Working with the Enhance Controls

You use the Enhance adjustment controls to set the contrast, definition, saturation, and vibrancy, as well as the black, gray, and white tint values.

You can also brush the Enhance adjustment on selected parts of an image. For more information, see Making Brushed Adjustments.

Adjusting Contrast in the Image

If you want to adjust the difference between the dark and bright areas of the image, you can modify the Contrast parameter. An image with very little midtone tonality is considered to have a lot of contrast, whereas an image with considerable midtone tonality is considered to have minimal contrast. Often, an image with too much midtone tonality looks flat. Adding contrast to the image can add depth to it. However, you add contrast to the image at the expense of detail in the midtones, so a little contrast goes a long way.

Figure. Image before and after a Contrast adjustment.
To adjust the contrast in an image
  1. Select an image.

  2. In the Enhance area of the Adjustments inspector or the Adjustments pane of the Inspector HUD, adjust the Contrast parameter by doing one of the following:

    • Drag the Contrast slider.

    • Click the left or right arrow in the Contrast value slider to change the contrast of the image by 5 percent increments, or drag in the value field.

    • Double-click the number in the Contrast value slider, then enter a value from –1.0 to 1.0 and press Return.

      Figure. Contrast controls in the Enhance area of the Adjustments inspector.

A value below 0.0 decreases the contrast in the image. A value greater than 0.0 increases the contrast in the image. The contrast in the image is updated as you change the parameter value.

Note: If you’re trying to retrieve detail in a high-contrast image, you should use the Highlights & Shadows controls. For more information, see Working with the Highlights & Shadows Controls.

Adjusting Definition in the Image

When you want to add a little clarity and definition to an image without adding too much contrast, you use the Definition parameter controls. The Definition parameter is useful for adding local contrast (adding contrast to areas of the image that are improved by a contrast adjustment without affecting the image’s global contrast) as well as reducing haze.

Figure. Image before and after a Definition adjustment.
To adjust definition in an image
  1. Select an image.

  2. In the Enhance area of the Adjustments inspector or the Adjustments pane of the Inspector HUD, adjust the Definition parameter by doing one of the following:

    • Drag the Definition slider.

    • Click the left or right arrow in the Definition value slider to change the clarity of the image by 5 percent increments, or drag in the value field.

    • Double-click the number in the Definition value slider, then enter a value from 0.0 to 1.0 and press Return.

      Figure. Definition controls in the Enhance area of the Adjustments inspector.

A value greater than 0.0 increases the clarity in the image. The definition in the image is updated as you change the parameter value.

Adjusting Saturation in the Image

You can change the value for the Saturation parameter to either give your image an extra burst of color or tone down the color palette by desaturating the image.

Figure. Image before and after a Saturation adjustment.
To change the saturation of an image
  1. Select an image.

  2. In the Enhance area of the Adjustments inspector or the Adjustments pane of the Inspector HUD, adjust the Saturation parameter by doing one of the following:

    • Drag the Saturation slider.

    • Click the left or right arrow in the Saturation value slider to change the saturation of the image by 5 percent increments, or drag in the value field.

    • Double-click the number in the Saturation value slider, then enter a value from 0.0 to 4.0 and press Return.

      Figure. Saturation controls in the Enhance area of the Adjustments inspector.

A value below 1.0 decreases the color saturation in the image, and a value above 1.0 increases the saturation. A value of 0.0 removes all color from the image, making it grayscale. A value of 4.0 increases the saturation by 400 percent.

The saturation of the image is updated as you change the parameter value.

A Little Saturation Goes a Long Way

Increasing the saturation of an image can make the colors appear more pure, and many people like the effect of an image whose colors are more saturated than they would appear naturally. However, you can easily oversaturate an image. In the process of making the colors more pure, subtleties in shades of colors disappear, often resulting in reduced detail in the image. To ensure that visual elements aren’t unnecessarily lost, pay attention to the details in your image as you increase saturation.

