The Light tool contains the most essential controls for adjusting the color and tone of an image. Adjustments made with this tool will set the stage for all further adjustments.
White Balance. To calculate a custom white balance, choose the Eyedropper tool (to the right of the White Balance drop-down menu) and click on an area in your image that should be white or neutral gray. If you are working with a raw file, you can use the White Balance drop-down menu to choose from a variety of presets that are similar to those found in a camera’s white balance menu.
Profile. For maximum control over your raw files, be sure to give DNG camera profiles a try. Luminar recognizes the industry standard DCP files that you may already have on your computer (or have bought from third parties). These offer a high degree of control over how the color and tone is handled in a raw file. Need a bunch of free DCP profiles? Install the free DNG Converter from Adobe.
Temperature. This slider warms or cools an image by adding Cyan or Yellow to change its color temperature.
Tint. This slider adjusts the amount of green or magenta and is useful for removing color casts from an image.
Exposure. This slider adjusts the global luminance of the image. Moving it to the left results in a darker image (reduced exposure value). Moving it to the right results in a brighter image (increased exposure value).
Smart Contrast. This slider adjusts the contrast of the image. Contrast refers to differences in luminance or color that allow you to distinguish objects in an image from one another. Practically speaking, contrast is determined by the difference in the color and brightness of an object relative to other objects within the same field of view. The smart capabilities of this slider limit shift in color and prevent details from becoming blocked up.
Highlights. This slider adjusts the brightness of the brightest areas of the image. Moving it to the right causes already bright areas to become brighter, while moving it to the left makes them darker.
Shadows. This slider adjusts the brightness of the darkest areas of the image. Moving it to the right causes the darkest areas to become brighter, revealing additional details. Moving it to the left makes such areas darker.
Blacks & Whites
Whites. This slider adjusts the white point of the histogram and white tones in the image. When you move it to the right, the brightest tones become brighter while the histogram compresses to the right. Moving it to the left causes the white tones in the image to become darker as the histogram compresses to the left.
Blacks. This slider sets the black point of the histogram and adjusts the black tones in the image. Moving it to the right makes the black tones brighter as the histogram compresses to the right. Moving it to the left makes the black tones darker as the histogram compresses to the left.
This is one of the most powerful tools for adjusting your image’s tone. It allows you to brighten, darken, add contrast, and shift colors. Curves can be applied to all color channels together or to each color channel individually and can help you manually fine-tune the brightness and contrast of an image.
- Color selectors. You can use the white, red, green, and blue color selectors to make curve adjustments to all channels equally or to an individual channel (such as blue to emphasize the sky).
- Control points. You can add up to 10 control points. Drag up to add contrast to an area and drag down to lighten the area. Multiple control points can be employed for contrast adjustments based on tonal range.
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