Exercise: Managing Tone


– Set the black point and white point. The normal procedure is to close them in until just short of clipping.

– Assess and if necessary adjust the brightness of the mid tones. The best guide for this is using your own eye

– Assess and if necessary adjust the contrast


Use your chosen raw convertor

– Set the black point and white point by adjusting exposure, activate the shadow clipping and highlight clipping warning

– Assess and make any adjustment required to the brightness of the mid tones.

– Assess and make any changes to the contrast, experiment with contrast and tone curve

For this I used Adobe Elements 9 as it would allow me make adjusts to the jpeg image as well as to open and process the raw image.

I chose an image of a zebra which has black and white as well green tones of the background, the histogram shows that it was an evenly exposed image with no high peaks to the left or right hand side.

Histogram for the Jpeg before



Histogram after I had applied the black and white points. My first reaction was that it had just added some more depth and punch to the colours, especially the black tones.

When viewing the images side by side its quite obvious the difference between the two making the original image look quite washed out. I was happy with the colours so didn’t feel that it need any further adjustments, bearing in mind that if I want to make more specific changes to the image that I should process the raw file.

The histogram for the raw image


I usually process the raw image in the camera raw pop up that comes up when I open an image in Photoshop but as I had processed the jpeg file without this, I’ve replicated the same action here.


After applying the black and white points, I felt that the image was now too bright so I adjusted the white levels from 255 to 223 so the colours are not as artificial.


Jpeg original                                    Jpeg after after processing

Managing tone jpeg originalManaging tone jpeg after

Raw                                                  Raw after processing

Managing tone original rawManaging tone raw after


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