While Adobe Lightroom isn’t a magic solution for fixing all your photo problems, it’s a great tool for making extensive edits. One of the most common problems faced by photographers are images that lack color when taken with a camera.

Luckily, you have plenty of solutions in Lightroom to fix this problem and make your pictures more alive. And in this article, you’ll discover a selection of your best options.

1. Tone Curve Feature

If you’ve watched a fair number of photography videos on YouTube, you’ve probably heard of the Tone Curve feature. The tool is one of the most popular ways to adjust photos; Apart from using it for stylistic purposes, you can try to recover dull and washed out images with the feature.

You can edit multiple areas of your image by dragging up or down to create different spots. If you move these areas down, you’ll make parts of your photo darker – while doing the opposite will brighten parts of your photo.

When you scroll down on the right-hand toolbar you’ll find the Tone Curve feature; It is within a standalone section. If you expand the Point Curve menu, you can choose the level of contrast you want in your images.

2. Contrast slider

The Contrast slider is one of the most basic but important Lightroom tools. You can use it to change the brightness in different parts of your photo. You’ll find the main slider at the top of your right-hand toolbar.

The contrast slider is easy to understand. If you’re trying to fix a washed out photo, you’ll probably want to move it to the right. Doing so will darken areas of your image and make it appear less flat.

If you’re going to use the Contrast slider with a Tone Curve, it’s a good idea to use Contrast first. Once you do that, you’ll have a better understanding of what you need to do with the Tone Curve feature.

3. Vibrance and Saturation

Vibrance and Saturation are two of the most important tools all beginner Lightroom editors should learn to use. Both will change the colors in your photos and are useful for recovering washed out images.

Although the Vibrance and Saturation sliders are useful for adjusting your images, they will do so in different ways. Saturation will enhance the overall color in your picture, so you may find it particularly useful if your image looks a bit dull.

However, if you already have some color in your photo, you may want to use Vibrance instead. The Vibrance slider will enhance the colors in your image, which can help you avoid adding too much.

You can always try using the Vibrance and Saturation sliders together. A lot of this will depend on your photography and not just whether you want to recover a dull photo.

4. Calibration

Whether you can use the calibration feature depends on whether you use Lightroom Classic or Creative Cloud (CC). If you’re a Lightroom Classic user, you’ll find the calibration tool at the bottom of your screen. But, unfortunately, Lightroom CC doesn’t include this feature.

When using calibration, you change the color of your shadow to be more green or magenta. On top of that, you can adjust the hue and saturation for the red, green, and blue primaries. If parts of your photo are dull, you may find it helpful to increase their saturation.

If the white balance isn’t quite right, you can reduce the saturation in other areas as well. If you use the calibration tool, you should make your other adjustments first, as changing this section too quickly can make your photo look a bit inconsistent later.

5. Shadow Reduction

Another important slider that you should learn to use in your early days in Lightroom is Shadows. You’ll find two: one is near the top of the right-hand toolbar, while the other is in the Tone Curve section under Regions.

If your photo in Lightroom looks dull and washed out, you can move the Shadows slider to the left and darken those areas of your image. You’ll find this feature especially useful if you’re going for a dark and moody photography style.

6. Adding Camera Filters

If you have a Nikon camera, you’ve probably come across several different camera profiles on your device. This is also the case with many other camera manufacturers, such as Sony and Fujifilm. You can add profiles to JPEGs when you shoot in-camera, but what if you need to recover a dull and washed-out photo later?

You can add multiple profiles to Adobe Lightroom, which will vary depending on the camera manufacturer you choose. Some will increase the saturation in your photo, which can help you make your image more attractive. And if the tone looks flat, then you can choose something with a darker shade.

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