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Difference between Exposure and Brightness at Develop persona?

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Possibly these are stupid questions, but even the help file have not helped me: 

- Why can we change the black point in the basic settings in the develop persona, but not the white point?

- A the same position in the Develop Persona: what is the difference between Exposure and Brightness? Playing around with both sliders show identical changes in the histogram and photo.


Best regards



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Hi BlauerClaus :)

You can use the White Balance tool in the Develop Persona for White Point, click on the tool and then click on the part of the image that you wish to apply the balance to.

With regards to Exposure and Brightness, Exposure tool controls the highlight/shadow levels of an image and Brightness controls the lightness/darkness of the image.

I hope this helps.

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  • 3 years later...

Just noticed this is from 2016 LOL but hey still have the question. 

I have the same question and that description does not help at all. What is the difference between Lightness and darkness and Highlight and shadow? The manual does nothing to explain the difference either. Seems like something that needs a simple technical answer so users can better understand when to use one over the other or how to use them together better. For me right now it is I try one then the other and go for the one I like best. I just want to understand ;) 

Edited by Sugar Lion
Noticed old post!
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Just found this here in the forum. Seems to be the best answer so far....

Lee D

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  • Both are similar, Brightness will preserve the highlights and is usually used for adjusting midtones whereas adjusting the Exposure will blow them out.
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  • 3 years later...

In my experience Exposure is sort of "Master Offset" control, moving the whole histogram up or down, while Brightness is "Gamma" - midtones control. I wish we had Highlights or "Gain" control next to them. All in all working with scopes and the three available controls plus contrast control gives super fast and pro looking "gradings". A workflow would be similar to the video post processing which I prefer over a "lightroom culture".

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Unfortunately Affinity differs in how brightness works in Develop / Photo Persona.

Exposure: applies a linear change all over the histogram area.

Brightness in Develop: Same as Exposure, but in a much smaller scale, gives more fine control. (Tested on iPad)

Brightness in Photo: Applies a gamma shaped curve. Preservers the darkest and lightest tones, but shifts all in between.


To check it out, create a rectangle with a black to white gradient. Rasterize, then make the histogram and intensity scope panel visible, and try all the sliders, inspect the reaction of the histogram.

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Exposure & Brightness is weird stuff... I wonder why photographers insist on using such tools (or maybe it is just developers who think photographers want them?).  Here is some explanation what is going on: https://www.lightxapp.com/difference-between-brightness-and-exposure/

I would much prefer to operate just with white point, black point and gamma. And curve when more control is needed. And hilight recovery and shadow controls :-D

I guess some apps apply advanced curve controls when exposure and brightness are used (think manipulating "knee" and "elbow" points in density curves of photographic film). 

Anyway I do not think AP develop tools are very easily understood. I sure am not confident with them.

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