Check Out This Little Known Color Tool for Lightroom Users

Adobe Lightroom and Camera Raw house some solid color and toning options. These can be applied in a non-destructive way, and in general will get the job done, our photos finished and out into the world. However, for many others, Photoshop with its plethora of adjustment layers is hard to best when heavy color work is applied.

I have built the habit of utilizing Color Temperature, and experimenting with split toning, HSL, and my camera’s calibration profile to achieve the look I’m going for in the raw edit stage. Photoshop is where the heavy hitting comes out with Selective Color, Color Look Up Tables, and Curves to name a few. It’s pretty endless, and for some, workflow overkill. So any additional adjustment options from within Lightroom are always welcome versus carrying the image over into Photoshop. 

In a recent video from Matt Kloskowski, he shows us via some landscape imagery an inconspicuous little color swatch in Lightroom. To be honest, after countless hours in the program I had never noticed it. And unlike adjusting the color temperature slider on your photo, which has an effect on your overall exposure, Kloskowski's selective adjustment technique has minimal effect on the images exposure overall. And as opposed to exaggerating or lessening an already existent color within the image, this quick trick allows you to introduce additional color onto your image palette, as seen in his examples.  

It’s a quick color option to add to your bag of editing tricks; who knows when you may want to access it down the road. For now I would suggest grabbing an image and experimenting with it. It’s a quick and easy way to work some color in your images.

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5 Comments

Chad D's picture

or get Capture and learn what true color control in RAW is about :)

TImothy Tichy's picture

Back before Lr had a WB brush I used to use the color selector brush for localized wb fixes.

Thomas Nicholas's picture

Really helpful for a novice such as myself.

Joe Petolino's picture

Thanks! I always wondered what that big X was for.

One nitpick about the narration: I think the "mountain range in Glacier National Park" is actually Tuolumne Meadows, in Yosemite.