Project: Optimising Tone and Colour

Exercise: Managing Tone

Find an image in your library that requires some, or all, of the actions listed below to be performed upon it: –

  • Set the black point and white point by first adjusting exposure.  Make sure that you activate the shadow clipping and highlight clipping warnings so that you can adjust them precisely. 
  • Assess and if  necessary adjust the brightness and the mid-tones.  Experiment with exposure, brightness and tone curve.
  • Assess and if necessary adjust contrast .  Experiment with both contrast and tone curve.
  • If necessary make changes to localised areas.



Using Lightroom 4.2.  Exposure needed to changed on a localised basis as there is considerable contrast difference across roughly half of the image more or less diagonally from top left to bottom right.  The top half needed a reduction in exposure by nearly 2.5 f-stops whilst shadows and blacks needed a slight lift in the bottom half to prevent them from appearing overly dark and lowlight clipping occurring.

Overall mid-tone contrast was increased to improve colour rendition.  I did attempt to use the tone curve but being unfamiliar with this control I couldn’t achieve a satisfactory curve change to give the results I wanted.  This is going to require more experimentation until familiarity and confidence with this control is achieved.

Pre-programmed lens correction was introduced to remove the distortions and light reduction associated with the lens.  Small adjustments to clarity and vibrance were made to heighten the colour tone.  Sharpening was the last change made to ensure that details were as visible in a sufficient amount to not appear overdone.


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