Aaaahhh... Light tones... This was one of my favorite effects. Although it was not really offering serious artistic effects, the output of images turned out just lovely. What it did was to compress the highlights and shadows, and rendered the images with subtle soft contrast.
I know, I know... what difference then with Contrast Masking?
Whilst contrast masking also compressed the tones, this Light Tone filter did more than that. The balance of contrast ensured the images did not look rather flat. Now, that was crucial. As could be seen in the image, the depth perception was still retained. I think there was an element of Auto Gradation involved to render the shadow tones, but with AG, the contrast would still be high. Compared to contrast masking, I could also mess up with the color shifts although would match the compressed contrast range. Not this ART filter, though. Nice!
I stood just across the road to get this shot. The 9mm field-of-view was just enough to get part of the towers into the frame. I could step back for wider coverage, but there was a van parked by the road that would enter into frame.
The original image, the contrast was as seen by my own eyes.
Olympus put this effect as "Subdues highlights and shadows to reflect the ambience of a perfectly illuminated scene. Both the shade and highlight areas are rendered softly to provide a sophisticated feel."
I felt the output was sophisticated at least to me, as it made my Contrast Masking output looked rather amateurish.
Please click on image for larger view.
Comparison between Light Tone and normal output.
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