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Lightroom 4--New Adjustment Panel Options

The basic panel wasn't the only thing that got some exciting additions/changes in Lightroom 4, the Adjustment Tools (adjustment brush and graduated filter) got some fabulous changes, too.  Here is a quick comparison of the changes.

In case it isn't clear--LOTS of thing were added.  Instead of having 7 settings that could be added to photos, we now have 12!!  And it isn't just that there are more sliders--the new sliders that were added are fantastic tools for photographers!

Two things you may want to make note of:

The Basic Panel and the panel for your adjustment tools (the brush and graduated filter) now look very similar.  Don't get them confused!

The tool set that you see above will be the same for the graduated filter and the brush.  The only difference is that you apply them differently--one you brush on areas that you want and one you drag a large area where you want the effect applied.

The Changes

1. Temperature and Tint:  In Lightroom 4, we now have the option of applying different temperature and tint settings to a certain area of a photo instead of just globally in the basic panel.  When might you want to do that?  This tool is extremely helpful anytime that you have mixed lighting.  For instance, when you shoot an image in incandescent light and have window light streaming in on part of the image.

2. Highlights:  Just like in the Basic Panel, the brightness slider is gone.  In its place is the Highlights slider.  The Highlights slider will allow you to paint on an area and brighten or darken just the highlights in the area.  This can be used to decrease the brightness in skies that have been blown out in favor of nice skin tones or for adding a bit of brightness to a photo!

3. Shadows:  The shadows slider is completely new.  This slider allows you to add brightness to shadow areas of the photo giving your photo more dynamic range.  You can also darken the shadow areas as well.

4. Noise:  The slider is called "Noise" but I think it should really be called Noise Reduction.  Although you can technically ADD noise using this slider, I think most people will find it more helpful for reducing noise in certain areas of your photo.  The following photo was taken at ISO 1000 and the face falls in the shadows.  I can reduce the noise that is visible in those areas, by just brushing on some noise reduction.

Or, let's say that you take a photo and need to lighten an area in shadow.  When you lighten that shadow area, there will be noise.  With this slider, as you lighten it, you can also reduce the noise that will appear at the same time.  SWEET!

One thing to notice about this slider is that you reduce noise by moving the slider to the "right."  This seemed backwards to me and I just want to make you aware.  It is totally possible that I am just backwards and it will seem just right to you!

These are definitely nice improvements to the Adjustment Tools.

Hi!! I am Gayle. I am a wife to my handsome husband and mom to 4 beautiful kids. In my spare time, I am a photographer and blogger at Mom and Camera. I have a passion for sharing my love of photography with others. I teach local photography classes and regularly share photography tips and tricks on my blog. I hang out there a lot—I’d love you to stop by and visit!


Looking for the program we talked about in this article?  You can find Lightroom 3
and Lightroom 4 on Amazon for a reasonable price.  Enjoy!
on Amazon!


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