of importing your images. The Source devices and volumes are listed on the left side and Destination on the right side panel tracks. It's also important to note that, unlike Lightroom 1 and 2, which only gave access to folders that contained photos, Lightroom 3 displays all disk drives and folders, irrespective of whether they contain photos or not. This applies to both the source and destinations panels. Some users have found this behaviour quite irritating, whereas others have recognised the benefits of being able to look across the entire disk drive and folder structure on their computer or network. In effect, the import dialog has become a File Browser, albeit limited in what it can do with the files and folders.

Did you know that there are lots of hidden Lightroom Classic shortcuts? Some of the app’s most useful shortcuts are tucked away in places you might never look. As a result you may be unaware of them until someone points them out to you.


The exact number is unimportant. Just move the slider and judge the effect on the mask by eye.

If you’re looking for a good reason to upgrade to a Lightroom Classic subscription, this might just be it

Performance in general has improved as the beta cycle progressed, and users should find that thumbnail scrolling and module switching are much smoother than in earlier versions. However, the very substantial improvements in image quality mentioned above have come at the cost of reduced non-interactive performance. In particular, preview rendering will likely be slightly slower than it was in Lightroom 2, especially when working with PV 2021 photos. To ensure the best balance between quality and performance Adobe have put a fair amount of engineering time and effort into developing an adaptive system when applying noise reduction and sharpening to previews for PV 2021 photos. For it to work well the engineers had to profile the noise characteristics of each supported camera over a wide range of ISO values. The operation of this adaptive system are quite complex and therefore beyond the scope of this review. Nevertheless, when it comes to noise reduction and sharpening of previews, you can be fairly confident that Lightroom 3 will do the right thing in most circumstances.


Publish Services is intended to help users publish photos to their favourite file sharing site directly from within the Lightroom Library module. At present there is only a plug-in for Flikr, but the SDK has all the "hooks" necessary for similar plug-ins to be developed for SmugMug, etc. The current plug-in gives you direct access to the Flickr photo sharing site. Obviously, you will need a Flickr account before the feature can be used, but set up the connection within Lightroom 3 is fairly straightforward. Simply click on the Flickr Set Up button within the Publish Collections panel. This button opens the Lightroom Publishing Manager window as shown in figure 9 below.

Hopefully these two examples have shown you how useful Range Masking can be in Lightroom Classic. It really is quite easy to use and gives you far more control over the quality of your masks than earlier versions of Lightroom.


As discussed earlier, the biggest changes within the Develop module are associated with the new raw image processing, noise reduction and sharpening algorithms. On their own, colour noise and luminance noise are a substantial improvement over their predecessors, but together with the new capture sharpening algorithm they take image quality to a new level. Typically, details and textures are much cleaner, crisper and more natural. To see these new algorithms at there best I recommend that you make some prints.

Now here’s a little magic bonus shortcut key

Many Lightroom (read more here) users will already be familiar with the IPTC Core schema for metadata. Users add their data into predefined fields in the Metadata panel, which can then be saved to the image file or used directly within Lightroom for searching, etc. For Lightroom 3 Adobe have added the recently introduced IPTC Extension schema for XMP.


One key thing to be aware of is how the colors in your photo are related. In the photo above reducing the saturation of the pink paint affected the model’s dress, which is also pink.

Has basic color correcting tools

The action doesn’t delete the image, just stores it as a reject. You can delete all rejects once you’ve been through the images and decided on which to keep and which you don’t want.


So, you don’t have to remember where colors fall on the color wheel when using color theory for color grading

It’s a great shortcut to use during in person sales sessions if a client is wondering if a photo would look better in black and white or color. With one click of a button you can give them a quick and basic idea of what the image would look like.

Unlike the other four modules the Web module hasn't received much attention this cycle. That's not to say that there hasn't been any improvements, there have, but they are fairly minor and under the hood. The only really obvious enhancement to this module is the inclusion of the Watermark Editor. There are also some new Flash and HTML web templates.


The same photo as the one above, but this time processed for a warmer feeling. Instead of blue in the midtones the color is yellow.

Selective coloring in Lightroom

There haven't been any UI changes in the Library module since beta 2, which means that the overall appearance should be familiar to anyone who already uses Lightroom 2 or has tried either of the two public betas. The Library continues to be at the heart of Lightroom in so far as it's the module that provides most of the tools for managing your photographic assets. Imported photos can be viewed in the Library in various modes or views. These include: Grid view (G), Loupe view (E), Compare view (C) and Survey view (N). Each of these views is intended for a specific purpose in the your workflow, but you may find one view more useful than others. For example, Grid view allows you see large numbers of photos as thumbnails whilst at the same time providing a workspace for applying metadata, labels, ratings, keywords, flags, and even quick development adjustments to photos in bulk. On the other hand, Loupe view allows you to view a single photo as well as zooming up to 11x of the original. This view is particularly use for checking sharpness and focus. The "gotcha" with Loupe view is that restricts rating, labelling, keywording, etc to a single photo. Compare and Survey are specialist views designed to make the tasks of comparing, rating and flagging multiple photos easier.


