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HomeAdobe LightroomHow to Use the Tone Curve Tool to Enhance Your Images

How to Use the Tone Curve Tool to Enhance Your Images

Learn how to use the Tone Curve Tool to Enhance your Image in Lightroom.

Lightroom lets you enhance your images in a variety of ways. One of the most popular methods of doing so is to use the Tone Curve Tool.

The tool is made to let you modify the various light levels while giving you excellent control over the tonal range and contrast of your photograph.

Here’s how to use the tool:

#1  Use the Slider Set Up

While you do not get a slider, you can use the curve just like you’d use a slider.

  • Go left when you want to go low.
  • Move right when you want to go high.
  • Double click when you wish to reset.

#2 Adjust the Curve to Make Changes

You can click and drag the curve to make changes to your image. When you move your mouse to the curve, it will highlight the changes moving the curve will result in. 

Play with the curve until you get your desired output.

#3 Adjust Each Light Level’s Strength

This tool lets you control how each light region (darks, shadows, lights, and highlights) impact your image. Your default setting is 25, 50, and 75. 

You can change these as desired, however, we think that the default setting is also quite impressive.

#4 Drag in Your Photo to Make Adjustments

Click on the Tone Curve button and drag the mouse within your image to make adjustments. 

Go up for more effect or go down for less. However, remember that this option changes the entire image and not only the area that you hover over.

#5 Count on the Preset

There are three presets:

  • Linear: This default setting will give a straight curve and is pretty flat.
  • Medium Contrast: This one works by expanding the ranges at the end.
  • Strong Contrast: Works in a similar fashion as the medium option but on the other side. 

Whichever method you use, you’ll get the same output. The right one depends on your level of expertise and comfort.



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