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