Adjusting Vibrancy in the Image

You use the Vibrancy parameter controls when you want to add a bit of punch to the image without affecting skin tones. The Vibrancy parameter applies saturation to the image in a nonlinear manner. Colors that are already saturated are left alone, while saturation is added to all other colors. In addition, the Vibrancy parameter takes skin tones into account, leaving them untouched. This allows you to take a portrait and desaturate the image except for the skin tones.

Figure. Image before and after a Vibrancy adjustment.
To adjust vibrancy in an image
  1. Select an image.

  2. In the Enhance area of the Adjustments inspector or the Adjustments pane of the Inspector HUD, adjust the Vibrancy parameter by doing one of the following:

    • Drag the Vibrancy slider.

    • Click the left or right arrow in the Vibrancy value slider to change the saturation of the image by 5 percent increments, or drag in the value field.

    • Double-click the number in the Vibrancy value slider, then enter a value from –1.0 to 1.0 and press Return.

      Figure. Vibrancy controls in the Enhance area of the Adjustments inspector.

A value below 0.0 decreases the color saturation in the image, and a value above 0.0 increases the saturation of the nonsaturated colors. A value of –1.0 removes all color from the image, making it grayscale except for any skin tones.

Setting the Tint of Black, Gray, and White Values in the Image

You use the Black Tint, Gray Tint, and White Tint color wheels when you want to selectively remove color casts from the shadows, midtones, and highlights in the image. Color casts are often caused by shooting in mixed lighting and unnatural lighting situations, where the difference in the color from the mixture of multiple types of source lights can produce a color variance in a specific tonal range in an image. For example, when shooting indoors, interior incandescent (tungsten) lighting can often produce a yellow color cast through the white colors in the image. Using the White Tint eyedropper, you can have Aperture isolate the highlights and add blue to the white values, thereby reducing the yellow color cast and returning the whites to neutral white.

There are two methods for selectively adjusting the tint values in an image: you can use the Black Tint, Gray Tint, and White Tint eyedroppers to have Aperture automatically adjust the tint to neutral color values, or you can use the Black Tint, Gray Tint, and White Tint color wheels to manually adjust the tint values. The method you choose is determined by the level of precision you require. The eyedroppers provide an accurate means of identifying the color cast within the tonal range of each eyedropper and returning the color values to neutral. However, depending on the subject, you may not want to completely remove the color cast found in a specific tonal range. Therefore, you can manually adjust the tint values in the shadows, midtones, and highlights using the Black Tint, Gray Tint, and White Tint color wheels.

For more information about using the eyedroppers to adjust the black, gray, and white tints in the image, see Using the Eyedroppers to Set the Tint in an Image.

For more information about manually adjusting the black, gray, and white tints in the image, see Manually Setting the Tint in an Image.

Using the Eyedroppers to Set the Tint in an Image

You use the Black Tint, Gray Tint, and White Tint eyedropper tools when you want to have Aperture selectively modify the tints of the shadows, midtones, and highlights in an image automatically. Whereas using the White Balance controls adjusts the tints of all tonal values in the image uniformly, the Black Tint, Gray Tint, and White Tint eyedropper tools allow you to selectively neutralize color casts that affect only the shadows, midtones, or highlights. In some difficult cases, you can use the Black Tint, Gray Tint, and White Tint eyedropper tools in combination with the White Balance controls to first neutralize a tint in a specific tonal range and then uniformly remove the tint from the rest of the image. For more information about adjusting white balance, see Working with the White Balance Controls.

You use the Black Tint eyedropper to remove color casts from the shadows in your images.

Figure. Image before and after a Black Tint adjustment.
To set the tint of the shadows in an image
  1. Select an image.

  2. If necessary, click the Tint disclosure triangle in the Enhance area of the Adjustments inspector or the Adjustments pane of the Inspector HUD to reveal the Tint color wheels, then select the Black Tint eyedropper.

    Figure. Black Tint color wheel and eyedropper tool in the Enhance area of the Adjustments inspector.

    The pointer changes to the Loupe, showing a magnified view of the target area. By default, the Loupe is set to magnify the image to 100 percent (full size). If necessary, you can increase the magnification of the Loupe by pressing Command–Shift–Plus Sign (+). For more information about the Loupe, see Viewing Images with the Loupe.

