Rod Lawton explains how to improve tones and contrast in Capture NX-D
Diagnose exposure problems and improve the dynamic range of your images using Nikon Capture NX-D
file contains more image data than you actually see. In particular, the RAW file may contain additional shadow and highlight detail which you can bring out to improve the tonal range of your pictures.
You can access this using the EV Compensation menu in the Edit panel. Our sample shot, above, was underexposed, but an adjustment of +1EV has increased the brightness, and the detail in the darker areas, so our Levels and Curves adjustments have got a better image to work on.
Levels, Curves and EV Compensation can all blur into a confusing set of alternatives, but there is a logical workflow. EV Compensation, if it’s necessary, should be the first step.
Next, use the Levels & Curves dialog to check the histogram. If there’s any ‘dead’ space either side of the histogram, you can drag the edges of the box inwards so that the histogram fills the space. This is a Levels adjustment, which is step two.
Step three is Curves adjustments. These aren’t always necessary, but they can improve the look of the picture in certain cases. You change the shape of the curve using ‘control points’. Our annotation, above and right, shows you how it’s done, while our step-by-step guide, bottomright, gives you more examples.