Tone & Color Contrast – Key Adjustments

Summary – Adjusting Tonal & Color Contrast is the only post-processing needed (usually). Here’s an example.


Tonal & color contrast adjustments

Are easy to do and

Are very effective

Any additional post-processing is

Often counter-productive


Before – as captured in the camera

After – mouse roll over

After a minute or two with the recipe shown below

26_DSC7678_nx_resize26_DSC7678_nx_resize nik

Simple adjustments + Minimal time = Two different images


 If you use the Google Nik Collection

Create a Color Efex Pro recipe dedicated to tonal & color contrast

It should be all that you need 9 times out of 10

This is what mine looks like –

8-31-2013 9-24-24 AM


A visual design “thought” –

Intended eye movement is lower right to upper left

Eyes are captured by bright, high-contrast objects

The cat-tails in this case

A line has been provided to step the eye through the image

Cat tails, to pond ripple, to trees

Lines don’t have to be solid

(Ripples due to a pebble I threw to that spot for my “line”)

Contrast was adjust to emphasize the “line”

Brighter over that area and

Darker over the rest – especially near frame edges

To keep the eye contained within the frame


Subscribe (see sidebar). New posts daily.

  • No sidebar? Click here or the blog title at the top of this page.

Another option – Click on the “Follow” button at the bottom right of the screen.

  • Or – “Follow” in your admin bar, displayed at the top of the screen, for logged-in users.


6 thoughts on “Tone & Color Contrast – Key Adjustments

  1. Tried a few times, my eye always gets drawn to the ripples first. Dunno, maybe because my brain expects some action there? Then through the reflection up to the trees, then finally down right.

    • For sure that not everyone see the same thing/way.

      I suspect the odds of starting with the cat tails would be higher if the image were flipped horizontally – at least in our culture (and for us engineers). Westerners tend to enter a page from from the left (and more so for tech-types as we look at the lower left as the origin for graphs). Just a thought – flip it & see if it makes any difference. Studies show that lower left to upper right is a preferred direction of eye movement – all else equal.

    • Thanks for asking. I’ll see what I can do. Give me a week or so.

      The biggest tip is to get the Nik Collection which works in LR – but I’m sure that’s not what you meant. 😉

Comments are closed.