Selective Tone / Highlights too "broad"

Dat bord is bedoeld voor diepladers om te voorkomen dat ze vast komen te zitten op de overweg. De weg naar de overweg loopt altijd iets op. Chauffeurs van diepladers hebben een boekje met daarin de specificatie van zo’n overweg.
Dus toch een Belg. Je mag het gerust bekennen :smile:.


I’ll check out your dop file Joanna, but you said about 5 minutes. The painful part for me is in LrC, just eyeballing the pictures people have posted, it’s probably 10 seconds of work. 30 seconds if I want to tweak a couple other knobs to taste. The speed of workflow was part of my issue above, even if technically similar adjustments can be made. The behavior of some of the sliders in PL tend to require more fiddling.

When I’ve got 300 pictures I’d like to get through in an evening, the difference starts to add up, though to be fair development settings can be pasted across similar images and a lot of images need minimal editing.

Like someone else mentioned, I disagree with your characterization of LrC’s highlight recovery. Maybe in some long-past version, but todays Lightroom doesn’t sound like that. It only has a poor output sometimes if the slider is pushed too far, -90 or beyond – though it’s image dependent. Often -100 doesn’t produce the gray mush you mention. Like if the sun is reflecting off my daughters blonde hair, -80 or -90 does an astounding job of reducing that while leaving almost everything else in the image alone. Pulling the same slider in PL will wreck most of the rest of the image.

I réalise the some people think that Lightroom’s “highlight recovery” is wonderful but, in the case of @Willy1’s file, anything “recovered” in the extreme highlights would have to be “manufactured” as certain parts of the image are over-exposed to the point of being blown-out - meaning that there is simply no detail to be recovered. See what I get with the over-exposure warnings in FastRawViewer…

In contrast, see my image, shot against the sun, as seen in FastRawViewer, with the over-exposure warnings on…

Because I got to know exactly where the over-exposure level of my sensor starts, I am able to place the exposure, in camera, to ensure that no highlights get blown. I would dare to repeat what I have said before - if you get it right in the camera, you won’t need Lr’s “highlight recovery”.

Although, even with a perfect exposure, there is one kind of highlight that can never be avoided - specular highlights. Here’s a zoomed in screenshot from FastRawViewer, of the same image…

As you can see, there are all sorts of “blown” highlights, but there isn’t much more you can expect from having direct reflections of the sun in any image.

I cannot emphasise too much how important it is to avoid any sort of over-exposure of highlights. There is no magic bullet - all LR’s highlight recovery does is invent something that some folks find acceptable.


I agree with Michael.
Highlights slider in LR does excelent job recovering highlights.
I hopo some day Photolab programers will figured this out and add the same slider in Photolab.
I have no idea what LR is doing and frankly I don’t care. It just works for me.
I was doing the same thing… recovering highlights in my girlfiends hair. LR can do it and Photolab can’t.

It looks to me that what Lightroom is doing is making up data. It brings the highlights down and replaces them with the nearest match next to the highlight area. One can do something similar with the repair tool while retaining control.

Since the replace with nearest neighbours functionality seems much beloved (Iridient Developer offers it too, C1 offers it but I’m not sure what it’s called), DxO could consider adding a button under the Tone Sliders (it should only be under highlights though) “Replace with nearest neighbour” which does the intelligent replacement.

Does someone who is more technical about their use of DxO PhotoLab know if Smart Lighting doesn’t do something similar?

Did my own testing. It turns out Smart Lighting already does something very similar to what all you Lightroom refugees are crying for. Here’s an image where the skies were blown but with the simple addition of Smart Lighting they are back.

The correction above is not a finished correction but rather an illustration of what Smart Lighting can do with highlights. Here’s what a finished set looks like.

This looks a lot better to me than what C1 did to Willy’s original image. When you use Smart Lighting do not forget to use the square box for faces or whatever the main part of the image is. Targeting makes the AI in Smart Lighting much more intelligent.

Based on how capable Smart Lighting is, I’m not sure that the Tone Slider interface needs to be changed. DxO should do a better job of communicating to users about how to tame highlights with the existing tools.


If you first place a point on the curves you can create your own range highlights correction.
What I’ve seen on a demo is this the way LR works.


Making up data?

Could be but I don’t think LR programmers are that good. In my case LR ‘’replaced’’ all hair on top of the head perfectly with no error.
If Highlights slider in LR is so good then I can only congratulate to those programmers.

You clearly have not taken the time to try SmartLighting first before complaining again about DxO PhotoLab. If you like the Lightroom paradigm and tone sliders so much better, then perhaps you should have stuck with Lightroom.

And yes, Lightroom is making up the data with highlight recovery as does C1. At least Brian Griffith at Iridient Digital has the good manners to let photographers know highlight recovery is neighbourhood adaptive.

As illustrated above, I have no issue recovering highlights effectively in PhotoLab, m9k. Why not learn how to use software well before filing the same complaint, unless the goal is more to complain rather than to improve your images?


I am working in Lightroom.
In general Photolab gives me good results but till they fix those sliders I’ll use it just for noise reduction.

Say Alec;
Last time I read your posts you were complaining against DxO … something about Photolab 5 and Mac OS
and that you will be no longer free Photolab ambasador and promotion maker or something. You were very angry if I recall correctly. As I remember you wrote you will switch to Capture One.
So; you’re still here? No Capture One?

I no longer do free ambassador/outreach work for DxO. I’m still furious about the poor support of previous versions of macOS. DxO policies have cost me thousands of dollars in otherwise unnecessary computer costs. I’d suggest someone starting from scratch seriously consider C1. In my case, I am expert in PhotoLab and do a lot of high ISO photography where CaptureOne is very poor.

So yes, DxO’s extremely poor OS support policies have cost them considerable good will.

If I worked in a genre where colour was most important and high ISO photography was rare, I would probably have gone through the learning curve.

On the other end having migrated to a new computer, I’m extremely happy that the new MBP M1 Pro and Max are truly silent computers, particularly in the 16 inch versions. I’ve been pursuing silent computing for decades and finally it’s possible in a power configuration. I recommend the MBP versions over the new Apple Studio as the Studio has a fairly audible fan which runs all the time.

On the other hand, the SD card slots don’t work reliably (forget about them), USB-C video cripples the ThunderBolt ports (only one Thunderbolt drive can attach even with a dock). As licensing and updates have become such a hassle over the last five years, I’ve cut down to a single computer, which the 16 inch M1 Pro or M1 Max (or even the 14 inch in a pinch, although the screen is very small for photo work). But no, I’m still really disappointed in DxO. I was happy with the computers I had and DxO made me spend thousands on computers which did not need to be replaced otherwise, and indirectly contributing further damage to the environment. It’s completely anti-environment, anti-user, selfish and self-defeating behaviour (alienating loyal DxO users to sell Apple products on which DxO makes no revenue is no way to build a business).

None of that means I’m not going to learn to use PhotoLab properly, if that’s the tool I’ve chosen. I suggest you do the same.

Not to calm down anybodys’ grievance, but to understand better you might want to look up

which shows / explains that

“None of the Selective Tone tool sliders alters the black and the white point values. This is unlike in Lightroom, where [-100 Highlights] changes the white point L(a b) value to 96.4%. …”

Personally, I use the Tone curve to set black & white point or if necessary to reduce pure white from 255 to 253, what most probably no one will notice. Of course one cannot recover completely overblown highlights, but might bring down the affected channel.