He’s an experienced teacher who enjoys helping people learn about photography and Lightroom

When painting over the object, remember that the bracket keys on the keyboard ( [ or ] ) allow you to change the brush size quickly. Adding the Shift key will let you adjust the feather, which is the sharpness of the edge of the brush.

When you release the key the edit pin will be visible again

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So that you don’t feel overwhelmed, we’ve used BOLD for the only three that we use very often! Start by memorizing these, and then just remember that if you need to know more, you can always go into the Library Module and see the hotkeys by hitting the “View” main menu tab.

You can select a color from any part of the photo you’re working on to use for any of the color grading options – shadows, midtones, highlights and global. When you open up an individual color wheel for either shadows, midtones, highlights or global, you’ll notice on the left, in the space between the dial and the hue slider, there’s a box.


Go to the Lightroom Develop module and from the Basic section select the Black and White tab

Start by going to the Develop module and activating the Adjustment Brush tool. Paint in the background to create a mask (as shown below).

The key is to keep it subtle and to use it only on suitable photos

The very first setting you can change in the Basic Panel is the Treatment of the image. You have two settings – “Color”, which is set by default and keeps your image in color, and “Black & White”, which, as I have mentioned in my B&W Portrait tutorial, is a great way to start working on a B&W look of your image if that is your intent.

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I’ve always been a keyboard shortcuts fan, ever since I first learned Word. Why take longer to look for the function you want, move and then click with a mouse, when pressing a key is so much faster? So when I started using Lightroom I immediately hunted down the Lightroom shortcuts.


Then make sure that no adjustments have been made to any of the sliders in the adjustment panel. You can hold Alt (Mac: Option) to change the “Effect” label to a “Reset” button. Once you click on the Reset button, all the sliders and settings will return to default.

A: The presets are non-refundable unless there are valid reasons. For example “I bought them twice by accident”.


In addition to JPEG and PDF Lightroom 3 can export slideshows as HD video. Another change is the link to the iTunes music library has been removed. This means that incorporating your music tracks doesn't require iTunes, but you can only use single tracks. Double clicking on the music track duration will automatically adjust the slide change time so that the slideshow duration matches the music. The Playback panel has also been enhanced to include new buttons for selecting the music and automatically adjusting the slide change time. A palette tile and checkbox has also been included to enable the user to add colour fades.

I took it further by repeating the technique. This time using the Targeted Adjustment tool on the pink and orange paintwork on the wall, resulted in the following saturation settings.


When working with portraits, I find that little Vibrance and Saturation adjustments in Lightroom go quite a long way. Generally, I do just a little bit of one or both and don’t exceed a value of +10. It might not seem like much, but those small edits can give your images that little extra push to really stand out.

But notice that you can only shift the hue just a bit. You can make the jacket orange, or you can make it magenta, but you cannot change it to a specific color.


The side effect of increasing the exposure is that we have now got quite light looking shadows. The next step is to return some density to those shadows. To do this, we will slide the Blacks slider to the left. We are looking to return some definition to the shadows without any part of them going totally black. You don’t need to push the Black slider all the way to the left of the histogram, the secret is keeping plenty of detail in the shadow areas.

Saturation is kind of a blunt instrument, like editing your image with a hammer. It allows you to adjust the intensity of all the colors in a photo equally, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing if it gets you the result you are aiming for. It’s easy to overdo it with saturation, though, so adjust carefully.


You will find that all the functions found in the Basic Panel will do their job when editing JPEGs, however they will have much less latitude (the Exposure slider, mostly) and will be much more intense. If you had a small error in your WB settings, for example, Lightroom might help you fix it, but only if it’s not too critical. With a more extreme adjustment, you will find your image losing quality rather quickly, simply because JPEGs limits the amount of information stored in the image, specifically color (https://yamamotonight-m.ru/hack/?patch=9303), shadows and highlights.

The Filter Bar is undoubtedly quite powerful, but it is also somewhat obtuse in terms of how it works. For example, many users struggle to get their heads around the actual filtering logic used within the Text section. It's really not that complex, but for the benefit of new users, it's worth repeating some of the description I provided in my review of Lightroom 2.


Lightroom was developed with a left to right, top to bottom editing workflow in mind

I just had a go of this tool for the first time on LR mobile. I like how they’ve designed the wheel interface – it seems to work pretty well.

These tools are among the most powerful in Lightroom 4 and are real life savers, they let you individually adjust the dark and light parts of the image. If you find that, even after using the Exposure Compensation slider, some parts of your image don’t look good enough, use the Highlights and Whites sliders to bring back some of the seemingly blown out areas in the image, or Shadows and Blacks sliders to fill in those dark portions of the photograph and give the it more detail. With that in mind, you can also move the sliders to the other side to make the light parts of the image even lighter, or dark and shadowy parts darker. To make the light or dark parts darker, move the sliders to the left, and to make them lighter, move them to the right.


During in person sales sessions with portrait clients when a client can’t decide between two or more photos. In this situation it’s really helpful to be able to show a small range of images together.

Creating your own lens profiles is a fairly straightforward, albeit time consuming process. Adobe have provided all of the necessary software and guidance documentation, so all you need is the time and the space to set up the calibration charts and camera.


