Facebook Pixel Enhancing Blue Skies in Lightroom

Enhancing Blue Skies in Lightroom

The Color control in Lightroom is a powerful tool for selective color adjustments. This tool allows photographers to adjust the hue, saturation, and luminance of individual color tones. One application of this functionality is enhancing blue skies:

Sydney Opera House

Photo of the famous Sydney Opera House with blue sky enhanced in Lightroom

How to Enhance a Blue Sky

In Lightroom 4, the Color control allows separate control of red, orange, yellow, green, aqua, blue, purple, and magenta:

Lightroom 4 Color Controls

Lightroom 4 Color Controls

A quick way to emphasize a blue sky is to lower the luminosity and increase the saturation of the blues and aquas in the image:

Enhancing a blue sky in Lightroom

With and without color adjustments

For this image, here are the settings I used:

Aqua

  • Hue: -18
  • Saturation: +20
  • Luminance: -43

Blue

  • Hue: 0
  • Saturation: +21
  • Luminance: -22

Make a Develop Preset

For extra credit, save these settings as a develop preset so that you can quickly apply them later. Note that settings that work to bring out the sky in one photo won’t be perfect for all photos, but this should give you a good starting point.

Here are the settings you need to capture for a sky enhancing preset:

Creating a Lightroom Develop Preset

Settings for a sky-enhancing Lr preset

For more detailed information on creating Lightroom Develop Presets, check out this post: 5 Tips for a Faster Lightroom Workflow.

I hope this technique proves useful next time you have a sky that needs just a little more oomph. I’d like you hear your thoughts on this article, please comment below or feel free to connect with me through Facebook or Google+. I’ll do my best to answer questions and reply to comments.

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Jason Weddington
Jason Weddington

is passionate photographer and the creator of PhotoQueue.com, a service that helps photographers maintain their online presence by scheduling uploads to Flickr and 500px. PhotoQueue will soon add support for Facebook, and Tumblr. Jason is also an Associate member of the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP).

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