Lightroom: Basic - making the sliders more "custom"

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  • Updated 6 years ago
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You know how in Lightroom, in the Develop module, in the Basic panel, you can press ALT when you click on a slider to see a "mask" representation of the image to be sure you're not pushing pixels too far? Well, my "idea" is based on mixing this concept with the handles at the bottom of the curve histogram (where you fine tune what parts of the histogram are represented by dark, shadow, light, and white). Here's what I'd like to see: a shortcut key similar to ALT that when pressed allows me to see a mask representation of the image - but only those pixels I will actually be affecting with that slider. Then, if for example, I feel that the black slider is adjusting too much of the image, I should be able to adjust a slider on the Histogram to lessen the amount of the image that this slider is adjusting.
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Nadler369

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Posted 6 years ago

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Dorin Nicolaescu-Musteață, Champion

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handles at the bottom of the curve histogram

Those are called "split control sliders".

I did't quite understand: do you want to the mask to be generated when you drag the spit sliders or one of the four adjustment sliders (Highlights, Lights, Darks, Shadows) below the curve?
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Nadler369

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Not exactly. What I'm saying is that I want the same control that I have on the split sliders on the curves histogram but on the basic panel. The mask I mentioned (in quotes because it's visual only) is to show me which parts of the image each Basic slider is effecting, so I can then use the proposed sliders on the histogram to fine-tune how much of the image that slider actually effects.

As an example, if you have a single dark area of shadow but a lot of shadow area, you may only want to lighten that single dark area and not the entire "lighter" shadow area. By having sliders to fine tune this you could potentially isolate this area and then use the Black slider to lighten it while not really effecting the rest of the image.
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Dorin Nicolaescu-Musteață, Champion

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OK, I think I understand. You want control what tonal range each basic slider affects? Right?

To ”control the control”, sort of... :)

In this case, each of basic sliders (or at least 5 of them) must have at least one additional slider for that.

Wouldn't it be better/simpler and more intuitive to just have more tonal sliders, say 7-9, each for a narrower tonal range, that all together acting like an equalizer in a music player? no need for range constrol, because each slider's range is already narrow enough.
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Nadler369

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I think we're on the same track now. My thought was this - since you can essentually activate the basic sliders by clicking and dragging on the histogram, what if those areas of the histogram were adjustable by increasing or decreasing them with adjustable tabs. I felt having the mask would help the user see the fine-tuning. I think putting the mask idea first just confused the proposal.
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Rob Cole

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Not sure the best solution, but I understand the problem: sometimes the ranges of tones affected by highlights or shadows sliders is so narrow (and the other wide) that its hard to adjust the photo.

|> "Wouldn't it be better/simpler and more intuitive to just have more tonal sliders, say 7-9, each for a narrower tonal range, that all together acting like an equalizer in a music player? no need for range constrol, because each slider's range is already narrow enough."

Like ACDSee? ;-}

Workarounds for the mean time:

1. Adjust exposure way up (or down) until the sliders are more usable. Use tone curve to compensate (or just lower (or raise) exposure again when done).

2. Click AutoTone, then adjust exposure (and maybe blacks).

Rob
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Nadler369

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Rob - never used ACDSee, so I don't really grasp the comparison. The only challenege with a workaround (and I've used something similar to your suggestion) is that sometimes the tonal range I'm trying to adjust isn't narrow enough and I end up struggling to get one part of that tonal range correct while leaving the other part alone. It would be much easier if I could just narrow the range manually.

I was having trouble with a batch of images because sometimes the darkest part of a properly exposed image is only in the middle of the histogram. Why should I lose controls for half of the tonal range? If I could adjust the controls so that the black slider could start with the darkest part of the image, it would make all the sliders more effective.
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Rob Cole

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Hi Nadler369,

|> "never used ACDSee, so I don't really grasp the comparison"

Dorin has - the comment was aimed at him. But I recommend trying it - I wouldn't recommend replacing Lightroom with it, but the implementation of the "graphic equalizer" is very easy to describe and use - does not need adaptive range assignment, since there are enough sliders to go around...

These forums can be frustrating because supposedly you are aiming your feature request at Adobe, yet users are the ones who mostly respond. I've already written reams about the challenges of using PV2012 so I shan't go it again, except to say: I understand the trouble. Workarounds are all I've got... - sorry.

Rob