Contrast and How to Adjust in Lightroom

Gerry van der Walt All Authors, Gerry 2 Comments

Contrast, simply put, is the difference between light and darks in an image.

An image with low contrast will look flat and washed while an image with too much contrast will look very hard and edgy.

Theoretically speaking, turning up the contrast will make the subject standout from the background and decreasing the contrast will make the image melt together but, as mentioned, that is only theoretical and the final results will depend largely on what kind of image you are working on.

You can see the amount of contract in an image simply by looking at the histogram.

A narrow histogram indicates an image with relatively low contrast throughout the scene whereas a broad histogram shows an image with more significant contrast in the scene.

Contrast in WIldlife Photography

As you can see, contrast has a huge impact on the overall look and feel of an image.

Not only does it affect texture but will also influence the saturation in an image – note the green leaves behind the lion cub.

In Lightroom it is very easy to control the Contrast in the image simply by moving the slider right to increase or left to decrease the contrast.  You can also, even though it is not exactly the same thing, use the Black and White slider together to affect the contrast in an image.

In this short video I look at how to change contrast in Lightroom and some things to consider when doing so.

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Adjusting contrast is essential to get the most out of your images.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when working on Contrast in your images.

  • Err on the side of caution – do not over-do or under-do contrast adjustment
  • Make sure to check for any colour changes in your image due to contrast adjustment
  • Use the Black and White sliders to start the process and then adjust contrast
  • Keep your final goal in mind – keep it real!
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If you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment below!

Until next time.

Gerry van der Walt

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