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Color Range

Lesson 5 from: Dramatically Improved Masking In Lightroom Classic

Ben Willmore

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Lesson Info

5. Color Range

Upgrade your images by adjusting a precise range of colors so you can fine-tune areas with precision.

Lesson Info

Color Range

lightroom Classic. Can isolate things based on color. And so let's take a look at how that might be useful when you want to mask an image here is just a simple graphic. We'll start with, then we'll move on to an actual picture. I'm in the develop module, I've already got my mask icon turned on and if you look in the list of choices, you're gonna find one of them is called color range. If I click on that next, we can move on top of our image. And if we do, you get an eye dropper with the eyedropper, you can either just click and let go to select an exact color or you can click and drag to select a range of colors. So I'm just gonna click once right here and when I do, you're gonna see that it's selected all the reds in the image. Well, why did it go for all the reds? It didn't just get the purebreds, it went all the way over here or there towards oranges and other colors. Well, on the right side, you're gonna find a choice called refine. And if I reduce that, you're gonna find, it's gon...

na narrow it down to getting much more towards the exact color that I clicked on. And if I bring this up higher, you're gonna see it goes for a wider and wider. So the higher this is the softer transition you're gonna end up with in the wider the range of colors that will be isolated. Now, once you've isolated part of your image, you don't have to just get that one area. I could also isolate the blues. All I need to do is hold down the shift key when I hold down, shift you see plus next to my cursor and if I click now I'm selecting not only the reds but also the blues you can get. I think it's up to five of those. And what you can also do is click and drag. Now. If I don't hold down shift, that means I'm gonna replace these two samples with something brand new. So I'm gonna just click and drag here to replace the ones we had. So now we're only isolating the reds but notice when I clicked and dragged it gave me a rectangle. So if I wanted to get not only the yellows but also the greens and those two are located really close to each other in the image, I could have just done this, then I'd get them both. Then I come over here to the refined slider to determine how much more I would like and how much it should fade out. Then I can hold shift and say let's add the blues. So let's use this on an image. I'm just going to switch to my next picture and what I'd like to do in this one is go to the develop module and I want to isolate the background so I can change it. So let's go to our mask icon and let's say that we want a color range and I'm just going to click and drag here because I'm sure that background varies a little bit in color and we'll see what it gives us and then I'll go to the refined slider. I can bring it down to work on less of the range or up to get more of it and instead of bringing this up a lot higher, I could also hold shift and click on other areas. So over here I see an area that didn't get selected. So I'll hold shift and I'll kind of make a rectangle around it. Here's another part of that color so I'll hold shift and get it as well and then I might need to reduce or increase my refined slide, let's say that's the area that I wanted to work on. Then remember you can turn off your overlay, it's just a check box or you can type the letter O does the same thing as turning it off and now I can change it in any way I'd like. One way that's kind of nice is there's this area called Hugh and once you have isolated an area it will show you the general color the overall color you've isolated right up here next to the word color range and then down here we can shift it to something else. If you don't have the checkbox called used fine adjustment on, then you're going to make radical changes with very small moves of your mouse. If you turn on use fine adjustment then it's gonna be hard to make radical changes. You'll make very subtle ones. But let's say I wanted that background to be a little bit more pinkish in that case. Now let's try to isolate the color of the text that's here. So I'm going to create a new mask and again I'm going to tell it to do a color range and I'll move on top of this area and I'll click and drag because it varies in its color and you can see what we have. But that's because refined has turned up to the default and let's say that's given us a little too much so we back off on it if we back off on it and we're not getting enough like over here on the right side of the text. All I do is hold down the shift key and either click to grab a single color or click and drag to have a sample a variety. And there I can isolate the majority of that. There we go. And finally adjust my refined setting to control how much of the side of the letters We might also work with. What I want is just the face of the letters in general and that should work just fine. So then if I want to change the color of that area, I'll turn off the use fine adjustment check box so I can do radical changes and I can change the text to any color I wanted and there's also a saturation slider just below so that I could control how colorful it is. Now if you double click on any slider, it usually resets it to its default settings and if I only have one slider like this one being applied. If I double click that mask will usually turn back on so I get the overlay because otherwise you couldn't tell which portion of the image has been isolated. So now you have an idea of how to isolate colors within lightroom, combine that with isolating skies and subjects and use each to take away from or add to each other and you've got a pretty powerful tool.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Masking Catalog
Masking Practice Images

Ratings and Reviews


I have taken almost every course Ben has done for CL and he is an amazing teacher, Ben always starts easy and moves to more advanced concepts - usually ramping things up over one or even several courses. In this course he takes you from easy to advanced concepts very quickly. I loved this course because I can use it to become a much better photographer ultimately reaching (or trying to reach) the advanced levels Ben presents by the end of the course. It is a terrific course from a real master of the photographic editing skill.

Gary Hook

Once again Ben has hit it out of the park. I truly enjoy his instructional technique. By that I mean he explains the point and then demonstrates it talking about what he did. The visual combined with the instruction is highly effective at enhancing the learning. Short, sharp and to the point on this amazing update to LR. Highly recommend this workshop

Christine Stockwell

Adobe’s new masking engine is a real game-changer and Ben does a fantastic job of showing what can be done and how. Thank you Ben! Now I want to go back through my image archive and reprocess many of them.

Student Work