Adjusting the start and end points on the tone curve in Lightroom

Using the Tone Curve can be a great way to edit your images. I use it a lot to get just the right amount of contrast and range of tones in my images but it can be one thing that takes a little getting used to. I’ll go into a full review of the Tone Curve feature in Lightroom soon so if you want to know more just stay tuned (you can also get our updates via email by entering in your email address on the right where it says Get our articles in your inbox).

Today though I want to talk about a question I have received from a few readers in the past. When you are editing the Tone Curve sometimes you want to edit the very start point or end point of the curve. If you just click on the start or end and start dragging you will see that it behaves something like the below image. The line curves at the end but I can’t move that point on the left of the curve line to be up.

tone curve start points in lightroom

This is because the default behavior in Lightroom for the Tone Curve you are editing a “region” of the image. You can see what part of the tone curve you are impacting by looking at the grey part of the curve when you roll your mouse over any region. See the screenshot below to see when I moused over the left hand side of the curve what area turned grey.

tone curve start points4

If you want to be able to change the start and end points all you have to do is get out of this region editing mode. Click on the small curved icon at the very bottom right of the tone curve area (circled below). This will now let you drag and drop the endpoints or even create points at any section of the curve to edit.

Edit tone curve start points

Easy tip for today and I hope you are all a little more informed on the Tone Curve function now. If you have any Lightroom questions or would like to see something covered in a future article just let me know.

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Author: Mark

Mark is a fine art wedding and portrait photographer from Northern California. He has been passionate about photography since childhood and started his studio 12 years ago to bring a fresh style of photography to the wedding and portrait world.

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