Lightroom “S” Curves

Well today’s post is going to be a little different than the past.  I was not able to get out this past week at all for any photography.  You know the typical thing that happens to all of us, life kind of gets in the way.  For me I have been battling Bronchitis for the past two weeks.  Only to find out last Friday night the over the counter medicine was causing an allergic reaction causing my throat to swell some and to have asthma attacks.  The main reason I went to the doctors in the first place to only be told to keep taking my medicine because the swelling and tightens in my chest was from the cold.  LOL.  Then we have work on top of everything along with a Craft show last weekend.  All this combined has left me completely drained.

So, on today’s topic Lightroom Curves.  I stumbled upon this a few years ago when I was looking at what I could do to make my pictures look more like the real thing in life.  As humans, we see in 3d but our cameras can only capture the images in 2d along with bringing out the colors as you saw them.  Adjusting the Curves of an image in Lightroom help bring back some of that depth as they adjust the highlighting and the shadows of our images.

Step 1: Open Lightroom and Import your Images

Okay so this is a very simple step that does not need a lot of explanations.  You need to open Lightroom import the images you want to adjust.  Once you have imported your image or images click the “Develop” link in the upper right hand portion of your monitor.

Step 2:  Adjust Exposure

If you need to make to make any adjustments to your exposure before messing with your Curves.  I have found this out the hard way.  I have adjusted the curves only to realize that I need to adjust the exposure of the image and this has thrown off the image.  I have had to reset the who image and start first with the exposure and then with the Curves.  The reasoning behind this is because you are messing with the Highlights and Shadows of an image with both the Exposure and the Curve.

Step 3: Adjust the Tone Curve tool into a slight “S” Shape

Locate your Tone Curve tool located on the Right-hand side of your monitor in Lightroom.  Depending on the options you have available you may have to click the arrow on the Right of the words “Tone Curve” if it is pointing left.  If it is pointing down you have the tool turned on.

Tone Curve-2

Next you will see a box with a line going diagonal through the box.  This is your curve line.  With your mouse click on the line towards the top of the box not all the way I would say maybe 3/4 of the way up.  Once you have clicked on it keeping the button depressed on the mouse drag it slightly towards the left of the screen.

Now with your mouse click about 3/4s of the way down the line and drag the line slightly to the right.

Tone Curve Adjusted-2

As you can see you have now created a slight “S” curve.  Feel free to play around with how much of an adjustment you are making.  Some pictures may require more than others.  If you overdo it you can always click the “Reset” button to put it back to how it was.

Step 4:  Other Adjustments and Export you are done

So, you have adjusted your curve into an “S” now if you edit your photos any further make your normal adjustments.  Please note that this may affect how much you may have to do your normal adjustments.  It may be more or less of an adjustment depending on the photo and how much of an “S” curve you apply.  Export your photo to your destination and you are done.

There are other adjustments that you can do with the curves and I have not had the time to set down and research and practice with them yet.  So, we may see other articles on what we can do.  If you look at the before and after photo you can see how it helps make the image pop just a little bit more.  Helps bring some depth back to the photo and makes it so it does not look so washed out.

This blog is going to be a day early, I am going home tomorrow to my parents for Mother’s Day.  I would like to wish all the Women who are or about to become Mother’s, Step Moms, Grandmother’s, and Aunts who fill in as moms, a wonderful and happy Mother’s Day.  I especially want to wish my wonderful mother a Happy Mother’s Day.  She has always been by my side supporting me in everything that I do.  Helping me when things are rough, and rejoicing with me when things are going good.  The feature picture in today’s blog shows all the wonderful women in my life.  My aunts, my grandmother and especially my Mom.  Love you all!! 

How do you adjust your curves?  I am always looking for new ways to do things.


5 thoughts on “Lightroom “S” Curves”

    1. You are very welcome. I am still learning this software myself. It is much easier to use than Photoshop but there are something I must use that for too. I remember when I first started out in it. I looked and looked and looked for tips, and some I found myself just playing around with the software. So I figure if I can help someone else out why not write about some of my steps I use.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is a very big learning curve. I watch youtube tutorial videos and look up instructions that I can follow online to figure out things I want to do. Another place I have found different tips is on Pintrest. That is where I found the S curve tip. I am on a monthly subscription for Adobe for Photoshop and Lightroom. I purchased it I think a year and half ago and they were having a special on them. One thing I like is that the software updates to the newest without having to buy anything else. Makes it kind of nice. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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