Adobe Camera RAW - using the HSL/Grayscale Tab - Page 2
by Dan Moughamian - web reproduction rights granted to GeoffLawrence.com
Table of ContentsPage 1: The Hues tab Page 2: The Saturation Tab Page 3: Convert to Grayscale & ACR Settings
Note that we’re only moving the sliders to their extreme values here, in order to make the examples easier to see. For your own images, you will want to move the hue sliders in combination, and use more subtle values in many cases. The larger the region of color, the less you will have to move the slider to make a visual impact. The converse is also true. Very small areas of color require more extreme slider movements to have a visual impact.
Below I have created a final hue adjustment (there is more work to do with HSL at this stage!) that includes multiple hue shifts of varying magnitude. This creates a more striking, though somewhat less realistic look than a photographic “purist” might like, but very attractive nonetheless.
The Saturation Tab
Now we will look at the Saturation tab. As mentioned in the previous section, saturation effects the purity of a specific region of color Saturation controls are common in image editing software but very few products offer the level of control and non-destructive benefits of the HSL panel in Adobe Camera Raw.
This is another area where shooting Raw files from your camera can pay dividends, by allowing you to improve regions of saturation without degrading file quality as you will often see when altering JPEGs in this way.
The Saturation tab and its sliders work on exactly the same principle as the Hue sliders. As you might expect, if you have found there is no reason to move a particular hue slider (because said slider has no effect on your image), there is generally no reason to move the corresponding Saturation slider either.
Below you will see that I have made adjustments only to the same sliders I used in the Hues tab, and again have combined them in different “proportions” to create the photographic look I am targeting. You can see the formerly dull image start to “come to life”.
Now let’s take a look at the final piece of the puzzle for color image corrections in HSL.
The Luminance Tab
Luminance refers to the lightness or perceived brightness of the colors we are targeting in the HSL panel. Again, you need to adjust only those sliders which have an effect in the Hue and Saturation tabs, and in many cases you may only need to adjust one or two of them.
Important: if you wish to more heavily saturate a given area, it can often be wiser to use a combination of increased saturation value and decreased luminance, rather than pushing saturation to very high levels (which is normally a bad idea in any software program).
Below, I have decreased the orange luminance a bit (because oranges were the most in need of saturation), and for contrast I increased the luminance of the yellow sands (and lighter rocks), as well as the green trees and shrubs. Similarly I decreased the blue luminance to tone down the large swath of blue water, and increased dramatically the little sliver of aquas to make the shoreline stand out.
Often the 'Luminance' sliders will produce the most subtle of the three effects, but they’re very important in creating just the right contrast between image elements. You can really see a difference once you get the image up on your screen, rather than looking at relatively small screen shots!
Scaling your files.
Balancing those pixels.
Dealing with color casts.
An introduction to Adobe Camera RAW.
Advanced use of Adobe Camera RAW.
Using the unsharp mask.
Masking parts of your picture to edit certain areas.
How to build accurate layer masks.
A must for landscape and building photographers.
Using layers in Photoshop.
How to make a better job of changing images from color to black & white.
Playing with contrast and tones to give a more dramatic effect.
How to shoot and process HDR pictures with Photomatix Pro software.
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