5 Replies Latest reply on Feb 16, 2013 1:31 PM by Todd Shaner

    "Exposure" slider in LR 4 - refuses to clip?

    Andrey Tarasevich Level 1

      I have just recerntly started using LR4 after being a CameraRaw user in PS CS2 for several years. So, natuarally I tried to reproduce my basic CR workflow in LR4. And the first thing I noticed is the seemingly strange behavior of "Exposure" slider in LR4. I describe it below.


      My basic workflow in CR usually began with "Exposure" adjustment on a Canon RAW file from EOS 5D. I would enable the clipping indicators and move the "Exposure" slider to the right until somethiing started to clip. How much clipping I'd allow (if any) depended on the nature of the photograph, the importance of the detail being clippet etc. In other words, I would set the maximum exposure that would still keep highlight clipping in good control. Afterwards, I would clip shadows and proceed to Tone Curve adjustments. A typical Tone Curve in my case would be a classic gently "S" shape for contrast with elevated midtones. This is actually a noteworthy detail: in most of my "average" pictures the exposure+shadow adjustments would result in a "dark" image that woudl have to be brightened by lifting up the mid-tones.


      Now, I'm trying to do the same in LR4. (BTW, I disabled any "auto" adjustments on import in settings). So, I begin by enabling clipping indicatiors and moving "Exposure" slider to the right. The image gets progressively lighter, but no "red" areas (clipping) appear in the preview. I move it even furter to the right, but the image still does not clip. The preview begins to look drowned in white. I continue to increase "Exposure" and finally get it to the point when it begins to show red clipped areas in the preview. I back up the slider a bit to avoid clipping. At this point the picture shows no clipping, but it does appear severely overexposed. The deatils in the hightlights are unperceptible or almost unperceptible. Now, if I decide to proceed with my regular workflow from that point, I'd have to actually pull my Tone Curve down to reduce the brightness, especially in highlights. I.e. instead of brightening the mid-tones (as I did in CR), I have to darken them. However, recovering most highlight areas seems to be virtually impossible, since they seem to be compressed into a very narrow range at the top.


      So, cau anyone please tell me what is going on here? It appears to me that "Exposure" slider in LS4 actually works [almost] like "Brightness" slider: it compresses the highlights, instead of allowing them to clip. Is that the case? Or am I missing something? If so, then how can I get the classic multiplicaive exposure adjustment in LR4 than leaves all clipping decisions to me?