Why does Lightroom mess up my raw photos when I import them?

Last week, I was leading a photo hike at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. While talking to one of the people attending the photo hike, the topic of shooting raw vs. JPEG came up. The person told me that she does not shoot raw because when she imports her photos to Lightroom, initially the raw photos look great, but once she selects one to work on, all of a sudden the photo gets really dull looking. The reason for this is that the raw file contains a thumbnail JPEG image that has been processed by your camera based upon how the camera is set up. This is the image that is shown in the Lightroom film strip. Your camera has already applied some processing to the image based on

Using the HSL panel in Lightrooom to selectively adjust colors.

It can be a challenge dealing with colors in a photo. There may be some that seem washed out, while others seem just about right. Let's look at the following image captured in Petrified Forest National Park. What I would really like to do is improve the color of the sky. The way it currently sits, the sky is just a little washed out. If I were to take the saturation slider and move it to the right, it is going to increase the saturation of all the colors. I could use the vibrance slider, but this too will have a bigger impact on the image than I really want. Fortunately, Lightroom provides the HSL panel. HSL stands for hue, saturation, and luminance. This panel affects the color chann

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