5.4. Tone Curve for Advanced Control
After performing your major tonal corrections in the Basic pane, fine-tune your work with the Lightroom Tone Curve. I suspect you'll really enjoy working directly off the image preview with the breakthrough Target Adjustment tool.
I really like Lightroom's Tone Curve. Admittedly, you don't have as much control with Lightroom's Tone Curve as you do with Photoshop's Curves feature, but it's hard to mess up, which I appreciate. It's kind of like using training wheels...without giving up too much control. Figure 5-47
Figure 5-47. Figure 5-47
Just as with Photoshop's Curves, the horizontal axis represents the original intensity values of the pixels, and the vertical axis represent the new tonal values.
Instead of placing a multitude of points on the curve and dragging the curve to a desired position, with Lightroom's Tone Curve you basically work with four set points: Highlights, Lights, Darks, and Shadows. You can control these values directly from the curve with your cursor or up and down keys, with the sliders, or directly from the image preview using the Target Adjust tool. There are also preset point curves: Medium Contrast (default), Linear, and Strong.
Although you can achieve some selective control through Lightroom tonal controls, there is no substitute for the selective area tonal controls you get from using Photoshop's layer adjustments ...