Matching Exposure Targets

May 27, 2009
Twin Cities, MN
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Painlessly matching a target such as an 18% gray card or an exposure assistance/color balancing device like a Munsell color chart or a Datacolor Spyder Cube™ can be done quickly within Lightroom.
To quickly set your exposure to a target in the Develop module:

1. Apply any camera profiles you may have created in the Camera Calibration Panel.
2. Adjust your image's white balance using your preferred method.
3. Click on the numeric value on the right side of the exposure slider as if enabling for a manual numerical input.
4. Move your mouse cursor over the exposure target to the value you are using as a guide.
5. The RGB values for your mouse cursor's location are now displayed in percentages below the histogram.
6. Use the "up" or "down" arrows on your keyboard to increment or decrement the exposure to your target RGB value. 5'% 5'% 5'% for "middle gray" The arrows will move the exposure up or down in increments of .1' stops. Shift+Arrow will move the exposure by .33 stops

I have produced a short video on quickly adjusting exposure in Lightroom using the SpyderCube using this method. The video can be found here.

This method of activating the manual input and then using the mouse cursor position as an RGB value input can be used in a variety of Lightroom adjustment situations.