I'm lost: contrast

Art 1.21.1 on Leap 15.5

I need contrast, but there are so many and I’m lost

  • tone curve
  • kind of log tone mapping
  • lab adjustment
  • local contrast
  • simulations/sigmoid

How do I choose?


I prefer a simple workflow so that is what I usually do:

1.0 In Color tab, Color Management select custom and choose Flat Adobe profile for my camera. Select all 4 items below it

1.1 Alternatively use Auto-matched camera profile and then select Auto-Matched Tone Curve in Exposure tab, Tone Curves

The above usually gives me a good starting point. If dynamic range is too high I can

2.0 Use Tone Equalizer to bump shadows or bring down highlights

2.1 Alternatively use Dynamic Range Compression

For local details:

3.0 Capture Sharpening (Details tab)

4.0 Local Contrast (Local Editing tab).

For extra pop

5.0 Soft Light in Special Effects

6.0 Haze Removal for super pop if needed

Hope this helps

What have you been doing until now, and what are you unhappy with? I’d start from there…


I’m not happy because the grass is always greener on the other side. I’m somewhat happy with the processing but I feel that my images comes out flat. They need more contrast.

It started because I’m processing about 20+ images. They are to be displayed as 1 gallery. The look should be similar, just the subjects (dogs) change.

So I’m trying to figure out. Contrast vs exposure. But both are on a whole bunch of modules that behave differently and this affects the contrast.

In end, when it comes to this 1 gallery, I’d like to make a base preset and then fine-tune it for each image.


I’ll try your “base” this afternoon.


I would use the Tone Equalizer together with the Contrast slider in Tone Curves. With this combination I can get nearly always the (my) desired results.

Use a profile here to process your other dog shots. Edit one photo with the above named tools. Once satisfied, say Copy profile (in multi tab mode you’ll see that on top, on the right). Go to the Navigator, select you other dog files, right-click and say Paste profile. Then hit Ctrl+B to send them to the processing queue and click in the Processing window on Start.


FWIW, sometimes I’ll use the Shadow, Mid and Highlights sliders in the (Local edits) Color/Tone Correction tool to control contrast. That also allows me to mask the effect, for further control.

Actually the Color/Tone correction tool does not work in my case!

It took me while to figure out that it doesn’t work because I have the images converted to black & white.

It still works. I tried it with a full color raw file, a color raw file with the B&W tool enabled, a monochrome jpg and a true greyscale jpg. The shadow, mid and highlight sliders work in all cases.

It may not be the tool you want to use, but it works.

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You are right. I just tried the slider, they work.

I’ve never tried the sliders before because I only tried the color wheel which has no effect, so I never tried the sliders.

I tried: raw → b&w → color/tone correction