Wednesday, 26 September 2007

LightZone by LightCrafts

Advanced photo-editing made simple


LightZone is the essential desktop photo-editing software for people who value their photographs. LightZone is purpose-built for photography and allows anyone, regardless of photographic skillset, to edit photographs quickly and easily.

LightZone’s individuality shines brightest in its unique approach to lighting and tonal corrections. Photos are broken into 16 shades of gray, displayed in a linear scale called the ZoneMapper (derived from Ansel Adams’ photographic Zone System), wherein each shade represents the lighting difference of half an f-stop. Hover your mouse over any shade and the corresponding areas light up in the ZoneFinder, a small grayscale representation of the photo at the top right of the window. (If this sounds a bit complicated, don’t worry; LightZone’s help system is amazingly well developed, and it will get you up to speed quickly.)

For example, to see the darkest area (shadows) in your photo, hover over the blackest bar in the ZoneMapper. To see the lightest area (highlights), hover over the whitest bar. To make a change, click once in that area of the ZoneMapper and drag the resulting blue line (the zone lock) up to brighten or down to darken. This unique ability to see the highlights, shadows, and midtones is nothing short of revolutionary, and it’s more intuitive than methods used in other editors, like Photoshop’s Levels and Curves.

The new Relight tool lets you adjust contrast and lighting even further, and most tools have blend modes for controlling how adjustments in the tool stack interact with each other, complete with an opacity control.

Any adjustment can be copied from one photo and applied to others. Pros will also enjoy LightZone’s Raw adjustment tool and the ability to edit metadata.