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Comparing Histogram Areas Affected by LR4 vs. LR3 Sliders

With the release of Lightroom 4 Beta (LR4b), Adobe introduced a new process called Process Version 2012 (PV2012). There seems to be significant improvement in the quality of the final image as Adobe claims “to extract all of the dynamic range in a single capture”.

This new process comes with some major changes to our Develop workflow… the “Tone” sliders in Develop’s  “Basic” panel have changed from LR3’s (PV2010):
–    a new “Highlights” slider was added
–    some sliders have different names BUT SIMILAR functions !
–    one slider “Exposure” has same name BUT CHANGED function !
–    only one slider “Black” has same name AND SIMILAR functions!
We have a lot to observe, learn and adapt to with this new process – this will come with time and experience.

Histogram Observation
I observed an interesting relationship with the sliders in LR4’s (PV2012) vs, the sliders in LR3’s (PV2010) with regard to the areas they affect on the “Histogram”. See the chart inset below.

> Blacks

Same Area /
Same Name

> Whites

Same Area /
name changed

> Fill Light
> Shadows 

Same Area /
name changed

> Highlights

New to LR4

> Exposure
> Exposure

Same Name / Different Area

> Exposure
> Exposure +

Same Area…
BUT more?

Not sure what these all mean – stay tuned!  It is an observation that will hopefully lead to a discussion that will help our understanding as we learn and adapt to this new PV2012.

Another Caveat!
Did I mention that Adobe has added an adaptive /content aware function to the Shadow, Highlight and Clarity sliders? This means the slider’s effect will be different depending on the data being sampled! – Oh my!

Until the next time, I’d love to hear your comments and personal observations.

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  1. Hank
    January 30th, 2012 at 08:49 | #1

    That seems to be the disconnect!

    According to Schewe on LuLa (http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=61529.20)
    “So…the biggest problem you are probably having is trying to take PV 2010 experience and knowledge and trying to apply that to PV 2012. That’s the disconnect…the new controls are different…REALLY different. So, you would be better off taking to PV 2012 controls as a whole new thing…look carefully at the order from top to bottom…there’s a reason why they are in the order they are in. It’s because Thomas Knoll thought the current order is the optimal order.”

    The hurdle maybe the greatest for those most familiar with 2010, since they try to bring their 2010 experience to the party, whereas, a NEW LR user will just enjoy the ease of use of 2012.


    Bob DiNatale Reply:


    I couldn’t agree more. For those who understood the difference between “Exposure” vs. “Brightness” and have built up a large block of experience with the older (LR3 PV2010) sliders will have the biggest adjustment. At this point in my LR4 processing experience, the change in “Exposure” slider has been the biggest challenge for me.

    Ultimately however, we should be reacting to the images on the screen and not the numbers on a slider.


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