Lightroom: HSL / Color / B&W

4/18/2014 0 Comments A+ a-

Post 19
Series: Introduction to Adobe Lightroom®

H-S-L, the Big Three

What is HSL? HSL stands for Hue, Saturation, and Luminance. You might be familiar with Hue and Saturation already. Luminance is not found in many image editing programs, so this section could be new to you. Fun!

Hue Are You?

Just look at all those options for Hue variations. Making such targeted color adjustments is one of the benefits to using Lightroom and the Develop Module.

Saturation Specific

Increase or decrease the amount of concentrated color in your image. You can do this individual color by color, rather than a general/overall increase in saturation. This image shows a color-specific saturation in blue, aqua and green.

before & after

Luminance Magic

Ever wanted to brighten up an image, but using the contrast tool doesn’t work? Working with a portrait and you want to give the skin a soft “glow”? Want to give that landscape a magical shimmer? Luminance gives your images that extra “wow” factor. Try it out. Betcha you will be saying “wow”.

Tuna before

Tuna after

Targeted Adjustment Tool

See that circle in the top left corner? That is the Targeted Adjustment Tool. Click on it, arrows appear showing it is selected, then click on the part of your image you want to adjust. This allows you to choose only a part of your image to change.

Color Confection

Want to make HSL adjustements, but only to a specific color within your image? Choose the color from the boxes at the top, then use the sliders to reach your “just right” HSL point. 

B&W Ultimate

Black & White Mix turns you image grayscale, If you turn am image to black&white, you may find your image to be flat and dull. Lightroom remembers which colors were there. You can use the sliders in this section to make the corresponding parts of your image stand out. 

Greater options mean a greater control over the final result in your image. Of today’s tools, which is your favorite?

Next post: Lightroom: Split Toning

These posts are part of a series: Introduction to Adobe Lightroom®

Jennifer Apffel is a photographer with over a decade of experience in portrait, event, and product photography. She also does freelance graphic design and fine art. For more check out, or look for her on

"You can't be an artist. Artists don't make any money," ... a trusted adviser told me. So I studied something else. And I worked at other jobs. But, given a moment and I'd find a paintbrush and canvas, or I'd make food into art. I found a camera, and light and composition became my medium. I found a computer, and I became a Photoshop fanatic and graphic designer, and I taught myself to build websites. Anything to be able to create.

I am an artist, plain and simple, and I've come to understand that all these years later. Artists create beauty where there was none. Artists ask tough questions and challenge others. Artists communicate without words. Artists build and tear down. Artists bring joy, hope, understanding, empathy, growth, change and a myriad of things to others.

Involve and influence others. Impact and make a difference. Inspire, lift and make others' lives better. This is what I strive to do.

I share my creations and am glad to have made an imprint in this moment of your life.

That's what real artists do.