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Photoshop Lightroom Adventure by Mikkel Aaland

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6.2. Adding Clarity

One of the easiest ways to add a punch to your images is with Lightroom's Clarity slider, found grouped with Vibrance and Saturation in the Presence section of the Develop module's Basic pane. Used in a small dose, like a sprinkle of salt, it will act like a secret sauce and give the colors in your images pop.

Power Photoshop users have long known the value of using the Unsharp Mask filter to apply local contrast enhancement. By setting the filter Amount to 20%, Radius to 50 and Threshold to 0, hazy photos become clear, dull images shine, and appearance of depth is enhanced. Figure 6-6

Figure 6-6. Figure 6-6

The technique works by selectively applying an increase in contrast to small regions of an image and leaving larger regions relatively alone. This prevents a loss of detail in shadow/highlight areas and gives an image more clarity, or "punch."

Lightroom's Clarity

Lightroom has incorporated the fundamentals of this technique into the Clarity slider, found in the Develop module's Basic pane in the Presence section. There is just one control that affects the intensity of the effect, and everything else is done in the background. Figure 6-7

Figure 6-7. Figure 6-7

Clarity works great on many types of images, as long as the amount is not overdone. Even though ...

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