The past month has been special for Shutterbug readers thanks to the weekly installments we’ve posted of an amazing free Lightroom masterclass from the PHLOG Photography YouTube channel. Part 1 covered the basics. #2 dealt with masking, and last week’s episode explained the finer points of using Lightroom’s Tone Curve.
Today’s fourth installment of the 10-part series demonstrates how to achieve perfect color in landscape photos by using Lightroom’s HSL panel. The term HSL is an acronym for Hue, Saturation and Luminance. All three are important to understand if you want to achieve images with beautiful, natural looking colors when processing your work.
Instructor Christian Mohrle is an exceptional German landscape photographer with a passion for helping others improve their imagery. As you’ll see, each of these elements affects the colors with your photos in different ways. And when used properly it’s simple to to give an image whatever look you desire.
Mohrle explains that Hue refers to the actual color itself; i.e. red green or blue. “This particular slider enables you to easily change the color of specific areas in a photo. So by modifying green tones, for example, you can transform summer foliage into autumn colors.
Saturation works differently by modifying the intensity of a color (making it either stronger or more subdued). With these sliders in Lightroom’s Basics panel the idea is to target colors individually—bring them up or down to suit your taste.
The term Luminance pertains to the brightness of colors. And these sliders let you make certain areas of a photo brighter, others darker, while leaving some portions of the shot untouched if need be. Mohrle says, “Think of a blue sky: with Luminance controls you can target the blues to make them darker with mpre contrast and drama.”
Mohrle demonstrates how easy all this is to accomplish, and he discusses all the key HSL settings necessary for making your outdoor photos really stand out.
If you missed one or more of the three previous episodes of this ongoing series, head over to Mohrle’s YouTube channel where they’re easy to find. He has numerous other videos on a wide variety of topic—all devoted to shooting and editing photos captured in the great outdoors.
We also suggest you watch another tutorial we posted recently, explaining a pro trick for shooting amazing landscape photos with a wide-angle lens.