Although there are only four primary filters in LightMachine (Brightness/Contrast, Shadows/Highlights, Virtual Studio and Colors), they are split up into 9 different modes to make it easier for beginners to learn to use LightMachine. The basic modes are recommended for beginners, because they offer only the more important controls. As you get to know LightMachine more and more you should try the Pro modes, too. The Shadow/Highlight Pro, Virtual Studio Pro and Colors Pro are the main modes of LightMachine, offer the most controls and let you achieve the best results.
The different modes in Lightmachine work as seperate filters. If you change to another mode, the effect from the previous mode is replaced by the effect of the new mode. If you want to apply two different modes to the same images, you have to press OK to apply the adjustments of the current mode and then run LightMachine again to apply the effect of another mode.
When switching modes several slider values (especially those of the upper tab sheets) are carried over from the previous mode, which can be a big help if you want to try different modes on the same image. There two avenues when switching modes that are useful:
Brightness/Contrast (Pro) -> Shadwos/Highlights (Pro) -> Virtual Studio (Pro)
Color -> Color Replace -> Color Pro
You can ignore the middle mode or last mode or start with the second mode or jump from a basic mode to a Pro mode as long as you don't leave one of the two paths. However, it makes not so much sense switching between modes like Color Replace and Shadow/Highlights Pro, because one mode targets the colors of colored objects while the other mainly targets the brightness of dark or bright objects. So you have to expect that the same color and brightness values have a different effect in both modes. Of course, it can be done and may be needed in some cases, but you have to expect to heavily readjust the controls then.
The layout of the Mode combo box represents these two paths, so that you probably use them intuitively.
This mode just offers a Brightness and Contrast slider. They work much better on photos than the brightness and contrast sliders that can be found in many graphics applications. For more explanations, please read the Brightness/Contrast page.
The Shadows/Highlights mode offers only the most essential controls for independently adjusting the shadows and highlights in the image.
The Virtual Studio mode offers most controls of the Virtual Studio Pro mode, especially the sophisticated Reflection features. So it is more suitable for artistic light effects. It lets you place an unlimited number of light spots as well as shadow shots all over the image by clicking on the preview. You can also select existing spots by clicking on their cross and move them to another position by dragging them.
In addition to a Brightness and Contrast slider, this mode also offers two sliders for adjusting local contrast. It is helpful for images that need a strong contrast increase and the normal Contrast slider doesn't help anymore. For more explanations, please read the Brightness/Contrast page.
The Shadows/Highlights Pro mode is the most flexible mode for correcting photos with shadow and highlight problems. The huge amount of controls offer even more possibilities and lets you correct as good as any type of photo.
Virtual Studio Pro
In Virtual Studio Pro you can feel like in a real photo studio, but unlike the real thing you have unlimited light spots that you can arrange. Additionally you can also place shadow spots on the image to remove the light from certain areas. The Reflection features adapt the spots to the shape of the objects in the image and avoid blown highlights. You can create these spots by clicking on the preview. You can also select existing spots by clicking on their cross and you can move them to another position by dragging them.
The Brightness and Contrast sliders work on all spots simultanously, so they are for general adjustments. You have to set them for the brightest spot and reduce the Intensity slider for all spots that should appear less bright. Same is true for the color and saturation sliders.
Lets you adjust the brightness and contrast of image objects with a certain color. To select a color you just need to click on the preview. To deselect it again please shift click on the same color in the preview.
Color Replace is a specialized version of the Colors Pro mode. It is intended for selectively adjusting the color of image objects with a certain color. To select a color you just need to click on the preview. To deselect it again please shift click on the same color in the preview.
Lets you adjust the brightness, contrast, color and saturation of image objects with a certain color. To select a color you just need to click on the preview. To deselect it again please shift click on the same color in the preview.