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Archive 2012 · Adjustments vs curves for LR4
  
 
cre55107
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p.1 #1 · Adjustments vs curves for LR4


What is the difference if I use the Highlights, shadows, whites and blacks in the basic panel vs. doing it on the tone curve? Pry a dumb question but was just curious.



Apr 16, 2012 at 05:44 AM
redcrown
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p.1 #2 · Adjustments vs curves for LR4


Just different ways to skin a cat. The first is the equivalent of a good hunting knife. Easy to use, easy to learn. The second is the equivalent of a scalpel. Much finer cuts, but takes a lot of practice and skill.


Apr 16, 2012 at 07:38 AM
Alan321
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p.1 #3 · Adjustments vs curves for LR4


There may be technical differences in terms of which pixels are affected and how they are affected - I vaguely recall reading about that in a previous thread some time back - but ultimately you are probably tweaking the image to meet your own satisfaction and in that case whatever works for you will be ok. You only need to worry about which method you should use if you cannot get it to look ok.

- Alan



Apr 16, 2012 at 07:50 AM
Eyeball
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p.1 #4 · Adjustments vs curves for LR4


With LR4, the Adobe team strongly recommends that you do most of your adjustments with the sliders and use the tone curve only for minor tweaks, if at all.

The main difference is that the sliders, particularly Highlights and Shadows, are "smart" controls that perform local adaptation as well as moving tones on the histogram. For example, the Shadows slider tries to differentiate between a dark tone that is a shadow and the same dark tone that is a normal part of the scene. Not all tones of the same value will be treated the same; it depends on the characteristics of the image and where those tones are located within the image.

The tone curve does straight tone mapping according to the curve, without the local adaptation.

The tone curve in LR does, however, react differently from the tone curve in Photoshop for two primary reasons:
- Hue and saturation react somewhat differently in the LR tone curve compared to the PS one. An LR curve that increases contrast in an area, for example, will increase saturation but less so than a similar curve in PS.
- A tone curve in LR has the ability to recover additional detail in the lighter tones due to the way that raw data is more heavily "packed" to the right side of the histogram.

The Adobe team also recommends that you make adjustments to the basic sliders in the order that they are listed. A given set of slider settings will always produce the same results for a given image no matter what order you used to make the adjustments but the Adobe team feels that you will experience less "tail chasing" (making an adjustment that causes you to go back and re-adjust another slider that you had previously set) if you use the sliders as they are listed.



Apr 16, 2012 at 12:20 PM
Mr Joe
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p.1 #5 · Adjustments vs curves for LR4


@Eyeball - really helpful, thanks!


Apr 16, 2012 at 02:03 PM
cre55107
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p.1 #6 · Adjustments vs curves for LR4


this is really great info, thank you everyone.


Apr 16, 2012 at 08:21 PM
 

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Alan321
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p.1 #7 · Adjustments vs curves for LR4


Eyeball, thanks again for that info. Is that something you learned from heaps of reading on various forums or is it and other such info listed in a concise and easy to find form somewhere ?

- Alan



Apr 17, 2012 at 01:55 AM
Eyeball
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p.1 #8 · Adjustments vs curves for LR4


Most of that info I picked up by following threads on the Adobe Lightroom and ACR forums and also the Luminous Landscape forums. Eric Chan (MadManChan2000 in the Adobe forums) participates on those forums and is a member of the Adobe Lightroom team.

I also look out for Jeff Schewe, who has written several books on Lightroom, ACR, and other Adobe products. He is not an Adobe employee but has worked closely with them. He is a member/founder of Pixel Genius, the makers of Photokit Sharpener. The concepts behind PK Sharpener influenced the noise reduction and sharpening aspects of Lightroom and ACR via collaboration between the Adobe team and Pixel Genius - Bruce Fraser and Jeff Schewe in particular.

Andrew Rodney also visits those forums regularly and is a well-known author on color management.

Another source I would recommend is the "Lightroom Queen", Victoria Bampton. She just recently released her LR4 book "The Missing FAQ". She participates on the Adobe forums and occasionally sticks her head in here on FM. She also has her own forum at lightroomforums.net.

So I guess it's a matter of reading the right forums and listening to the right people.



Apr 17, 2012 at 12:33 PM
Alan321
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p.1 #9 · Adjustments vs curves for LR4


Eyeball wrote:
So I guess it's a matter of reading the right forums and listening to the right people.


Yep, and keeping at it. Just like I do here at FM.
Thanks for the info.
- Alan



Apr 18, 2012 at 03:30 AM
PhilDrinkwater
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p.1 #10 · Adjustments vs curves for LR4


Eyeball wrote:
With LR4, the Adobe team strongly recommends that you do most of your adjustments with the sliders and use the tone curve only for minor tweaks, if at all.

The main difference is that the sliders, particularly Highlights and Shadows, are "smart" controls that perform local adaptation as well as moving tones on the histogram. For example, the Shadows slider tries to differentiate between a dark tone that is a shadow and the same dark tone that is a normal part of the scene. Not all tones of the same value will be treated the same; it depends on the characteristics
...Show more

Agree with this. The sliders are about putting the detail where you want it.

However, there are times to use curves. I use curves in my presets to add general contrast to my images in a more specific way than the contrast slider.

I also use it to produce punchy B&Ws using a preset. The reason for this is that I go through all of my files in colour and use the sliders to get the right detail where I want it and later convert to B&W where I use the tone curve. This doesn't change any of the slider values so the B&Ws have the same detail as the colour versions.

The sliders are definitely where most editing happens though.



Apr 18, 2012 at 08:13 AM
jusjee
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p.1 #11 · Adjustments vs curves for LR4


This is an awesome thread guys. Thanks for the info, the suggestions here are how I've been doing it just because it felt natural, the flow was smooth and I got the results I was going for.


Apr 19, 2012 at 07:31 PM





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