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This chapter is from the book

Lighting

These Quick Fixes concentrate on adjusting the overall lightness of each image. You're presented with different tools for fixing different problems; you can adjust highlights, the image's brightest areas; shadows, the image's darkest areas; or midtones, the areas that are in between. With the Lighting Quick Fixes, you can choose to work with one of these or all three at the same time.

Light and Shadows

The Quick Fixes found in the Lighting category are the same commands you'll find in the Enhance menu's Adjust Lighting submenu: Levels, Brightness/Contrast, and Shadows/Highlights. These three tools attempt to accomplish the same thing in three different ways.

  • Levels remaps the darkest pixel in the image to true black and the lightest one to true white, spreading out all the ones in between. It can affect the picture's overall color, so it's useful primarily when the image has a color cast.
  • Contrast does the same thing, only without affecting color. Use it when the picture's color is just the way you want it, but you want to bump up the contrast between light and dark areas.
  • Shadows/Highlights controls enable you to adjust a photo's highlights, shadows, or midtones independently of each other. Lighten Shadows pulls more detail out of shadowed areas but leaves solid black areas alone; Darken Highlights adds more depth to bright areas but leaves solid white areas alone. Drag the Midtone Contrast slider to reduce or increase the contrast in medium areas.
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