How to edit photos that pop with Adobe’s Clarity Slider.
Heighten sharpness and contrast in Adobe Lightroom
While creative staging, lighting, and shooting strategies are key for achieving a stunning photo, editing can also make all the difference. In the editing phase, you’re correcting colors, balancing tones, bringing out highlights and shadows, and creating your overall look and feel. One important part of this process is clarity — a subtle visual effect that adds structure, texture, and depth. Learn more about clarity and how to use it properly when you’re editing.
What is clarity?
Think of clarity as a type of contrast that only affects your photo’s middle tones. While contrast makes your darks darker and your lights lighter, clarity leaves the lightest lights and darkest darks alone. Heightening the clarity contrasts your middle tones, drawing attention to shifts in color and adding structure to your photo in a more subtle way. Lowering clarity smooths out these middle tones, flattening your photo.
How to achieve clarity.
Adobe Lightroom has a Clarity Slider feature that enhances your images. Experiment with the Lightroom preset and these different ways of using it:
- Enhance texture: Clarity is most commonly used to enhance texture. By increasing clarity, you add more structure to middle tones to create a sharper image. Higher clarity is especially effective for landscape photographs.
- Spot enhancing: You can also choose which areas you’d like to add structure to, instead of applying the same effect to the whole photo. Clarifying one part of an image creates contrast within the photo and draws the viewer’s attention to a clear subject.
- Soften texture: Lowering clarity creates a fuzzy, flat effect as the middle tones blend together. Low clarity isn’t used as often, but it can be useful if you’re trying to achieve an ethereal sensibility in your photographs.