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Adobe Lightroom: The Ultimate Guide Bootcamp

Lesson 19 of 116

Tone Curve

Jared Platt

Adobe Lightroom: The Ultimate Guide Bootcamp

Jared Platt

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Lesson Info

19. Tone Curve


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
2 Hard Drives Duration:08:06
3 File Organization Duration:08:31
4 30,000 Foot View of Workflow Duration:05:36
5 Importing into Lightroom Duration:04:10
6 Building Previews Duration:07:14
8 Keywords Duration:06:27
9 Hardware for Lightroom Duration:06:08
10 Searching for Images Duration:07:51
11 Selecting Images Duration:14:15
12 Organizing Images Duration:04:02
13 Collecting Images for Use Duration:14:56
14 Develop Module Overview Duration:10:15
15 Profiles Duration:11:34
16 Basic Adjustments Duration:11:45
19 Tone Curve Duration:09:26
20 HSL Duration:04:48
21 Split Tone Duration:08:19
22 Lens Corrections Duration:08:32
23 Details Duration:09:34
24 Transform Tool Duration:05:52
25 Effects Panel Duration:10:00
27 Spot Tool Duration:17:51
28 Skin Softening and Brush Work Duration:07:00
29 Range Masking Duration:13:28
30 Dodge and Burn Duration:17:36
31 Working with Specific Colors Duration:08:30
33 Making Presets Duration:13:24
34 Preparing Image in Lightroom Duration:09:51
35 Content Aware Fill Duration:11:14
36 Skin Repair Duration:02:44
37 Skin Smoothing Duration:14:39
38 Expanding a Canvas Duration:04:30
39 Liquify Duration:10:22
40 Layers and Composite Images Duration:12:54
41 Sharing via Web Duration:17:52
42 Exporting Files Duration:10:47
43 Sharing with Slideshows Duration:08:00
44 Archiving Photos and Catalogs Duration:19:54
45 Designing Duration:13:35
46 Making Prints Duration:11:27
47 Color Management and Profiles Duration:13:00
48 Archiving Photos and Catalogs Duration:11:31
49 Using Cloud Storage Duration:04:09
51 Collecting for Your Portfolio Duration:18:03
53 Sharing to Instagram Duration:07:06
54 HDR Duration:15:32
55 Panorama Duration:06:41
56 HDR Panorama Duration:09:54
57 Making Presets Duration:15:39
58 Creating Profiles Duration:18:09
59 Maps Duration:07:08
60 Setup for Tethered Shooting Duration:23:21
61 Sharing with the Client Duration:05:42
62 Watched Folder Process Duration:07:04
63 Second Monitor and iPad Duration:06:09
64 Backup at the Camera Duration:03:50
65 Gnar Box Disk Backup Duration:06:45
66 iPhone and iPad Review Duration:12:52
67 Importing to Lightroom on iPad Duration:02:59
68 Cloud Backup Duration:04:39
69 Adjust, Edit, and Organize Duration:07:46
71 Lightroom Desktop Duration:05:27
72 Removing Images from the Cloud Duration:10:49
73 Profiles Duration:09:34
74 Light Duration:04:34
75 Color Duration:05:36
76 Effects Duration:15:22
77 Details Duration:08:33
78 Optics Duration:03:49
79 Geometry Duration:04:12
80 Crop Duration:04:39
82 Local Adjustments Duration:15:40
83 Healing Tool Duration:03:29
84 Synchronizing Edits Duration:04:57
85 Editing in Photoshop Duration:08:54
86 Finding Images Duration:07:09
88 Posting Images to Social Media Duration:14:01
89 Overview of Lightroom Desktop Duration:07:35
90 The Workflow Overview Duration:10:08
91 Organizing Images Duration:05:10
92 Albums and Shared Albums Duration:18:21
94 Importing and Selecting Images Duration:09:23
95 HDR and Panoramics Duration:22:44
96 Light Duration:07:47
97 Profiles Duration:07:23
98 Tone Curves Duration:02:57
99 Color Duration:08:35
100 Effects Duration:17:01
101 Details Duration:12:43
102 Optics Duration:04:05
103 Geometry and Crop Tool Duration:06:01
104 Sync Settings Duration:02:40
105 Making and Adding Presets Duration:03:48
106 Healing Brush Duration:02:21
107 Brush Tool Duration:03:14
108 Gradient Tool Duration:04:16
109 Edit in Photoshop Duration:02:53
110 Finding Images with Sensei Duration:06:32
111 Sharing Albums on the Web Duration:04:57
112 Print through Photoshop Duration:02:09
115 Archiving Images for Storage Duration:09:55
116 Review of the Workflow Duration:07:20

