Welcome to our Beginner’s Guide for the specific implementation of your purchased Andrew Sun Color (ASC) presets. It is our hope, that with the right advice, you will be able to maximize their potential and bring out the best in your images.
So let’s get right into it.
First off, it doesn’t matter which software you use (Lightroom or Camera Raw), as the ‘BASIC’ tabs in each program, sport exactly the same sliders with identical functions. After all, both pieces of software were engineered by Adobe creators. Secondly, rather than give you a confusing pile of what other companies like to call ‘tools/actions’ in their preset bundles, that are ‘supposed to help you’ do really elementary things to your images, like brighten them if they’re too dark etc., we are simply going to teach you how to do those things and more, without the use of such rudimentary utensils.
White Balance (WB)
If your image is too cold (blue-ish) or too warm (orange-ish), choose a different WB, or manually slide the Temperature and Tint sliders until you’re happy with the outcome.
If your image is too dark or too bright, touch the Exposure.
If your image is too flat, consider adjusting the Contrast.
Highlights / Whites
If the brightest part of your image is too white, you can contemplate slipping the Highlights / Whites down somewhat.
Shadows / Blacks
If you’d like to see more detail in your images (i.e. increase the visibility of objects under hard shadows) you can drag Shadows / Blacks up a bit.
If you want your images to have a bit more grit, you can up Clarity slightly, as this adds edge contrast (often misinterpreted as mid-tone contrast with a minor sharpening effect). Bringing Clarity down therefore, can also have a smoothing effect.
Finally, if you feel your image is too washed out (i.e. not enough color for your taste), try a bit more Vibrance; and vice versa, slide it down if you think the color is too rich. Generally stay away from the Saturation slider as it’s not as smart at dealing with skin tones as Vibrance.
And that’s pretty much it, as far as the basic editing menu is concerned 🙂 which 99% of the time is more than enough to fully utilize the presets we have created for you. To learn more, see our Advanced Tutorials.