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P: Exposure Selection Tool

Explorer ,
Jun 30, 2022 Jun 30, 2022

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Would it be possible to add an "Exposure Selector Tool" picker that would be similar to the "White Balance Selector" tool?  It would be cool to have that to be able to quickly see how the image changes based on what it hovers over in the Navigator preview box.  Thank you!

 

LrC v. 11.4

Windows 10

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19 Comments
LEGEND ,
Jun 30, 2022 Jun 30, 2022

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Do you mean like at different F stops? What would be the advantage of that over simply adjusting the exposure slider?

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Explorer ,
Jun 30, 2022 Jun 30, 2022

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For instance: If you hover the picker over a highlight, it would show (+ click to set) you how much darker the image will be when you prioritize that particular highlight; and vice versa when you select a dark area.

 

I think it would be helpful as perceived brightness can be thrown off by certain colors and those surrounding them.

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LEGEND ,
Jun 30, 2022 Jun 30, 2022

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I suppose the idea has some merit. However, with the versatility of the different brushes (sky replacement, radial filter, etc.) I question whether I would personally use such a feature very often. But that's just me thinking about my own workflow.

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Community Expert ,
Jun 30, 2022 Jun 30, 2022

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I'm not sure how this tool is supposed to work. Sure, if I hover over the brightest pixels in the image, Lightroom could show me what the image would look like if those pixels are set to white. Same for the darkest pixels when set to black. But what is Lightroom supposed to do if I hover over any other part of the image? And how is this different from simply moving the Exposure slider yourself and see what that does?

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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LEGEND ,
Jun 30, 2022 Jun 30, 2022

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I don't think such a tool would really be that effective because there would always be some part of the image that would need tweaking. That's why we have the ability to add the different filters and brushes. The sensor in the camera doesn't have the ability to adapt like the eye and the brain does and compensate. I doubt I would use such a feature much at all.

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Explorer ,
Jun 30, 2022 Jun 30, 2022

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Maybe I need to clarify. An exposure selection tool could be used to set (or prioritze) the exposure based on a subject in the image as opposed to adjusting the Exposure slider back and forth until it "looks good" (same as when you use the White Balance sliders). 

 

In theory, color contrast affects the perceived brightness of those colors. So essentially, I'm thinking that an exposure selection tool would ignore a subject's color and would base the image's exposure on the brightness (or darkness) of the subject picked.

 

(refer to the samples below)

 

images.jpgitten_presentation_13100722.jpg

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Explorer ,
Jun 30, 2022 Jun 30, 2022

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Or maybe call it or have it be akin to a "spot meter" tool.

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Community Expert ,
Jun 30, 2022 Jun 30, 2022

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I'm still not sure what this tool would do. How is Lightroom supposed to know what the brightness of a certain object should be? Would it be an 18% grey picker?

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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Explorer ,
Jul 01, 2022 Jul 01, 2022

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Sure, it could work that way as well.

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Community Expert ,
Jul 01, 2022 Jul 01, 2022

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What do you mean with 'as well'? I can only see it work this one way, not any other way because Lightroom doesn't know how bright a pixel is supposed to be. You haven't explained how it would work any other way.

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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Explorer ,
Jul 01, 2022 Jul 01, 2022

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@JohanElzenga Correct, yes, an "18% grey picker."

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LEGEND ,
Jul 01, 2022 Jul 01, 2022

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quote

Maybe I need to clarify. An exposure selection tool could be used to set (or prioritze) the exposure based on a subject in the image as opposed to adjusting the Exposure slider back and forth until it "looks good" (same as when you use the White Balance sliders). 

By @tonyc0101

 

It is important to recognize that nothing in the product can affect exposure, that only takes place at capture. You can alter the brightness of some or all of the image and many tools exist to do so. 

You want some area or all the image brightness to look good, there are tools (even one incorrectly called "exposure') to do so until it 'looks good'. There are selective controls too. 

You can only actually prioritize exposure when you set aperture and shutter when you make an image capture, nowhere else. 

Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management/pluralsight"

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Advocate ,
Jul 01, 2022 Jul 01, 2022

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@tonyc0101  so, just to be clear, with this tool if one clicks on a black or white area on the photo then Lr automatically adjusts/changes exposure so the entire spectrum of pixels or just the blacks/white pixles?

 

.

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Explorer ,
Jul 01, 2022 Jul 01, 2022

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@TheDigitalDog Wouldn't that be untrue as there actually is an Exposure slider in Lightroom that does exactly that? lol

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Explorer ,
Jul 01, 2022 Jul 01, 2022

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@C.Cella As I'm imagining it, you could hover over any part of an image whether it's black, white, or any color, and it would show you the (18% grey) exposure of the whole image based on that subject that you're hovering over.

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LEGEND ,
Jul 01, 2022 Jul 01, 2022

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The slider called "exposure" has absolutely nothing to do with exposure. It has everything to do with brightness. Again, despite the name, exposure only takes place at capture and is the sole attribute of how much light (photons) strikes the sensor. 

And again, there are many tools to globally or selectively alter the brightness of the captured image, and again, none that affect exposure. 

Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management/pluralsight"

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Advocate ,
Jul 01, 2022 Jul 01, 2022

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@tonyc0101 

Why would you do that?!

 

Let's say I have perfectly exposed my photo: nothing is clipped/lost the entire range of the scene is contained withing the range of the sensor

 

I can do whatever I want with that info.

 

If in my photo the shadows are too dark to my taste then I would just them and lift them and leave the rest as it is.

 

I really don't see the utility of what you suggest.

Changing the entire image with a single setting is the least desirable thing to do.

 

.

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Community Expert ,
Jul 02, 2022 Jul 02, 2022

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quote

As I'm imagining it, you could hover over any part of an image whether it's black, white, or any color, and it would show you the (18% grey) exposure of the whole image based on that subject that you're hovering over.


By @tonyc0101


Do you really understand what that means? It means that when you hover over a highlight, Lightroom will show you a grossly underexposed photo, representing what would have happened if you had exposed this image based on this highlight being 18% grey. If you hover over a deep shadow, the opposite happens. Lightroom will show you a completely overexposed photo, representing what would have happened if you had spot metered the shadow and exposed the image as if the shadow was 18% grey. You will only get a useful effect if you hover over an area that ought to be 18% grey, for the reason I already explained: Lightroom doesn't know what the brightness of other areas is supposed to be, so it can't compensate for that.

 

To use the analogy with the white balance picker: if you use that picker, you must click an area that ought to be neutral grey. You can't click the blue sky and then expect Lightroom to understand that this sky should not become grey as a result of that click, but some other shade of blue.

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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Community Expert ,
Jul 02, 2022 Jul 02, 2022

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LATEST

Andrew is correct. The real exposure is the amount of light that falls on the sensor. You can't change that in post production. The name 'Exposure' for this slider is a relic from the past. In Lightroom 1-3 this slider did mimic the effect of a change in exposure. If you moved it up, every pixel in the image would become brighter to the same extent, just like a change in exposure does. In Lightroom 4 this changed. The slider now mainly acts on the midtones in the image, as you can clearly see when you look at the histogram while you move it. So a better name would now have been 'Midtones', which would also be more inline with 'highlights' and 'shadows'. It should then also be placed among those sliders, not by its own (with Contrast) at the top.

 

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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