Simplifying the Tone Curve

Lightroom’s tone curve is one of those tools that is often looked over, especially with beginners. This video will explain everything you need to know to get started using this powerful tool.

In this video, Lucy Martin does an excellent job of taking the complication out of understanding the tone curve. Starting with a simple black-to-white gradient, she walks you through how adjusting each point of the curve effects an image. The visual explanation of using only blacks and whites make it easy to understand precisely what is happening when you adjust a point on the curve.

From there she opens up an actual image and explains how you can use the tone curve to improve an image. Starting with the basics, she creates a common S-curve to add contrast and shows the effects that has on the image. She goes on to detail the steps to take with the curve to create a classic faded film look. At the end of her video, she also teaches how you can use the tone curves of different color channels. This allows you to accurately control the colors in the highlights and shadows to give your image a unique look.

This video is short, but it gets to the point and explains the tone curve well. If you have been hesitant to use the tone curve and need a simple guide on how to get started with it, this is an excellent video to watch.

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4 Comments

Anonymous's picture

Nice. Thank you.

vladimir romo's picture

excellent, thank you !!!

Excellent presentation on using Lightroom’s tone curve with the point curve option selected but this could be confusing if you are in Lightroom Classic CC looking for the point curve but find instead a curve you can drag to adjust regions of tone or sliders to move the curve but you can’t set points on the curve without first clicking the icon in the lower right corner of the Tone Curve panel to switch to the point curve.

thank's post nice