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How to Use the Orange Slider on Portrait Photos Using Lightroom Classic

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Read Time: 3 min

If you're a portrait photographer, familiarizing yourself with the orange slider will be a huge time-saver in your retouching workflow. Save yourself the time and effort required to create a selection or mask of your subject's skin, and unlock the power of the orange slider!

Locate the Orange Slider in Lightroom Classic

Lightroom Classic makes colour adjustments very simple. In the Develop module, and located below the Basic & Tone Curve adjustments are the HSL/Color adjustments. Click on the word Color and Lightroom will display each colour with its own Hue, Saturation, and Luminance sliders underneath.

HSL slidersHSL slidersHSL sliders

We're now going to turn our attention specifically to the Orange slider, and see how we can use this to our benefit when retouching a portrait.

When to Use the Orange Slider on a Portrait in Lightroom Classic

I've set my white balance so that the whites from my subject's jacket are balanced, but this has made his skin too warm for my liking. If we adjust the white balance to correct for the skin, then the jacket is going to be too warm. The easiest solution here lies in the Orange slider.

When we're talking about people with 'white' skin, this means their skin tones will predominantly fall within the orange colour values. By using the orange colour sliders, we're able to effectively edit their skin tone without creating a selection or mask.

using the orange colour sliders to edit skin toneusing the orange colour sliders to edit skin toneusing the orange colour sliders to edit skin tone

How to Use the Orange Slider on a Portrait in Lightroom Classic

One of the many beautiful things about the interface of Lightroom is sliders. To use the Orange slider, you can just click and slide it around, and see the changes in real time.

The first adjustment to consider in our image is the Hue of the oranges. I've reduced the Hue to -30, which already is feeling more balanced.

reduce the Hue to -30reduce the Hue to -30reduce the Hue to -30

Next is the saturation of the oranges. This refers to the strength of the orange colours. Since I want to reduce the amount of orange in my image, I'll reduce the saturation. I've made an adjustment of -20 Saturation to the oranges.

-20 Saturation to the oranges-20 Saturation to the oranges-20 Saturation to the oranges

And finally, there's the luminance adjustment. This refers to how bright or dark the oranges appear. I find my subject's skin to be a touch on the bright side, so I'll reduce the luminance of the oranges to compensate for that. I've made an adjustment of -20 Luminance to the oranges.

adjustment of -20 Luminance to the oranges.adjustment of -20 Luminance to the oranges.adjustment of -20 Luminance to the oranges.

Now that is a much better skin tone then where we started from - and because we only affected the oranges in the image, our subject's jacket remains correctly balanced.

Here's a before and after side by side so you can see the edit.

before and after side by sidebefore and after side by sidebefore and after side by side
Left: Before Right: After

Conclusion

I hope this has given you insight as to how easy to use and how effective the orange sliders in Adobe Lightroom can be when you're editing a portrait. Give it a shot the next time you're retouching, and see how you can make it work for you!

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