23 June, 2015

Lightroom's New Local White and Black Sliders

Zeiss Loxia 50mm - "Glimpse" [click to enlarge]

In Lightroom CC (2015) there are two new sliders on the brush, gradient and radial filters: White and Black.

As global tools the White and Black sliders let me set the white and black points easily. It's a bonus to be able to visualise where and when the clipping begins (at either end) using the Alt key (or Option key on the Mac). And, of course I can monitor the shifts on the histogram.

The inclusion of the sliders on these local tools, means that I can adjust the clipping when the additional local adjustments needs some, well, adjustment of their own. But this local fine tuning is a bit more difficult. The Alt key (or Option), for example, doesn't lead me to a visualisation, and the histogram is only about whole images, so any local changes can be very subtle there.

So if, for example, I've set the black point for an image globally and then I add a gradient that brings the exposure down in a part of the image (clipping to black in areas where I want to keep some detail), I can fix it. I can fix it without either revisiting my global black point or seriously compromising my gradient. Cool.

I went back to see if some images would jump out at me as likely candidates for repair — none did. So, I'll wait for the next situation rather than spend more time looking.

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