Digital Outback Photo
- Photography using Digital SLRs

The Art of Raw Conversion #031

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom™ 1.0

Develop Module

Mac & PC

review diary by Uwe Steinmueller


Part 1: Intro

Part 2: Library

Part 3: Develop Module (this page)

Part 4: Other Features

Part 5: Lightroom 1.0 FAQ



Lightroom 1.0: Develop

We cover the develop module only with the features we find most interesting.


Panel for basic corrections

Most of the controls are classic Camera Raw tools. New and very useful are:

  • Recovery: Recover highlights
  • Fill Light: Opening shadows
  • Vibrance: More intelligent saturation tool (like the tool in RawShooter)


The histogram has evolved to be a powerful analysis and even adjustment tool.


  • Clipping in highlights and Shadows
  • Channel data


  • Exposure
  • Recovery
  • Fill Light
  • Blacks

We currently stick with using the sliders.


Tone Curve

These tone curves get controlled via 4 sliders and 3 dividers that control the range for these sliders.

The Tone Curve can also be controlled by the so called new TAT (Targeted Adjustment Tools). We cover their principle next.

Targeted Adjustment Tools (TAT)

The principles are simple and yet brilliant. Here is what you do.

First enable TAT by clicking on the following icon:

TAT off/on

Now position the TAT cursor (top left in the above image)on an image area you want to correct. In the case of the Tone Curve where you want to tune the tonality. Now you have to options to brighten/darken the image close to the range of tonality that is shown underneath the cursor.

  • Mouse down and up/down will brighten or darken the tonal range
  • Same can be achieved using the up/down arrow keys

We will show later examples where TAT makes a world of difference. Really great design!

Color Corrections

At first the many sliders of the HSL tools look frightening:

24 sliders are a lot

Fortunately you don't need to worry about these sliders too much. Use the TAT tool and your life is so much easier:

Typical CA blue sky :-)

We like that blue now much better

Enable the TAT cursor. Point the cursor to the color you want to correct. Control the color:

  • Hue
  • Saturation
  • Brightness

by moving cursor up/down or using the up/down arrow keys.

Interesting how the TAT tool can make a 24 slider control so much more useful.

Wish list for HSL tool

  • Allow the corrections for selective image areas


Again the eight sliders let the Grayscale tool seem too complex. This time Lightroom helps with two features to master the situation:

  • Auto-Adjust: delivers often a very good starting point
  • TAT at rescue

This time the help of TAT is even much greater because you don's see (and actually don't want to see) the colors underneath the cursor. Both Auto-Adjust and TAT make this the best Grayscale Mixer we have seen.

Split Toning

Some self critique is needed here. We first did not like the idea to use Split Toning for B&W on the RGB image because it does not have any influence once you use the printers in Advanced B&W mode. Since recently we changed our strategy and do split toning on RGB Grayscale image and print them in color mode (at least with the HP Z3100, but we also hear great results on the Epson 3800).

Clearly we now consider this tool very useful and hope people will share good split toning recipes.


These are the classic Camera Raw sharpening and noise removal tools.

Wish list

  • There seems to be room for improvement

Lens Corrections

Also the classic ACR controls.

Wish list

  • Lens corrections (like the PS Lens Distortion tool)
  • Perspective corrections (like the PS Lens Distortion tool)

Camera calibration

Classic tool from ACR

Wish List

  • For studio photography the support for ICC profiles could be useful. On the other side the creation of ICC camera profiles is quite error prone.

Snapshots / History

Mark Hamburg (the core architect of Lightroom) introduced in Photoshop 5.0 one of the finest undo mechanism we know in any application. Good he did not forget to also enhance Lightroom with an excellent history and snapshot mechanism. Try to combine Snapshots with virtual copies and you can have a Stack of different versions from the same RAW file.

Great feature and great implementation!

Wish List

  • Allow the snapshots to be seen in Bridge and ACR 4.0

Other Develop Tools

Spot Cloning and Healing

The new clone and healing tool is one of our new favorites.

We had recently a really nasty dust spot on our Canon 5D sensor:

Dust spot

left: slighly misaligned source/target      right: better alignment

The two images show a real time view from the new "Remove Spots" tool. The key is that I have a real time preview and can move the source and the target independently. This way we were able to easily find a good alignment. Quite a bit more work in Photoshop.

Very nice tool.

Crop and Straighten

Also the Crop and Straighten tools just work fine.

Wish list

  • as mentioned before: Lens distortion and perspective correction tools.

Solo Mode

We were never very excited about the long scrolling list of controls and wished to see more traditional tabs. But once we discovered the Solo Mode:

all is fine for us. The Solo Mode only opens one tool at a time and closes all other tools. Now we don't see a need for tabs anymore.

Wish list

  • The header of the different tools could be less tall.


The Presets Manager is a class act:

Read about the other parts of Lightroom

Part 1: Intro

Part 2: Library

Part 3: Develop Module (this page)

Part 4: Other Features

Part 5: Lightroom 1.0 FAQ




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