  3. Position the target area of the Loupe over the darkest pixels in the image, then click.

    Figure. Loupe showing a magnified view of the darkest pixels in the image.

The tint (hue and saturation) of the black values in the image is set to remove the color cast in the shadows.

Important: Make sure that there are no bright pixels in the target area of the Loupe. Bright pixels in the target area can skew the Black Tint calculation, making the image look different than intended. A simple way to avoid errant bright pixels is to increase the magnification of the Loupe by pressing Command–Shift–Plus Sign (+).

You use the Gray Tint eyedropper to remove color casts from the midtones in your images.

Figure. Image before and after a Gray Tint adjustment.
To set the tint of the midtone values in an image
  1. Select an image.

  2. If necessary, click the Tint disclosure triangle in the Enhance area of the Adjustments inspector or the Adjustments pane of the Inspector HUD to reveal the Tint color wheels, then select the Gray Tint eyedropper.

    Figure. Gray Tint color wheel and eyedropper tool in the Enhance area of the Adjustments inspector.

    The pointer changes to the Loupe, showing a magnified view of the target area. By default, the Loupe is set to magnify the image to 100 percent (full size). If necessary, you can increase the magnification of the Loupe by pressing Command–Shift–Plus Sign (+). For more information about the Loupe, see Viewing Images with the Loupe.

  3. Position the target area of the Loupe over a midrange color that is as close as possible to medium gray, then click.

    Figure. Loupe showing a magnified view of midrange color pixels in the image.

The tint (hue and saturation) of the gray values in the image is set to remove the color cast in the midtones.

You use the White Tint eyedropper to remove color casts from the highlights in your images.

Figure. Image before and after a White Tint adjustment.
To set the tint of the highlight values in an image
  1. Select an image.

  2. If necessary, click the Tint disclosure triangle in the Enhance area of the Adjustments inspector or the Adjustments pane of the Inspector HUD to reveal the Tint color wheels, then select the White Tint eyedropper.

    Figure. White Tint color wheel and eyedropper tool in the Enhance area of the Adjustments inspector.

    The pointer changes to the Loupe, showing a magnified view of the target area. By default, the Loupe is set to magnify the image to 100 percent (full size). If necessary, you can increase the magnification of the Loupe by pressing Command–Shift–Plus Sign (+). For more information about the Loupe, see Viewing Images with the Loupe.

  3. Position the target area of the Loupe over the lightest (white) pixels in the image, then click.

    Figure. Loupe showing a magnified view of the lightest pixels in the image.

The tint (hue and saturation) of the white values in the image is set to remove the color cast in the highlights.

Important: Make sure that there are no dark pixels in the target area of the Loupe. Dark pixels in the target area can skew the White Tint calculation, making the image look different than intended. A simple way to avoid errant dark pixels is to increase the magnification of the Loupe by pressing Command–Shift–Plus Sign (+).

Manually Setting the Tint in an Image

You can also manually adjust the tint of the shadow, midtone, and highlight values in an image using the Black Tint, Gray Tint, and White Tint color wheels.

To manually adjust the tint of the shadow, midtone, and highlight values in an image
  1. Select an image.

  2. If necessary, click the Tint disclosure triangle in the Enhance area of the Adjustments inspector or the Adjustments pane of the Inspector HUD, then do the following:

    • To adjust the tint of the shadows: Drag the Black point in the Black Tint color wheel.
    • To adjust the tint of the midtones: Drag the Gray point in the Gray Tint color wheel.
    • To adjust the tint of the highlights: Drag the White point in the White Tint color wheel.
      Figure. Tint color wheels and eyedropper tools in the Enhance area of the Adjustments inspector.

You remove a color cast in a tonal range by dragging the point in the color wheel toward the opposite color. For example, to remove a blue cast, you drag the point in the color wheel toward yellow until the color cast is neutralized.

Resetting the Tint Color Wheels

You can individually reset the Tint color wheels without affecting the other parameters in the Enhance area of the Adjustments inspector or the Adjustments pane of the Inspector HUD.

To reset a Tint color wheel
  • Double-click the color wheel.

    Figure. Tint color wheels and eyedropper tools in the Enhance area of the Adjustments inspector.