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Lightroom Histogram Levels: I friggin' give up.

thomas scott , Jul 18, 2007; 11:17 p.m.

I need to know how to adjust the levels of my images, which seem to default at 0 and 255. My editor tells me I need to submit them at 5 and 250.

I don't pretend to really know all that much about digital cameras so go easy on me. I've honestly searched the web and the archives here, but I'm not sure I'm using the right search criteria. I've looked through (as near as I can tell) all of the menus in Lightroom (I have 1.1) to no avail.

Am I on a fool's errand? Or is this gonna be one of those things that I'll feel stupid about for not getting it on my own? Can anyone shed some light?

Thanks in advance.


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Alan Olander , Jul 18, 2007; 11:28 p.m.

I don't think you can do that in LR. You would have to export the image and use "Levels" in Photoshop.

Jordan Epstein , Jul 18, 2007; 11:38 p.m.

Exposure and shadows

I thinks when I was playing with capture one they had levels buried in the menu somewhere.

But in most Raw engines like Adobe Raw or Lightroom to tweak the exposure you use "Exposure" to adjust the light end and "Shadows" to clip the dark end. There are a couple of other sliders below to adjust the middle point. Use the histogram and preview while working with these sliders. While not exactly levels these achieve the same thing. You should read Real World Camera Raw to get a better understanding of this process and how to use it to your advantage.

Barry Fisher , Jul 19, 2007; 01:53 a.m.

You can try lowering the hilights and the shadow sliders, -5 each. It does clip the ends. I don't know if its on a scale of 0-255 though. The sure way is to use photoshop levels and clip the ends to 5 and 250. If you're going to be a pro and work in digital, you are going to need photoshop sooner or later.

Chris Parkin , Jul 19, 2007; 03:45 a.m.

I have Corel and to do this you need to go into Image> Adjust>contrast enhancement and you can sellect the output. Sorry I can't help with lightrooms, but maybe this will help you locate it in "help" Chris

Tony Bynum , Jul 19, 2007; 07:52 a.m.

not sure either if it can be done in LR, but you DONT NEED to "export" it as was suggested. If you export it, it leaves LR, instead, just open it in PS but within LR so that LR remembers where it's at. Right click, I believe (I'm not at my workstation) on the image, the select whatever program you want that's in the list, a dialogue box will then open and LR will, if you choose, make a copy for you and then remember where the edited PS copy was saved, so long as you save it. If you do a save as, it wont remember where you put it. . .

Ronald Moravec , Jul 19, 2007; 08:22 a.m.

These are the bottom sliders of the levels control in photoshop which is the industry standard.

Photoshop Elements has these controls.

Esentially you are wasting 5 on either end of the dynamic range possible.

Alec Myers , Jul 19, 2007; 08:22 a.m.


I don't believe that Lightroom will do what you want, the way you want it. (Adjusting the various sliders and curves will get you a file with values from 5 to 250 but I think it will make the pictures a bit odd in the process.

Photoshop will do it in an instant though:

Image->adjustment->levels then put 5 and 250 in the two "Output Levels" boxes at the bottom of the dialog box that appears on the screen.

Les Berkley , Jul 19, 2007; 09:36 a.m.

Alec is absolutely right. You should NOT clip the highlights/shadows; instead, you should set the outputs to 5 and 250.

thomas scott , Jul 19, 2007; 09:40 a.m.

Excellent. Knowing that it's out of the purview of Lightroom is helpful. I managed to find it in Photoshop, thanks to your kind interventions. Until recently, I only shot film and sent it out ot be drum scanned. As such, a working understanding of digital photography wasn't necessary. As to why the files need to be the way I've been asked to make them, I couldn't begin to know. Thanks, everyone.

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