May you both take a look to this crazy proposal and let me know your toughs, specially if it is clear enough:
Module: Exposures zone.
Adjust the luminosity in an image per zones making it possible to get multiple expositions at the same time. The result would be as if the processed photo would had been shot with multiple lights or as a HDR made with various images. This module would allow to easily create HDR images with a single RAW photo, and would be particularly useful with landscapes because there is no chance to use additional lights. In portraits, it would let to use less lights or to simple correct undesirable shadows.
Old process to replace: Currently, when the light (exposition) of a zone in an image has to be adjusted, it is necessary to create a mask to cover such zone, define its border to have a smooth transition and to apply the light adjustments (one for the whites and a second for the blacks). This process is time consuming because everything must be done for each zone, it requires good skills to manage the masks and better ones to apply the adjustments. It also produces unexpected results when additional effects are added to the picture, when the zones overlap or their transitions are not well made.
New process: The steps to adjust an image with the Exposures Zone would be: (Please compare this with the old one and its results).
- Exposure Zones.
- Denoise (Optional).
- White balance. (Optional)
- Colour adjustment.
How it works:
First. Divides the image lightness from dark to light and shows how each division covers a zone in the image (as the Zone System does).
Second. Provides the controls to adjust the blacks and whites for each division.
Currently the histogram allows to adjust the blacks and whites for the hole picture and the Exposure Zones tool would make the same but on each division, giving the chance to make a zone lighter or darker that those around it.
Design: The shape may be as the Color Zones, showing in the background the histogram of the whites (the line made by the higher white value of each division) on top and the histogram of blacks in the bottom (the line made by the lower dark value of each division).
To adjust the whites and blacks, there would be two curves, one on top to increase or decrease the white values of each division and a second curve in the bottom to do the same with the blacks. There may be a colour picker to show what division we want to adjust.
Current examples in the market:
Capture One.- Luma Curve but it only adjusts the middle tone of each zone/division.
ACDSee Pro.- Light EQ provides full adjustment but by equalizer buttons and two curves badly implemented.