How Adobe Lightroom’s Clarity Affect the Sharpness of Your Image

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Impact One Light Kit Test photos (14 of 17)

We’ve got the science of making your images look sharper down to a T. It starts in the camera with good lighting, then it has to do with the black levels, clarity, and sharpening. We’ve established how black levels make the eyes focus on other colors and provide more differentiation between others. But what exactly is clarity in Adobe Lightroom?

According to Sharad Mangalick, Senior Product Manager, Digital Imaging at Adobe. “Clarity is image content aware and increases contrast in the mid tones. Sharpening adds definition around the edges in particular. I tend to use Clarity as a starting point, and then I use the Sharpening tools in the Detail panel to fine tune my results.

Sharad continues to say that a single slider can’t work for all images all the time. It really depends on the image and what you’re trying to accomplish. “With black and white photos, Clarity is my starting point. With Portraits, Vibrance. And with Landscapes, Saturation.”

Consider this: the higher the contrast is an in image, the sharper it can appear to someone without zooming in at 100%. Of course, that’s the only way that you’ll truly know. However, most of your clients won’t want to see the details on their pores. Instead they’ll want to see just how beautiful of a moment you captured at their wedding.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.