I use Lightroom 6.x and I usually start with a linear curve, adjusting the sliders in the "Basic" section accordingly. The Tone curve section usually does not even get opened.

This because I'm not a professional and I never customise the tone curve point by point for finer tuning, therefore I limit my question to the use of the predefined settings for the tone curve: linear, medium or high contrast.

I guess that one of the predefined tone curves, even if placed lower visually, has to be chosen before retouching the remaining sliders, since it affects heavily the image (a finer adjustment is not within the scope of the question, it must always be applied later).

When is an approach with a linear curve, followed by an increase of contrast with the basic slider according to taste, preferred to the choice of a medium contrast curve, eventually followed by a manual decrease?

What are the implications of the two approaches?

  • Why do you think this has anything to do with "not a professional"? – mattdm Jan 5 at 5:15
  • @mattdm because pro users probably retouch the curve and don't work exclusively with the predefined ones as starting point. – FarO Jan 5 at 19:05
  • In my experience, professional photographers are the least likely to spend time tweaking curves and other complicated adjustments. Time is money. – mattdm Jan 5 at 21:21

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