Any tips on using the Spot Weighted tool?

I’ve found that Spot Weighted (as the Smart Lighting method) can be of general use - not only for images containing people.

The trick, tho, is in finding the best spot to place the spot-weighted-detection-square (for want of a better name for it!) … I’ve been experimenting quite a bit - but I find it’s a hit-and-miss process !

I was wondering if anyone has worked out some effective rule-of-thumb approaches ?

  • eg. Is it best to place the square in brighter or darker areas?
  • and in what conditions is it best to use multiple squares?
  • etc.

John M

i am farly new at DxO and there methode’s

With my other program i used three different steps.

  • if nearly good but some shadow/highlight then just burn/dodge and highlighttool. To expand the dynamic range of the image and with blacklevel and contrast balance finishing.
  • rather under exposed, auto Exposure correction for idea of right exposure, and after that fiddle with dodge and exposure correction.
  • rather over exposed: use ETTR (white)eyedropper to lower exposure to that point and raise shadow and use burn to gain some general exposurelevel back.

So now DxO:
exposure correction: use this not often only for tweaking after using SLM.

  • highlight spots overexposed: boxing to lower exposure.
  • shadows and closed area’s boxing to raise shadow. (flattens image.)
    sort of burn and dodge.
  • then if key subjects are out of this placed boxes again box them/that. most of the time it effects the outer parts in shadow or highlight.
    It is some fiddling with form and size of the boxes and some replacement to get it right.

That’s why i would like to have a tonecurve inside the histogram to see what my boxing does on exposure and contrast at the same time. And if there is a point running acros the 0-255 line which is connected to the hand for examening area’s there exposurelevel i would be totally happy.

Yes - That’s what I’m finding too … Lots of trial-and-error.
Thanks for your response.

What is “SLM” ?

SmartLightingMethod :wink:
sometimes i just activate auto exposure correction to see if dxo thinks it should be different.
if it does i manual correct the slider as close to ETTR as possible

I was chewing on this and reading some post entries a lot of postrequest are traced back to understanding how things get the most out something. ok most are mine :yum:

And a lot of things we want to add as feature is because we are used to something from the “past” in a other application or missing in our flow of hand /mind.

about signals of the app what is done, status, visibelisation of influence. Masking)
There are a lot of webinairs and tutorials outthere but non of them are linked/ connected to the tool you want to ask ,learn something.
You always have to search for the clip where your question is answered by skipping stuff you not interested in yet. or the tutorial is just basic. don’t get me wrong there is alot of learninginfo out there but finding that what you looking for is the problem.

i was thinking if you linked the ? button bij the tools on a “how to use the tool in which way” by tekst , (link to the specific manualpage )and youtube clip. and go fairly deep in the working of that tool. with some examples. it would be a lot easier to master all those great tools in a goodway. now the ? is a summier explanation and the web manual, webinairs and such are a general link to the place you can search for what you want to know.
by directly link to the page you search for its fare more easy to get the info you need in a instance.
And if you understand the working of a tool you can start combining tools to adjust more specific problems.

what do you think?

Hi OXi - - I am being a pédant here, but … there are 2 Smart Lighting methods: Uniform & Spot Weighted. :sunglasses:

Do you mean the Exposure Compensation tool ?
If so, which correction type do you consider to be “automatic” ?


Yes, your suggested approach is ideal - but, there doesn’t seem to be much out there (on YouTube, etc) regarding tips on the newer features of PL. I was hoping that some of the more creative/knowledgeable readers of this forum might be willing & able to share their findings … Thank you for your input.


Hum! I sent you a private message John :wink:

Yes that is the one i ment.

As mentioned somewhere if Spot Weighted don’t detect any faces it operates as Uniform so you get both for one setting if you select Spot Weighted in you preset. (That’s what i did.) in mode slight. 25%, this should be acting the same as exposure compensation in highligh priority -slight modes but better because of auto highlight/shadow correction. (uniform mode i mean.) (Exposure comp is jumping the notch much often to -EV and darken the image too much.)

Well, if you activate the tool it is acting on the correction mode like “Highlight Priority - Slight”
and as Benoit Staff dxo mentioned:

Citaat• does auto exposure compensation influence Smart Lighting and/or vise versa? –> no, they are independent.
Will this exposure compensation tool shift its notch if it is finding this suitable.
and because this is not spot-location but acting over hole image can it be helping to see if exposure by the Smart Lighting boxes is balanced or not.

smart lighting behaves independently from exposure setting, and we advise using smart lighting only, as it already includes a mechanism aiming at using whole dynamic range. If you use exposure in center weighted average mode, it should adjust exposure so that the center of the picture is well exposed.
Center weighted average mode and portret (face in the middle of the image) should be reacting the same as one box by recognised face in Spotweighted i think.

So i use EC only to see if it moves its notch and how the image looks like when it does.
Then i deactivate again and fiddle with the SL boxes and intensity slider to adjust some more. (optional using toneselective and contrast and EC manual adjustment for getting best possible exposure overal.)

In mij old application i lowered the exposure about 1/3-1/2 and raise the shadow and lowered highlights in one go(dodge/burn). shadow noise was repairable but blown highlight less so i under exposed in camera (compactsensor) already 1/3 on default. Now i use the idynamic feature of my G80, this is lowering exposure in 1/3 or 2/3 or max 1EV to avoid blown highlight as much as possible if needed and if not it is idle (not working).

well DxO does have there enthousiast users which are pro’s and they already made some of those youtube tutorials and a interactive manual is not that difficult, just a link to the chapter is enough.
This should be easy to build in the interface under a “?” icon

me too :slight_smile:

your welcome, and i am not offended by the fact i am not in the sector of the knowledgeable people. :slight_smile: learning by practice and talking about which way to improve is still my place so i hope they show up and teach us/me.


OK - Good tip … Thanks !

An other rule of thumb i use is keep adjustment in lowering highlights the same in tone as in contrast,
highlights tone -20? then highlights contrast also -20. (this helps to get it smoother)

And if i go over 20 lets say -40? then 1/2 or 1/4 that number in midtones on tone and contrast.
To keep a smooth contrast and exposure. (keep an eye on the histogram and the color in highlight)

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