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Exposure, White Balance and Tone

Along from the copy/paste buttons are a pair of view buttons let you switch from the main single view to the Compare view and back again. The Compare view is one of my particular favourites as this allows you to see the changes from your original file, while if you use it conjunction with the snapshot tool you can easily track changes and see the difference as you go.

The final tools in this set are the crop tool, which speaks for itself, as does the red eye tool. The spot removal tool is also located here, and as with other settings in Lightroom, it can be synced with a batch of images, which is especially useful if you have a dust spot on your sensor.

The right side panel is really where the fun begins. A histogram at the top of the panel lets you assess the exposure, and using it in conjunction with the tone tools below it will help to prevent any tonal clipping. Using histograms properly is a whole other tutorial, but it is worth learning. A pair of arrows in the top corners of the histogram box will turn on the clipping warnings, with red and blue overlays appearing on the image, indicating where the shadow and highlight details have been lost.

In the Basic palette are the fundamental image editing tools. Because you are using Raw files, the white balance and colour of the image can be fine-tuned. A drop down menu offers the basic white balance presets you see on your camera, while an eyedropper can be used to pick a neutral area (white or grey) and balance the image that way. Additionally a Kelvin scale slider is available to fine-tune the colour temperature.

Below the white balance box are the tonal controls. Exposure lets you adjust the image exposure, obviously. Recovery is a useful tool as this acts on the highlights to recover any areas where the detail has been lost. Similarly the Blacks slider recovers lost shadow areas. In between those two is the Fill Light tool, which works on the mid tones, acting as a digital flash. All of these controls are effectively simplified exposure and contrast tools, and work very logically when you know what they do.

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