Light Blender

I am just about to release a beta of version 4.1 that features a very large addition to Sagelight call the Light Blender.

See the example below.  I also posted some more before & after example pictures on the Facebook page at

I thought I’d mention it here, since I am just not ready to release it today and should have a version out by tomorrow, the next day at the latest.

A Small Introduction to the Light Blender

I’ll be explaining more about it when I release it, but it turned out to be a very large undertaking, and the result is a set of tools in Sagelight that really represents an entire program within a program, much like a number of other tools in Sagelight.

The Light Blender is based on some technology I developed (and then abandoned) last year around Ansel Adams’  Zone System methodology and a technique called Painting with Light.  Both Zone Masking and Painting with Light had their problems, as I saw them, and the Light Blender basically merges the two concepts in a way that works out very well.

In a nutshell, the Zone Masking system I wanted to implement didn’t work out for one reason: Halos!   This is a common and pervasive problem with image-editing.  Since I wanted each zone to be a different layer, when the layers overlapped, you could not avoid generating halos.

Painting with Light, on the other hand, is very nice to work with, but it is also very difficult — you have to use a brush and be very precise.   I had this experience, and someone mentioned it the other day: you can spend hours with the Paint with Light methodology just to get a similar result you could get more easily by other methods.  You really have to understand what is going on and then it is still hard to deal with — it just requires a bit of experience to do it right (I think that last line may generate some comments…)

The Light Blender allows you to play with the light in many different ways.  You can brighten up a very dark picture, or deepen a bright picture.  You can just reorganize the light of your image with a few controls.  You can work with an easy set of controls, or move on to a set of controls that allow you to blend and change the light while avoiding halos or completely eliminating them.

The main thing is that it is done fairly easily without a lot of work and with a lot of control.  Here is one example:

Original Image


Brightened Image after using the Light Blender with just a few slider movements.

This is just one small aspect of the Light Blender.  See more examples at:

I should have a release out by tomorrow sometime.

picture credit: Mike Baird




5 thoughts on “Light Blender

    • It’s similar in one sense, but completely different in another sense. You could call the Smart Light a subset of the LightBlender, except that the Smart Light has some very specific routines to control the light.

      The Light Blender is more about moving the light around, rather than the specific function of the Smart Light. So, it’s similar in a very vague sense, but with a lot more power — and controls, so the Smart Light is simpler to use.

  1. I guess this post was not one of the April first jokes. The edit looks great and I am looking forward to playing with it.

    • Hi, Luc.

      Only an April Fool’s joke in the sense that I thought I’d get it out the next day and it took another week. ha.

      Well, it’s out.. I’ll look forward to your comments.

      With the .PNG files — that’s planned for a version coming soon. It’s going to be a requirement for some other things I’m adding, so it should be in, say, in the next 2-3 months.

  2. Hi Rob,

    is it intended to be that way that Sagelight does not open PNG files?
    The just downloaded version for me is 4.0.2.

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