Lightroom: I'd like to Auto Levels like Photoshop

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  • Updated 6 years ago
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I often find that I'm not quite levelling the histogram out as well as it could be. Partly this may be down to the fairly small Lightroom histogram and my high res screen.
When I export my photo into Photoshop I find I can bring in the highlight slider in from the right to make my photo a bit more punchy. This can often be achieved quickly by using Auto Levels which seems to do the job of bringing highlight and shadow detail up to the ends of the graph mostly perfectly.
Auto Tone in Lightroom generally does an awful job as it does far more by adjusting brightness and recovery as well as exposure. It usually changes the picture dramatically for the worse. Strange really as in PS is actually also called Auto Tone!

What about it Adobe? Auto Levels/ Auto Tone along the lines of Photoshop?
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John Kemp

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Posted 9 years ago

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Lee Jay

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We'd need to have levels first, and since auto-levels is done on a per-channel bases, we'd have to have it by channel. Since all we have is a combined tone curve, more work would have to be done first.
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John, for the time being you could create a preset that only performs an auto-exposure and auto-blacks. You do that by creating a normal preset for "auto tone" and then editing the text file for the preset to remove auto recovery etc.

Victoria Bampton's "Missing FAQ" describes the workaround in detail.
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Rob Cole

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This only works in legacy process versions (not PV2012).
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John Kemp

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Hi TK for the tip. I have Victoria's book but I couldn't get it to work any better (i.e. rubbish) than Auto Tone.
Have you had any luck here? If so can you send me the txt file?

Left before. Right after auto tone. Ughh
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John Kemp

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As the highllight end of the graph was not up to the end I was hoping that Auto Tone would have brightened up the highlights, but No - it went the other way.
Photoshop would have sorted this out with Auto levels
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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John, if you want to drop the raw file and your 2 JPEGs on my server, I'll take a look and see if I can replicate the problem you're seeing. username webupload, password 123