The image series below shows the difference between these two sliders. The first is an unedited RAW straight out of camera.

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The Auto Mask option helps ensure that my edits stay within the yellow flower. I can also hold the Alt key (or the Option key on a Mac) to erase parts of the adjustment that I don’t want.

This is because the profiles are not stored in the actual raw file or XMP sidecar. Therefore, if you move your raw files between computers or share them with others it is important that you also install a copy the lens profile on these computers.


Color Adjustments in Lightroom Yellow Flowers

Luminance: The mask affects selected tonal values only. This is a variation of the luminosity masking techniques popular in Photoshop.

But if you have an object that is easy to select you may want to stay in Lightroom and do all your work there

A: Yes, these presets will work on files taken with or stored on your smartphone. Note that they will work on JPEG’s, but they were specifically designed to work best on RAW & DNG images. To sync the presets, you must have an Adobe CC subscription. You will need to import them into Lightroom CC and turn on syncing to sync them to your smartphone.


Hue allows you to precisely control the overall appearance of your image, but the HSL panel works on an all-or-nothing basis. Moving the sliders affects the hue of every red, orange, yellow, and so on across the entire photograph.

Switching to the manual corrections tab you'll see a mix of old and new adjustment sliders. The group of adjustment sliders listed under the Transform heading are new to Lightroom and operate independently of the automatic profile-based corrections. They're actually a mix of lens corrections, perspective corrections, and scaling. The geometric adjustment slider allows you to manually correct pin cushion or barrel distortion. The Vertical slider is used to apply a keystone correction to converging verticals (see figure 18 below for example). The Horizontal slider correct horizontal shifts, and is typically used to alter the horizontal viewpoint. Rotate is intended to be used to adjust the rotation of the transform, not the actual image. The final slider, is goes by the name Scale.


What is color grading

Process Version 2003 and Process Version 2021 (Current)). The names represent the year in which the processing technology was introduced, which should give you an idea of how often Adobe plan on updating the process version.

Color grading Lightroom update

And that's it. As we mentioned at the top, for the best results use an image that has been shot with high key in mind, however, you can use any image that has a reasonable amount of contrast and where the exposure is already veering to the over exposed side. This technique can also work well with urban landscapes and architectural images.


I am passionate about making photographs and helping others make their pictures better, too. I just took a dream job as the Photographer for Utah State University. I make all kinds of portraits for editorial and commercial use, product shots, action pictures, and landscapes in one of the most beautiful places in the world. It’s like making a living doing my hobby, and I love it. I spend the rest of my time being a poppa and studying to be a better hunter.

In addition to the expanded mode the Import dialog also includes a compact mode (shown in figure 7 below). This mode removes most of the complexity associated with the Source and Destination panels. The idea with this arrangement is that the source and destination can be quickly identified via Import Presets that will already have been configured by the user.


I shot the photo below in Minnesota just south of the Canadian border, just as the sun was coming up. The image looks fine, but it’s a little bland and doesn’t quite convey the emotion I want the viewer to experience. Thankfully, a little Saturation and Vibrance can fix it.

This works in the Develop module only. If you’re in the Library module and push \ the filter toolbar shows. While this is useful, it’s not as big a deal as the before and after shortcut of \ in the Develop module.


Clicking on the Publish button any time after the photos have been published to Flickr will import any comments, ratings, etc that viewer may have posted to your Photostream. These will be displayed in the dedicated Comments panel located on the right side panel track, just below the Metadata panel (see figure 12 below). Flickr Pro Account holders can subsequently modify their photos and republish them to Flickr using the same procedure as described above.

But the good news is that you can use selective coloring in a far more sophisticated way to create some interesting images. The key is to keep it subtle and to use it only on suitable photos. I like to make selective color portraits, but of course you are free to experiment with other subjects as well (but please, no flowers).


This is how you make a sepia-toned photo, and Lightroom has presets for that

This is the same image, but with Saturation decreased to -45. Lots of clients like this type of appearance for portraits.

Change colors in Lightroom to any color

Bumping Saturation up to +55 yields a much-improved image, albeit with a few tweaks that still need to be implemented. Colors are richer, contrast is greater, and the scene is much more similar to how it was when I was standing among the trees listening to the birds chirp overhead.


The new lens corrections in Lightroom 3 can be sub-divided into two categories - automatic lens corrections that are based on lens profiles, and manual corrections. The automatic corrections use lens profiles created by Adobe or custom profiles created by you or a third party using the new Adobe Lens Profile Creator application. Adobe has included an extensive range of lens profiles for Canon Nikon cameras, although not every lens in the respective manufacturers catalogue is covered. They have also included an array of profiles created by Sigma. These profiles are compatible with cameras from Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax and Sony. Whether other lens manufacturers come on board is yet to be seen.

Using Tethered Capture is relatively easy. First, you choose Library -> Tethered Capture. This opens the Tethered Capture Settings panel (shown in figure 2 below). The panel is used to configure the location for storing the captured photos, any metadata that wish to apply, etc.


Lightroom has another shortcut key for before and after views. The Y key creates a side by side before and after view of your image.