Quick adjustments in Lightroom

I discovered this handy little Hue/Saturation/Luminance/Tone adjustment trick by complete accident. I inadvertently clicked on the teeny tiny "target" circle that you can see on the upper left-hand side of the Saturation palette and suddenly it turned into a target with two triangles sticking out of each end. I played around with it until I figured out its purpose, and guess what? I love it! I use it all the time. It is a super slick little trick. My accidental find turned out to be a "happy accident," as they say in the art world.

First, I import my photo into Lightroom and click on the Develop tab on the upper right. I scroll down so the Saturation palette is visible.

This is what the "target" circle looks like before it is clicked on.

And this is the icon that appears after it is clicked on.

Once this adjustment icon appears, my cursor suddenly changes, too. Ok, please take the time to appreciate the cursor depicted in the below photo. I could not figure out a way to get a screen shot of it so I created it from scratch. AND IT TOOK FOREVER. Isn't it pretty? Wonderful? Awesome?

I place the cursor over a color that I think might need some saturation adjustments. The part of the cursor that will select the color is the middle part of the +. You can see in the above photo that the very center of the + is directly over the color red. Since Elijah is standing in an apple orchard, I want to make the red stand out.

After I have clicked once to get a reading on the color, I click again and this time I don't release the mouse button. With mouse button held down, I drag my mouse upward in order to increase the saturation. If I want to decrease the saturation, I would drag my mouse downward.

In this case, I move it up until the reds in the photo are to my liking.

Here is what the palette looks like without it even being touched!

I want to increase the green saturation a little bit, too, so I click my cursor once on a green part of the photo (grass) to get a reading.

I click and drag my mouse upward until I am happy with the green saturation adjustment.

This trick also works with Tone Curve adjustments, so I scroll up to the Tone Curve area of my palette and click on the target circle. This works in the exact same way, except with tones instead of color saturation. You can see below that I click my cursor on the lightest area of the photo, the sky. I want to slightly increase all of the highlights in the photo. After my initial click that tells Lightroom what we will be adjusting, I click and drag my mouse upward.

Here is what the Tone Curve palette shows after my adjustment.

Now I want to darken the shadows just a tiny bit, so I click on the darkest area of the photo and then click and drag downward.

Here is what the Tone Curve palette shows after that adjustment.

I have one final change I would like to make and this time it is an adjustment to Hue, which can be found in the same palette as Saturation. I click on Hue and then on the target. With my cursor, I click on an orangey-yellow color in the photo and then I click and drag downward a tiny bit.

The orange and yellow hues decreased slightly.

At this point I am satisfied with Hue-Saturation-Tone adjustments and I am ready to move onto other changes!

This trick can also be used to adjust Luminance, but I rarely touch Luminance. Anywhere the tiny target appears, you can adjust with a simple click and drag!