Understanding workflow to edit your photos

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.

FYI, including your personal email address with your handle is not a good idea. I strongly recommend you consider removing it.


Thanks, I didn’t include it, somehow it got entered into my “full name (optional)” field. Changed it.

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I know this is a DXO forum, but I was in a similar situation to the OP about 2 years ago. I was a LR 6.14 user and didn’t want to cough up a monthly fee for later versions, so I bought Photolab. I soon realised that there WERE certain things that Photolab just couldn’t do ( like setting the white point ) and using it was such a different way of working compared to Lightroom. I struggled for a while but got some decent results with DXO but then came to the realisation that Lightroom Classic is a MUCH more comprehensive tool than v6.14 was. (This is even more the case now that it has AI noise reduction built in, by the way). So I swallowed my pride and signed up to the Adobe subscription model. It is relatively good value especially if you renew your subscription during one of the special deal periods (eg Black Friday). I still use Photolab for its excellent sharpening and noise reduction because for some reason LR AI takes up to 20 minutes to process each file! All my other processing is done in LR, which is something which I am now pretty familiar with. If I had known then what I know now, I would have gone with DXOPureRaw rather than the full Photolab.

I find myself using Capture One more and more and had thought about moving to PureRaw but it’s a really blunt tool compared to PL Elites built in finesse for the denoising and corrections. I think I’d get frustrated if I didn’t have that

I think (if this have not changed) you have more options in photolab than in pureraw. It is often necessary to tweak the sharpness tab (under denoising tab) and I don’t think you can do this with pureraw (I don’t own pureraw).