Using luminance in a scene and controlling tone in post for creativity

This is one concept, once learned, will affect every step of your photography. It’ll change the way you plan, take, and edit you picture.There are different ways to think about and measure how bright something is. It’s part of the Zone System but it works to just think of this in terms of tones.

Luminance and Zones

train fernandino photo

Envision this shot in B&W, control the camera to capture it and perfect the tones in post.

Please see the newly build Learning Page above for this topic. Go to Subject and Zones.



  1. I applied all my years of Photoshop to LR3 which prlbobay isn’t a good idea – they are different, they do different things and it just frustrated me at first! I think arriving at LR3 without any preconceptions would be ideal. Although I’ve been a Photoshop user for donkeys years I hadn’t really used it for photo enhancement until last year, I’d been pottering around using it as a graphic design tool (Adobe Illustrator just baffles and infuriates me!).I learned everything about how to tweak, fix and enhance photos online. Everything. All for free. There’s a massive community of photographers out there who have already done the work and share all their expertise freely. I must gather all my favourite tutorials into a post and share what I like about them – why I think they work.


    1. I appreciated your story of rough beginnings coming to LR. I love love love free stuff online too. I think it has it’s place though. It’s great if you have all the time in the world and you have a healthy ability to weed out the wrong info. Otherwise I’d stick with paid services like or even one on one paid tutoring.


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