Available Tools

This is the tool bar from Lightzone 3.2


Those icons refere to (from left to right)

Zone Mapper

Basic tool for brightening/darkening (dodging/burning) or contrast control. In fact it is a different interface for curves but it works great. Every zone in the zone mapper is a +/- 0.5 EV so it is easy to control the exposure of shadows or highlights. Click on the zones to fix their position or move them to brighten/darken them. New users needs to get used to it but I ensure it is a great fun.

Below the zones are "luminosity" and "RGB" checkboxes. Basically it is better to alter luminosity as it leaves color unchanged but in some cases "RGB" is a great helper (for example if one wants to make the sky darker and more blue at the same time).

Relight Tool

The most complicated and one of most interesting tools. Refere to this pdf for some more details but in short:

  • Shadows - brighten the whole image recovering shadows
  • Highlights - opposite to "Shadows" (do not consider it as highlight recovery, it works different)
  • Details - local contrast, use it to increase contrast and sharpness
  • Depth - sets the radius for "Highlights", "Shadows" and "Details"
  • Fuzz - sets tolerance for "Highlights", "Shadows" and "Details"

Sharpening Tool

Use it to sharpen the image

  • Amount - the bigger value here the stronger the effect
  • Radius - sets the radius, usualy between 0.8 and 2 but some interesting effects can be achieved with radius > 100
  • Treshold - set it to 0 to sharpen ALL the edges, even the smalles ones (for example noise), set it higher to leave small details and edges unaltered and sharpen stronge (contrasty) edges only.

Gaussian Blur

It blurs the image, the bigger the radius the stronger the blur. Usefull for creating special effects or getting rid of unwanted details (or very strong noise).

Hue/saturation Tool

This tool controls the colors.

  • Hue - it rotates the color wheel (in HSL colorspace) changing all the colors, usefull for changing the color of sky or eyes.
  • Saturation - the bigger value the stronger saturation, decrease it to desaturate the image (saturation=-100 gives a greyscale image).
  • Vibrance - the same as "saturation" but works stronger on "primary" colors (red, gree or blue)
  • Luminosity - changes luminosity (brightenes) of the image, notice this is not the same as changing exposure, it works rather like "shifting" the luminosity.

Color Balance Tool

Use it to fight with (or create) color casts. Does not alter pure black and pure white. Change the midpoint to control the effect and change the color on color wheel to set color of the cast one want to create. To fight with the color cast please use the eyedropper and select part of the image that should be neutral (grey).

White Balance Tool

This is typical white balance tool, change the Temperature to fit the light characterisic, change tint to add green (tint > 0) or red (tint < 0). Eyedropper can be used to select neutral (grey) color and set the temperature and tint automatically. There are not white balance presets in Lightzone. Remember that this tool works relative therefore 3200 kelvins does not give the white balance suitable for bulb but works as substracting 1800 kelvins from current image.

Black and White Tool

This is typical channel mixer with a bit different interface. color wheel allows to set the color of filter (so it simulates doing BW photography with color filter attached to the lens, use RGB = 255,255,255 to not simulate anything). Strength sets the density of a filter. It is easy to use and quite effective.

Noise Reduction Tool

Use it to supress the noise

  • Color Noise - increase it to fight the color noise leaving luminance one untouched. This slider works as "color noise" slider from the "R" tool. Be aware that this tool can slightly change the colors of the image (as every chroma blur).
  • Grain Noise - this one deals with luminance noise. It blurs the image destroying some small details (and noise of course).

Clone Tool

This tool does not have any additional settings, it consists of a region user needs to set and a control point (a cross) that shows where is the place to clone from. The selected region will be a copy of a this part of an image that was selected with a cross. Usefull if one wants to hide something (skin defects, dust on a lens or sensor).

Spot Tool

The same as clone tool but region is oval, therefore it is easier to get rid of spots.

Red Eyes Tool

Select this tool and click on eyes to create regions (the same way as in Spot Tool). Tolerance allows to tune the effect and avoide darkening unwanted parts of the eye.

R Tool

This one is not on the Tool Bar - it is set by default when a RAW file is opened (therefore there is no R tool when one edits jpeg or tiff) it can not be disabled, moved on the Tool Stack nor used with Region. It automatically surpresses hot pixels allowing to set some RAW decoding options as well:

  • Exposure - allows to do the exposure corretion (brighten or darken the image). Remember that negative correction (darkening) triggers the highlight recovery algorithm.
  • Color Noise - This is usefull if your camera is noisy. It surpress the color noise the same way as "color noise" slider from Noise Reduction Tool. Usefull to get rid of demosaicing color artifacts.
  • Temperature - this sets white balance temperature, it is not relative therefore 3200 kelvins referes to the light of a bulb.
  • Tint - second slider for the white balance, eyedropper can be used to set the whole white balance at once, just click a pixel that should be neutral (grey).
  • As shot - this button sets the white balance to camera settings stored in a RAW file (seems that Lightzone performs automated white balance correction).
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