Lesson Info

Tone Curve

So now that we've gone through that, let's talk about the tone curve. The tone covers a really fantastic place, and and there's two different types of tone curves. So there's first off. There's this. What? It's just the no normal, linear linear tone curve, which is just a bunch of sliders, and I can change the shadows, the darks, the lights and the highlights. And this is a great place to add or remove contrast in a preset. So if you're making a preset on, do you want to add contrast to an image like kind of have a snappy style or something like that? Don't make the pre set up here in the basics because the basics are meant to fix each individual photo like they're meant to normalize a photo and get it exposed correctly and get the right amount of contrast and for normal. And then, if you want to add style to something, you want to add that style based on an additive process, so that you can just apply it to any image and it will look equally as good on any image. And that's why it wou...

ld be better to apply a snappy like contrast, E style inside of the tone curve. So you should get used to the tone curve you get get to know the tone curve because it could be a really good friend. Um, so I'm gonna go in here and I'm going to play around at the Blacks, and that's really making her her purse look nice. And, um, I'm going to I'm going to take the dark and go up and down with it until I like the way that purse and her hat look, that's what I'm looking at. And then I'm gonna take the lights, and that's gonna see how I can make that really, you know, pop out nicely like that looks real snappy and then high the highlights. I'll bring them back down a little bit so that I don't have super bright. And now that looks really nice. And it's a snappy style, and you can see if I turn this off. It looks much more normal, and if I turn it on, it's a lot snappier, but but either way is fine, because the original underlying image and the adjustments that I made in the basic panel are all still there. and they're still good. And then the tone curve is just adding to that, adding a little curve over the top of it. Now, if I right click this, I can reset it and just just reset all of it. So I'm back to normal, and then I'm gonna go instead. And you can actually use both of these in tandem. So you could you could apply a little bit of a curve here, and then you could also go into and this is right here under these sliders. There's a little box on the right hand corner, bottom corner, and that is the tone curve. But you use it like you would in photo shop. So now you can actually manipulate the tone curve with just points so I can take the points down. I can take the points up, and this is why they call it a point curve. So I can mess with this to my heart's content. But I'm gonna right click it and flatten it. Um, Mawr, Importantly is, I can come in here to the channel and change it just like a wooden photo shop. I can change it to rgb two red green or blue, and this is where you can start to play with the actual image colors. So if I want to play around and make kind of a cross process, he look, I can do that right here because I can change what the read looks like in the highlights and shadows. So if I wanted to do kind of a green looking across process, I'm just gonna take red down so that I'm getting some greens to pull back in there. But in the shadows, Maybe I wanted to kind of come back up to be a little bit red. So already I'm getting kind of an interesting look there, and then I can go down and click on Green, and I could increase the green a little bit in the highlights, and I could decrease the green in the shadows a little bit. Then I can go over to the blue and on the blue Aiken, bring the blue down in the like take it up in the shadows, but bring it down in the highlights and so you can see that I've got this really interesting, a little bit ugly there, and I don't like the way it looks on her face, but that's OK because now I can go back to the red and say, Well, or maybe back in the green, you can take the high that out of her face. So now the highlights don't have as much green in them. That looks much better. And it's still a really interesting look. And so now I've got this curve that is a little bit of the linear curve here. So shadows highlights darks, lights, and then I've got the point curve underlying it, which has red, green and blue separated out with different curves. And it creates an interesting look. Once I've done that, I can take that tone curve and come over to the left hand side. And this is really important. If you wasted that much time on a curve, you better save that curve if you like it. So I'm gonna click on that plus symbol and say, create a preset, and then I'm gonna go into that preset. I'm gonna name it so we'll just call it Ah ah, green blue curve. And what I'll do is I'll put a code at the beginning of it so that because you want your presets to fall in order so that you know where they are. So you're not hunting around alphabetically for him. Um and so what I'll do is I'll label it so I'll just say, uh so it's going to go in the curves collection, but right at the moment, I'll just put it in the user presets and then I'll drag it there later. So I'm just gonna call this for now. I'll just call this, uh, curve. Let's see. Let's just say, 0 12 curve, um, green blue. That's how we'll make label it. And then I'll put it in the user presets. And then I have to decide what is going into this preset. And so I'm gonna go down to the bottom of it and say, Check none, because I don't want everything involved. The only thing I want to be involved in this preset is one thing, and that is the tone curve itself. That's it, because that's the only thing I want to apply to images. If I add the basic tones and white balance and stuff like that, I'll ruin any photo that I added to, except for this one. So we only want to do the tone curve and then I'm going to hit, create. And now, down here in the user presets right here you will see that I've got something called oat to curve green blue. And then I can come up here into my curves collections and see how it's labeled. So it's like 0123456789 etcetera. So now I could just say OK, well, I want this to fall in my tone curves, and I want it to be right here at basically 30 right between 30 and 31. So now what I'll do is just go back into my that curve that I just made and I will rename it. So I'm gonna just say, rename this. I'm going to call this a lips 31 a and then hit. Okay, so now I've got something called 31 a and then I'll have to do is grab it and drag it into that folder. And boom, it is now in position right up here next to 31 31 a green blue curve. So now I just have a bunch of curves and so I can see Heiken scroll through my curves until I find that when I like and actually like this, which one? That one, which is called Thin film Fiber. Cool blue. So when I click on that, I've got another curve. But see, I have the that curve and I could go up and choose this other green blue curve and I. It's easy to find a curve, but remember, I'm constantly saving those curves so that I'm not having to do it again, because you should never spend a lot of time on each image making a specific curve for that image, especially if you're trying to do. If you're doing one landscape a day or something like that, no big deal. But if you're shooting portrait's or weddings or events or something like that, you really got to get through those images. And so hunting around for a curve is not a good idea. Are working on a curve

