How-To



Thursday, November 1, 2007

Magic Buttons


The Targeted Adjustment Tool—a geeky name for a wonderful part of Lightroom



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Wouldn’t you like a magic button that would allow you to get the most from your photography, make digital easier to work with and shorten your time in front of the computer? Of course, you would! Any nature photographer would, especially if it means less time inside and more time outside.

First, let’s discuss the Targeted Adjustment Tool in Lightroom. Adobe didn’t directly name this tool, but since they gave it no name, the computer guys have decided it must be the Targeted Adjustment Tool because when you use it, you get a targeted adjustment.

Well, my "magic button" and the Targeted Adjustment Tool are the same thing. Personally, I like magic button better.

So, are you interested in a tool that will allow you to get the most from your photography, make digital easier to work with and shorten your time in front of the computer? Or do you want a tool that allows you to target your adjustments so that you can define where your adjustments are by setting a target of tonality or color for them? Do you even understand what that last sentence means?

Well, let’s forget the geeky term for now. The computer masters at Adobe have come up with a magic button, and it resides in Lightroom.

When you click on the magic button, it activates your cursor, and the cursor gains some magic powers (hang with me on this magic business—the "powers" are great). You can move the cursor onto the photograph, then click and drag to make changes to that image.

The cursor recognizes what it’s clicked on—it could be a color or tone—then it adjusts that color or tone by dragging the cursor up or down and without affecting other things in the photo. This is amazingly intuitive for photographers. You see something in the photo that needs adjustment, click on it and then drag up or down until it looks right.

If you’ve used this button, you already know that it works with multiple controls. It’s a single type of button for activating the cursor, but it activates the cursor to do different things depending on the area in which you click on the button. The five specific areas of the Develop module of Lightroom in which it’s found are:

1. Tone Curve
2. Hue
3. Saturation
4. Luminance
5. Grayscale


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