Adobe Lightroom is an amazing digital asset management program that keeps adding features to enhance the digital darkroom and post production phase of my workflow. The latest addition is the texture slider. The new non-destructive Texture slider (available as both a global as well as a local adjustment) in Lightroom Classic, can be used to decrease or increase the appearance of “texture” in a photograph while still retaining fine details. Moving the Texture slider to the left will reduce unwanted, medium-sized details, while moving the Texture slider to the right enhances medium-sized details in a photograph.
Often I will revisit old photographs when new technology and enhancements come out to see if I can improve upon the original taken at the time. This photograph is one of those instances. Taken a few ears back in Chicago, this storm was just beginning to blow in off Lake Michigan. I wanted to capture the drama and ominous look that I remember. At the time I used the dehaze slider in Lightroom to help with the sky and it did a pretty good job. With the new texture slider, I found that it worked better on the fountain detail and the sky than the either the clarity or dehaze slider.
IMHO clarity is a stronger control than Texture, and that’s a good thing. Texture is more subtle, and sometimes you need something stronger. Clarity can bring out changes in larger areas of tonality, and will change the luminance and saturation more than Texture. Texture and Clarity are fundamentally different tools, and they each have their own strengths.
How can you tell when to use which one? Texture is best for making subtle adjustments to those mid-frequency features. Clarity is best for making stronger adjustments to a broader frequency range, including some lower frequencies. The best way to learn is to play around with the texture and see how you can apply it in your photography.
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