Which Lightroom Sliders Effect Which Parts Of Your Image

If you’re curious which sliders control which parts of your image, Lightroom has a way of showing you. Just hover your cursor over one of the sliders (as seen below where I’m hovering over the Exposure slider). The tonal range that particular slider affects shows up highlighted in the Histogram in light gray (as seen below).

You can file this part under “nice things to know,” but while we’re here at the Exposure slider, look at how much of the overall tonal range of your image is affected by this one single slider. While we say the Exposure slider controls the all-important midtones of your image, you can see from the highlighted area above it also affects the upper shadow areas and the lower highlights. That’s one powerful slider, and why moving it has such an effect on the overall brightness of your image. Anyway, I thought you might find that helpful. 🙂 

Next week, Join Us At The Outdoor Photography Conference

It kicks off next Monday with a pre-conference session, and then it runs all Tuesday and Wednesday in two separate training tracks. Remember — you get full access to all these sessions for an entire year after the conference, so even if you can’t make it next week, you can watch it any time in the next full year, which is awesome.

Info and Tickets here. 🙂

Hope you have a fantastic weekend, and I hope you’ll stop by again next week. 🙂


P.S. There’s Been a New Development In The Chicken Sandwich Wars. I wrote about it over on my blog today. Here’s the link if you’ve got a sec.



  1. RPH 17 May, 2021 at 12:34 Reply

    I guess this tip is not for Lightroom Classic. On my system I see the opposite effect (with apologies!). If I hover over the histogram the relevant tonal control is highlighted!

    • NotoriousRLS 18 May, 2021 at 07:52 Reply

      The 5 items (contrast isn’t…) in the Tone panel light up the histogram faintly in the appropriate regions if you hover over the scrubby knob on the slider. If you move over the areas of the histogram, it will light up the slider row and keyword which affects it as you noted.

  2. NotoriousRLS 17 May, 2021 at 11:46 Reply

    I often adjust my exposure directly on the histogram, it’s my preference. I’ve shown this trick to a lot of people who didn’t know you could just go to the graph and slide it around… then if there’s some fine tuning to do, I’ll go down to the sliders.

  3. Susan Scharenberg 17 May, 2021 at 08:44 Reply

    Ditto Fausto Rowland’s comment. Clearly, someone other than Scott wrote this headline!

  4. Joe Schmidt 15 May, 2021 at 11:08 Reply

    The tonal range that particular slider affects shows up highlighted in the Histogram in light gray (as seen below).

    Tonal range not showing up in my Lightroom. How do you get it to show up? Is there a setting somewhere for that?

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