Which ad­just ments to use

We’ve got an im­age that lacks con­trast and depth, so what’s the best way to fix it?

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Ex­po­sure Com­pen­sa­tion

01It’s im­por­tant to make sure the shad­ows (left side) or hig-high­lights (right side) aren’t ‘Clipped’, and the Ex­po­sure Com­pen­sa­tion slider is the best tool to use for this. It uses the ex­tra dy­namic range of the RAW file to al­low a +1 or -1 ex­po­sure shift in ei­ther di­rec­tion.

Tone and Tone De­tail

02We could now use Cap­ture NX-D’s Tone panel to im­prove the im­age, but the ad­just­ments it makes are quite crude. Look what hap­pens to the his­togram if we re­duce the bright­ness and in­crease the con­trast – it’s be­ing clipped at both ends of the scale.

Lev­els and Curves

03It’s much bet­ter to use the Lev­els & Curves panel to ad­just the bright­ness and con­trast. Drag­ging the bot­tom of the curve down­wards and the top up­wards to cre­ate an ’S-shaped’ curve that sim­ply com­presses the shadow and high­light tones rather than clip­ping them.

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