Understanding workflow to edit your photos

Hi to all,
I am new to DXO and have been wanting to use just one program to edit photos. I have been reading some posts that DXO cant do everything and some users have the need to use other programs to (setting white point lightroom is far easier) complete the edit.

I am interested in your workflow and what you do to your edit your photos.

I have Lightroom 6 to set white point and black point. As I can’t download the software anymore I need a alternative. I don’t want to be paying per month for Photoshop/Lightroom.
I then use PL to set curves into an S curve.
Adjust the saturation and vibrance.
I would then use the presets in PL to find a preset that I like.

I am interested in the way you edit your photos. I do print my photos at a lab and I use Spyder Pro 5 to calibrate my enzio monitor and use ICC colour profiles to match the labs workflow.

I really wish PL made setting the white point and black point similar to LR as its easier.

I own Photolab 6 Elite, Film Pack 6, Nik Collection 6. I also own Affinity Photo.



Hi Brenden,

you talk about version 6 local?
Maybe you try End of Support | Lightroom 6 Downloads and Syncing

That’s the last link I saved. And I’m using V6 still with windows 11

I use nothing but PL6, FP6 and VP4 for all my work.

As for white and black points, I use the Spot Measure mode of Smart Lighting to identify the brightest and darkest parts of the image and then the Tone Curve to fine tune the ends and for contrast.

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It is not that that Lr6 does things PL cannot, it is just that PL does some things differently (and PL certainly does some things Lr6 cannot). Take the time to learn PL and you will probably find you have no need for Lr 6 (unless you need a more powerful dam functionality, which I suspect is doubtful).


ACR/LR certainly do a lot of things that PL can NOT ( as in NOT AT ALL )…

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We are talking of Lr6 (which is at end of life) not Lr Classic.

See here for a related discussion:

I am not in the habit of adjusting black point and white point during RAW development. I’ve done it when using Photomatix for HDR, but in PL I haven’t missed that at all. I think there are many reasons for this - but the main one for me is that Smart Lighting and Selective Tone are so effective when used properly.

Full disclosure: I’m very critical of Smart Lighting since PL5 - its default settings suddenly went from perfect to TERRIBLE in my experience. But where there truly is unwanted clipping, it’s a very effective tool - and Spot Weighted mode resolves my complaints.

Selective Tone is tricky. It doesn’t work like Adobe’s version or others, where a highlight adjustment only changes highlights and black adjustment only adjusts deep blacks or the black point. They interact with the midtone and shadow ranges, respectively. But there are times when I prefer this in a global adjustment - and I haven’t ever disliked it in a local adjustment because I know how to compensate for unwanted effects. It does help to have a workflow that respects which tools are best for which job - there are so many ways to adjust contrast and exposure, but not all are equal for a given need.

A few tips that work for me:

When lowering highlights, you might also want to raise midtones.

Blacks and Shadows also interact in this way to some extent.

The histogram is useful, but nothing beats a well-calibrated monitor.

Get to know your Color Rendering adjustments! This is powerful and too often taken for granted. I usually start with setting this before moving on to shadows and highlights.

Don’t make it a goal to eliminate all clipping warnings. A warning doesn’t mean that there truly is clipping - only that a threshold is being hit in one or more of the color channels.

Use ClearView Plus minimally. When applying it, consider turning off Smart Lighting and raising Midtones a bit. Sometimes, a small amount of microcontrast or (with a FilmPack license) fine contrast will do a better job if you want to preserve a bit of haze and keep colors in the shadows-midtones from shifting/oversaturating.

I admit that I might prefer another program’s workflow in many cases. But I generally prefer PL’s results.

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and the old version too :slight_smile:

I would never use Lr6 as an alternative to PL, except perhaps as a dam but PL does all I need in that direction. Lr Classic is a more difficult debate these days.

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that is nobody is disputing… hell, some people are content w/ OOC JPG… but both raw converters have features that are simply not present in each other - does not mean that one is “better” than the other one …

True. “Better” is always only the beginning. Like in “Better suited for what I do”.

I’ve been using Lightroom since version 1 and OpticsPro since version 4. Wanted to drop Lr when it went subscription because I did not like the idea of having to pay regularly. Today, I still use both Lightroom Classic and PhotoLab. They complement each other in what I do.

If I had to restrict myself to using just one app starting today, which app would I drop? Probably PhotoLab, because it has not yet learnt to make its database stay true to my assets.


amen /Post must be at least 10 characters/

That is your opinion and you are entitled to it. My opinion is Lr6 is inferior or perhaps I should say lacking whilst Classic is looking a decent alternative.

Comparing the 2015 Lr6 with a 2022 DPL6 will certainly reveal some differences :wink:
Using Lr6 as an asset manager should still be okay though, and, there is also Adobe Bridge at 0$.

lacking what for example ? LR6 can apply embedded optics correction for many camera models + lens combo when PL6 is simply lacking that module … as I noted - LR has many things that PL6 does not and never will have ( given DxO attitude towards some things ) or LR6 properly applies DCP profiles while PL6 can’t … the generic statement that PL6 has all features that LR6 has ( or has alternative ways to do what LR6 can ) is simply incorrect …

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As I said, imo it is lacking. PL6 does everything I want to to and more than Lr 6 can offer outside the dam. If there are things that Lr6 can do that PL6 cannot then they are not things I use and are therefore irrelevant to me. I do seem to recall that noise reduction and sharpening were pretty awful in LR6. So I repeat, imo Lr6 is lacking in some areas. You can get as upset as you like but that is not going to change my opinion. As for your opinion, I have not need or desire to change it so have no need to argue about it.

WOW @Joanna maybe I missed something all these years? Can you select multiple spots on smart lighting slider? Thought it’s meant to be used for portraits. Or maybe I just misunderstood what you meant
Update: Yes, just checked it, feeling like a dumb :slight_smile: realized just now that you can use a drop down list on Exposure compensation… makes it twice dumb. Now have to learn how to use these features properly
Found it:


Perhaps read this page and the following ones :wink:

Thanks @Pieloe
Checked few posts like this.
Tried it on few images (high dynamic) couldn’t find it superior over uniform smart lighting and/or other tools checked both image g histogram

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I still pay for LR/PS, but the only thing I use Lightroom for is cataloging and selecting photos. I import the folder of RAW images into LR, rename the images, add IPTC info and GPS data, then browse the images and make selections. Then I go to PL to do ALL of the image editing, generate JPGs, then back to LR to synchronize the folder so that it knows both RAW and JPG files in the folder.
One reason to keep paying is that older versions of LR can’t create previews for newer camera formats (like my Sony ARW files), and because sometimes I need Photoshop for it’s layer capabilities.
This is how I do it, and why. YMMV.