Exposure and Contrast Correction in Aperture (Without Using Curves)

June 01, 2014

Exposure and Contrast Correction in Aperture (Without Using Curves)

This is a quick walk through of how to do basic exposure and contrast adjustments of a RAW image without having to use curves.

 

The starting image is a little dark, and lacks saturation and contrast. 

  1. Turn on Hot/Cold Areas Alert
  2. Bring Up Exposure
  3. Bring Up Recovery
  4. Lower Exposure until the Hot Area Alerts (Red Areas) Disappear.
  5. Adjust Black Levels until Cold Area Alerts (Blue Areas) Disappear.
  6. Adjust mid tone contrasts to your liking. Some Hot to Cold Area Alerts may reappear, that is normal but should be kept to a minimum.
  7. Adjust Highlight and Shadows levels to your liking. In this case I tried to eliminate the Hot/Cold Alerts.
  8. Fine tune exposure with levels. Use Brush Levels Away to remove Hot/Cold Alerts.
  9. Use Sharpen Tool to selectively sharpen areas of interest in your photo.
  10. Turn off Hot/Cold Exposures.
  11. Apply any additional effects that you like, in this case I added a vignette.

Press the M key to compare between Original image and the Finished product.

Here is a before an after side by side comparison. 

These same techniques can be used in almost any RAW development program such as Lightroom or DxO Pro. Depending on the program used, these exact tools may have different names and will be located in different menus on each program. 

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