An interesting approach to Local Adjustments

I found this video and thought it was an interesting way to deal with the mask display issues that are being discussed.


Well, he used (only showed) the colored mask(s) for the selection, whose overlay(s) need to be off for editing. – With less clearly ‘separated’ colors / luminosity range(s) one might make use of the classical B&W mask.

The probably new thing is in this video

(can’t check at the moment)


It’s always the same problem, In my view.
We rush to Local Adjustment BEFORE we’ve worked on the image as a whole.
PhotoLab has been designed to define a balanced image.
I’m afraid that too much LA, too fast, is detrimental to quality.
These advice never seems to be given.



What a clear and straighforward presentation of how LAs work now! I like his approach and rationale - though I also agree with what you’re saying, Pascal.

What most bothers me in PL7 (besides what he mentions in his second video) is that some of the mask adjustments can’t be viewed while you drag sliders: one must let go of the mouse button to have the adjustment to the mask applied. While I consider this a serious setback, the DxFlow video seems to demonstrate a certain amount of comfort with the new behavior, in that he doesn’t mention it at all.


This can easily happen, but we can still revisit the global adjustments for balancing.

My current setup for easier use is this:

Starting with my default preset which includes the tools that I use most (without having to use them on every image) and marking LA parts as favourites, I can then filter the tools to get a fairly lean view (after collapsing all).

I begin with GA, then set the filter for favourites to focus on LA. I could also create a custom palette for the GAs, but filtering is easier because it all happens in the same place at the uper edge of the right dock. I’m still experimenting though and might return to custom palettes because I can sort them as I like, which better serves my editing procedure.

Of course, we know that.
Listeners who want to rush to the LA are never properly oriented.

It’s not practical to hold everyone’s hand.

I don’t like the term “nanny state” which is used to (somewhat reductively) describe a government’s tendency to control every aspect of people’s lives, but I see a similar undercurrent in the forums lately. I guess it happens after any new release with fundamentally new ways of working.

Would it be wonderful if every aspect of the software was obvious, intuitive, and simple? Sure it would! But expecting as much is a fool’s errand, I fear. Lest anyone think PhotoLab is obscure in its ways, I wouldn’t wish on anyone some of the enterprise software I have been exposed to in my job.

Software with complexity, which includes PhotoLab, can only meet these lofty goals with the employment of one or more experts in the field of human interface design. The reality is most companies simply don’t want the cost. The phrase “when good enough will do” is one that springs to mind.

Should we push DxO to improve in this area? Maybe, but evidence so far shows it’s not somewhere they want to spend significant budget, and that doesn’t mark them out as different from the competition.

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If PhotoLab is complex, it has had some success to hide that fact and make it easy to use. I find that some of that ease-of-use and simplicity of interface was at least partially lost by

  • reducing contrast in the ui
  • tool panels containing tools that deserve separation
  • showing features that cannot be used
  • convoluted operations in LA

All of the above is not the result of expert knowledge, but sometimes, common sense can be good enough. I really wish that DxO dropped some of its one-way marketing/selling energy and got more active in interacting (here) and refurbishing common sense in their software ui/ux implementations.


I don’t think pl7 needs a fundamentally new way of working.
Lot of noise for little changes.
PL7 needs some little ergonomics adjustments (I hope they wil be done fast) but it is about the same as PL6 (same way of working).

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Coming back to what the presenter showed in his second video …

one has to be in the → “mask edit mode”

LA in PL7

like → in PL6

LA in PL6

when → to instantly compare without local adjustments
Screen Shot 11-16-23 at 12.19 PM


BUT again it shows some of the problems with the PL7 GUI.

  • scrolling down the list
    the LA header as well the [still fixed size] layer’s box slip out ouf sight

  • while there is no more indication in the top bar about an active “mask edit mode”

  • really annoying when moving to another pic … and the “mask edit mode” still active