Develop adjustment order - Tone Curves after Saturation is a problem for some work

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When using Lightroom to correct a badly faded-to-pink film slide, the desired order of application of adjustments would be 1) curves adjustments to correct fading, followed by 2) saturation adjustment (usually an increase is needed). However, Lightroom apparently adjusts saturation first, which means that when saturation is adjusted, the image is made more or less pink before the curve adjustments are applied, making them incorrect.

Is there any use case where the current order of application is better, or should the order be changed in future versions?
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WAYNE BRETL

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Posted 10 months ago

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Todd Shaner, Champion

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Use the Basic panel WB Temp and Tint sliders or Eydropper to remove the pink tint.  If it's non-linear you can use the Tone Curve Red channel curve for further adjustment.
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WAYNE BRETL

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Thanks. I did try that before posting, but it is so non-linear that there is still an interaction with the saturation adjustment. You really would like to get the full gray scale neutral first (with curves) before adjusting saturation.
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Start by adjusting the WB controls for neutral highlight color and ignore the midtone and shadow areas. Next correct the midtone and shadow white balance using the Red Tone Curve and any one (1) other channel (Blue or Green) if required. Once that is correct the Saturation control will behave normally. For example I use a combination of WB adjustment (lightsource dependent) and the Blue Tone curve for Kodachrome slides. You can also use the RGB Tone Curve to set White Point, Black Point, and Contrast along with the Red, Blue, and Green Tone Curves or simply use the Basic panel controls. They both work in a similar manner.

If this isn't working for you post the file on Dropbox and I'll take a look at it.

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WAYNE BRETL

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Thanks - I'll give it a try.
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WAYNE BRETL

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Here (in reduced size jpgs) are the original and corrected as best I can in LR and PS. In PS, I used a first adjustment layer Levels and a top adjustment layer HUE/Saturation. This order makes it easy to adjust saturation because it does not mess up the neutrals, whereas, in LR, adjusting the saturation makes the neutrals go towards or away from pink, requiring the red curve to be readjusted. I suppose in LR I could export the neutral version, then open a copy and adjust saturation, but that is not necessary in PS.


Original


Lightroom

Photoshop
(Edited)
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Todd Shaner, Champion

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Yep, this image is too much for LR's non-destructive controls. There's simply too much "interaction" between the Tone controls and Tone Curve. You can make it work by adjusting the individual Red, Blue, Green curves as long as you don't change the Basic panel settings. That's not very practical.

PS Auto Levels or better yet Auto Curves is the quickest way to get good results with this type of image. Auto Curves add the ability to remove any remianing non-linear color hues.
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WAYNE BRETL

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OK thanks. I didn't think of trying auto curves - will give it a go for future reference.
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Mark Segal and I wrote an article on scannerless digital capture posted on Luminous Landscape:

https://luminous-landscape.com/scannerless-digital-capture-and-processing-of-negative-film-photograp...

It concerns color negative processing, but is still applicable to your image. I created a PS action for color negatives that should work well to correct color faded/shifted slides. Just delete the invert layer in the action, add other adjustment layers as needed, and save it as a new action. The article has a download link to the PDF, PS action .atn file, and instructions, which I've copied below.

Article PDF
https://luminous-landscape.com/articleImages/CameraScanning.pdf

Photoshop Action

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ffwl30byvbad6kz/Color%20Negative%20Processing.atn?dl=0

Instructions for installing it here:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/zssvl02l29jpiiq/Photoshop%20Actions%20for%20Color%20Negative%20Processing.pdf?dl=0
(Edited)