Curves for Targeted Adjustments


Today’s Question: In one of your presentations on targeted adjustments in Adobe Camera Raw I saw that there was a Curves adjustment available when masking. I don’t see this adjustment in the Develop module in Lightroom Classic, but I thought they were supposed to be the same. Am I missing an update or something?

Tim’s Quick Answer: You’re not missing anything. The Tone Curve adjustment is not currently available for targeted adjustments in Lightroom Classic, while it is available in Camera Raw in Photoshop.

More Detail: In general, the adjustments available in the Develop module in Lightroom Classic and Camera Raw in Photoshop are identical. Adobe has overall done a good job of keeping the updates synchronized between their various applications that use the same engine for optimizing photos, which includes the cloud-based version of Lightroom.

However, with a recent update the masking features did get out of sync, with a Curves adjustment being added to the subset of adjustments available for targeted adjustments in Camera Raw, while the same adjustment is not available for targeted adjustments in Lightroom Classic.

I expect Adobe will resolve this issue with an upcoming release of Lightroom Classic, hopefully soon. I do find the Tone Curve adjustment can be very helpful in general for applying targeted tonal or color adjustments based on tonal values in the image. It would be nice, however, to have that same capability available in a more targeted way by having it added to the masking feature in Lightroom Classic. Perhaps more important, it would be helpful if Adobe ensured that these applications were once again synchronized in terms of the adjustments available.