How to use HSL in Lightroom to Color Grade Like a BOSS!


– The HSL adjustments in
Lightroom have the power to completely transform your images if you know how to use them. So in this video we’re gonna
talk about how they really work as well as how you can use them to define your own editing style and I’ll take you on a walk
through of how I use them to take an image from this to this. If you’re new to my
channel, I’m Chelsea Nicole and I share weekly videos with tips in business and marketing strategies to help you improve your craft while building a wildly
profitable business. Consider subscribing
if you haven’t already. In my last Lightroom tutorial, I shared a unique way
to think about Curves and a few of you asked
if I use HSL as well and how the two tools differ. I actually use both Curves and HSL in my images to get my signature look. The major difference between the two comes down to targeting. Curves targets based on
the tones in the image, your shadows, your mid-tones,
and your highlights and HSL sliders target based on a specific color we want to change. But what does that really mean? As you probably know HSL stands for hue, saturation, and luminance. Saturation is the intensity of
the color or how pure it is, luminance is the lightness
or darkness of the color, and hue is simply the color. This is the part that trips most people up so an easy way to think about the hue part is visualizing our color wheel. If we were to flatten it and
break it up into sections, it would give us Lightroom’s
hue slider controls. And when we target these
colors in our image, it allows us to shift
each color left or right along that color gradient
to change the hue. For instance red to
orange, orange to yellow, or yellow to green. So now that we know the
basics of how this works, let’s dive into Lightroom
to edit an example photo. When starting an image in Lightroom, I always like to start with
my basic adjustments first. This gives us a nice clean
starting point to work with and is important to do as the first step because things like
brightness and contrast will impact the colors of your photo. To see how I dial in my basics, check out my other videos, all on editing. After my basic tweaks
I’ll use Curves and HSL to create a more stylized look. Here’s the image with Curves applied and then HSL tends to be my final step to dial in my colors the exact way I want. Going into HSL area up top you’ll see that there’s HSL or color. Color is simply a different
way of viewing the HSL sliders. I don’t use this because often an area of your image that you want to change has more than one color and you’ll have to go back and forth
between them when tweaking. So the HSL view is a
little bit more efficient. So for this video we’ll
be working in this panel and across the top you can
see your different sections, the hue, saturation, or luminance. And we’re gonna click All, which allows us to view
all three all at once. So in HSL I always like to start
with editing the skin tones of my images first and
get them how I want it and then work my way into
tweaking out the background and creating kind of a stylized look. A quick tip for editing skin tones, since they’re often made up
of more than one color is to use this Targeted Adjustment Tool. What you can do is click right on the area of the image that you want
to adjust and drag up or down and that will drag the
sliders left to right. So as we can see the
skin tones in this image are made up of both orange and yellow, a little bit more orange. So we can adjust them exactly how we want. This adjustment tool is
awesome but one thing to kinda watch out for
that is a common mistake is if you get your skin tones how you want or one part of the image how you want, be careful not to use it on another part of the image that has those same colors because you’ll be shifting it and throwing off the skin tone. So now we’re gonna come
into the saturation, I’m just gonna desaturate
those oranges just a bit and then I usually also like
to bring up the luminance on my oranges and the
skin tones just a bit. That looks pretty good to me. Next we’re gonna tweak our background and I’m just gonna bring
those greens up a bit towards the aqua and bring the blues, which you can kinda see over
in here down a little bit. Then moving into our saturation, I’m gonna bring those same
greens down in saturation and also bring the yellows
down in saturation, which is hitting in the
flower, you can kinda see. I’ll also bring the blue down, and I’m gonna bring the
aqua up just a little bit ’cause as you can see that’s
like right in her eyes, we just want just a hint of it. Then coming into luminance, we’re gonna bring the yellows
down, bring the greens down, and bring those oranges
up just a hair more. There we go, here is our before and after. Another quick example of this
is moving over to this image, I also used the HSL sliders a lot for sky so if we click this on
and off, as you could see, the blues of the image all
tend to shift towards the aqua which gives it almost
a teal look to the sky and then I’ll usually bring the saturation on that down just a bit. Here’s again the before and after. Hope this helps clear
up some of the mystery behind these more advanced editing tools. I think it’s awesome that
you’re diving in with me. If you haven’t seen the
Curves video yet or interested in some of my other
Lightroom editing tutorials, I’ll share a few helpful links below. I’d love it if you subscribe,
I share new videos weekly. Question for you guys, what’s
your favorite editing tool? Is it Lightroom? Lightroom Mobile? Photoshop? Drop it below and I’ll see you next video.

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