How to Use the Luminance Feature in Lightroom, Part 2
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Learn how to use the Luminance Feature in Lightroom 2. 3 practical ways to use it! By Yanik's Photo School.


Hello everybody, Yanik Chauvin here for Yanik’s Photo School, happy Monday to everybody, we’re going to be doing a video tutorial today from Lightroom 2. And we will be looking at a feature in Lightroom 2 that we do not find in Photoshop as of yet. We hope that they’ll insert it into Photoshop 4 but for now it’s in Lightroom, and it’s called Luminance. Basically what Luminance is, is a brightness feature for specific color ranges. Now why is this important, well it let’s you control certain aspects of each color either by lightening them up or darkening them up, and we’ll see how that can affect your images practically. Let’s first of all find it, where do I find the Luminance Feature in Lightroom? You have to open your HFL color and Grayscale Pallet, and you have to select HFL which stands for Hue Saturation and Luminance and you want to select of course, Luminance; and once Luminance is highlighted you’ll get all your colors right here that you can play with. Now the three examples we’ll be looking at today is a sunset or sunrise, a blue sky in a fashion shot, so basically skin tones. Now let’s look at a beautiful sunrise here that I took around 4:30 in the morning on Il Pejo, in the background we see the Island of Montreal and we got this lovely shot with the sailboat and I just want to give these photos some punch, now I could use the Contrast Feature, I could bring down the exposure to bring the colors up more saturated, but what we’ll do, we’ll just focus on specific colors this time instead of affecting the whole image. So let’s look at our oranges here, now if I go up it’ll bring the colors brighter, in other words that they’ll wash the colors out, so what we want to do is the opposite. You want to bring the colors down and it’ll actually give it a nice saturation boost to it. We can do the same thing if we want to affect the blue sky, the blue clouds, some blues in the water, so just bring it down, give it a nice dramatic look, I love that word, dramatic, so there we go, in two little slider move, we’ve increased the beauty of this sunset, that’s tip number one. Practical tip number two using the Luminance is with a blue sky; let me go here into my Library, into my quick collection for this tutorial, back into the developed module and here we have a lovely theme of the beginning of the Rockies in Alberta. It looks alright, this photo have been unprocessed as of yet, but all I want to show you right now by using the Luminance slider, is that you can actually pretend that you have Polarizing Filter on there. And what a Polarizing Filter does is that it increases your Blue saturation, actually the contrast between the blues and the white clouds, and we can do that using the blue slider again and go into the negative, so just by bringing it down like so, we’ve just increased the contrast between the sky and the clouds. This is the before shot and by using one simple slider, the Luminance slider in the Lightroom, we’ve increased the contrast here, of course after that I can go play with saturation if I feel like it and all the other features for the rest of the image, but for the purpose of this tutorial we want to focus on what Luminance does to out blue sky and that’s what it does. Now the last example we’ll be all looking at is a fashion shot and how Luminance can affect skin tones. Let me select a fashion shot here that I took in Calgary, and all I’ve done to this image up to now is a bit of contrast and I make sure my background was all nice and cleaned-up. I haven’t touched the skin up in any way, shape or form; now contrary to the other two features that we look at, the other two examples of, sorry, we were going down in Luminance. This time we’re going to be going up, we want to reduce the saturation in the oranges in the skin tones and basically what that does, it’ll brighten the skin up. Let me just show you here what it does. There you go, you don’t want to go overboard, it’s like a more real life version of the Photoshop filter called Diffused Glow, but you don’t get that fake look to the Diffused Glow, it’s actually a very, very cool, let’s look at a hundred percent so that you can see what the effect was; so this is before and this is after applying it, so you don’t get this weird fuzzy glow around it, it really specifically affected the oranges. Now this is a hidden secret from my many Fashion Photographers that do use Lightroom or if it’s not it might become one, so all you need to do is play with the Luminance slider in the positive to bring that nice healthy glow and adds a bit of like a fill light to the skin to soften features up a little bit to. So there you have it, three practical ways of using the Luminance slider. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and we’ll talk to you later, ba-bye.