Useful short cuts: “V” cycles through the various screen views, “C” engages cropping and “control S” engages sharpening.
Histogram: Use to determine if photo is under or over exposed and adjust with “exposure” slider.
White Balance: Warm up or Cool (bluer cast) photos depending on lighting conditions. Warming is often helpful for portraits.
Black Point: Helps photos have more “pop”…brings out the blacks. For fine tuning or portrait work, try also the “midcontrast” slider.
Vibrancy: makes colors more intense. Saturation: Makes similar adjustments but looks more extreme. I seldom use with one important exception-moving the Saturation slider to the left will turn the photo black and white.
Highlights: great for bringing back details in blown out areas of a photo that are too bright Skies or overlit faces.
The above enhancements work “globally” on the entire photo. You can apply these however only to a specific part of the photo by clicking the “gear” icon and using the brushes to apply the enhancements selectively (you can brush the enhancement in or away).
To use an enhance brush: 1. adjust the size of the brush 2. the strength of the brush and 3. click the detect edges box. At the top of the enhance dialog box you have the option to “brush in” the enhancement or turn on the “eraser” if you need to erase part of your adjustment.
Near the bottom of the page you have the option to select a variety of specialty brushes to further adjust portions of the photo you select. My favorite brushes include “dodge” which lightens the area or “burn” which darkens the area. Vibrancy increases the color intensity and re-touch is great for removing blemishes from your photo.
In the example below, I selected the dodge tool, the lighten up a few areas of the photo. Once complete…you’ll notice that a new dodge dialogue box has opened in the left hand column. You can increase or decrease the strength of this adjustment by moving the slider.
The color adjustment allows you to play with the individual colors within the photo (globally…impacts the entire photo). Select the color you want: Saturation impacts how “intense” the color is. Luminance effects how bright. Experiment.
Want to change a specific color in your photo…try the “eyedropper” tool. Define the color you want and it will add that color to your adjustment pallet.
Want to apply the same adjustment to many photos. You can save the adjustments you’ve made to one photo and apply them to other. Go into the “effects” panel and save your adjustments as a named effect. Then for your next photo, choose that effect from the same panel!