Simple Tonal Scale Method that works well

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New Member
Nov 18, 2020
Lightroom Version
Operating System
  1. Windows 10
There is a quick and very precise way to start the adjustment of tonal scale in Lightroom, but I believe it will work in a similar way in any image editing software such as Capture One aso.
  • After having chosen a profile and a white balance for a newly imported image you make a very tight crop of the most essential part of the image. (That in itself is quite a good thing to do, to really recognize what is the most important part of the picture!). Quite often this is a face and with which this method normally works very well.

  • Just press the ”auto tone” button and after that

  • Restore the cropping to what it should be. In more than 90% of the cases it is spot on, maybe just a small adjustment of the exposure slider is needed.
Local adjustment can follow, but in general tones are now very good, much better than just applying the regular auto tone to the whole image.

The idea behind is to adjust the tonal scale of the most important area of the image to the optimum and let the rest just follow. It can be locally adjusted afterwards but the essential part is now very well made.

This is a kind of “spot-meter-auto tone-function” which I wish Adobe and other software developers should introduce as a function in their products (Lightroom, ACR, Photoshop). Why not add a second auto tone button with selection of meter area similar to the one of the radial filter? The algoritm already exists within the current full image auto tone function.

Would love to see comments and more experience with this.

Hopefully someone from Adobe will read.

Best regards//Stefan Nilsson
Jul 2, 2015
Lightroom Experience
Power User
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