Class Description

All lessons are also available here for individual purchase.


  • Efficiently cull and retouch photographs
  • Manage your files to enable seamless and immediate recall
  • Get your computer and software to run faster
  • Create impressive photo books and slideshows
  • Take advantage of global adjustments
  • Improve your mobile workflow with both your iPhone and iPad
  • Deliver and share your images directly from Lightroom


Adobe® Lightroom® is the industry standard for post-production workflow and in Adobe Lightroom: The Ultimate Guide, you’ll learn Jared Platt’s gold standard for retouching and managing files quickly and efficiently.

Jared will show the ins and outs of Lightroom Classic, Lightroom Mobile, and Lightroom Desktop. He’ll demystify the difference between each and demonstrate when to use each one for maximum output.

Jared will share tips on improving every phase of your workflow – from shooting to archiving. You’ll learn how to take advantage of the latest Lightroom tools and features and become faster and more skilled at adjusting your images.


  • Beginner, intermediate, and advanced users of Adobe Lightroom
  • Those who want to gain confidence in Adobe Lightroom and learn new features to help edit photos
  • Students who’d like to take ordinary images and make them look extraordinary with some image editing or Lightroom fixes


Adobe Lightroom Classic 9.2
Adobe Lightroom Desktop 3.2
Adobe Lightroom Mobile 5.2


Jared Platt is a professional wedding and lifestyle photographer from Phoenix, Arizona. Jared holds a Masters of Fine Arts in the Photographic Studies and a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Photography from Arizona State University and has been a professional photographer and college educator for the past 12 years and has been a speaking, debating and lecturing for the past 17 years. His attention to detail and craft make him a demanding photography instructor. Jared has lectured at major trade shows and photo conferences as well as at universities around the world on the subject of photography as well as workflow. Currently, Jared is traveling the United States and Canada teaching and lecturing on photography and post production workflow. Join him online for monthly "Office Hours" at


Dan Clarke

This class was great. I've never used Lightroom before and now I feel comfortable in it. Massive amount of good info.


Thorough but very easy to follow. I've noticed a significant improvement in my work since starting this course a couple weeks ago, and I'm also spending noticeably less time editing my photos. I appreciate that it's up-to-date as of October, 2020, so the info is current (I wish CL would take down some of the older courses, since software changes make some of them obsolete).

Kyosa Canuck

I hate to say this is a repetitive class due to covering much of the same things in each LR app. I appreciate Ben's classes better but this does give different perspectives. Also, Ben knows better than to use the word "super" let alone use it 10+ times per lesson.