What is LCE

Patented LCE (Lighting and Contrast Enhancement) from ACD Systems International Inc. is the driving force behind the Lighting tool in our ACDSee photo editing products. Harness the power of LCE to improve the quality of poorly lit photos, and achieve HDR photo results from a single image.

What can LCE do for my images?

LCE technology can improve the appearance of your photos in a variety of ways, either automatically or with varying levels of user control.

ACDSee LCE example with Lighting controls
  • Deliver HDR image results from a single shot, from any digital camera
  • Increase exposure of dark (underexposed) photos
  • Increase contrast and vibrancy of dull photos
  • Correct uneven lighting
  • Correct backlit photos
  • Reduce the effect of atmospheric haze
  • Automatically brighten dark areas and darken bright areas (automatic dodge and burn)

How does LCE work?

LCE analyzes and maps the dark and light areas of your image, creating tonal "exposure zones", which allows adjustments to be applied selectively to each zone, either automatically or totally controlled by the user.

Single-shot HDR-like results

Professional and advanced amateur photographers employ a technique known as HDR, or “high dynamic range” imaging, to produce an accurate rendering of a scene where there is a lot of contrast. The photographer will shoot three images in quick succession: one under exposed, one overexposed, and one with normal exposure, and then combine the images in post-production to create a new image that accurately represents the range of light intensity found in the original subject.

ACDSee’s patented LCE technology makes it simple to stretch the dynamic range of your photo, making it appear more like the scene appeared to the human eye rather than what your digital camera is able to capture. And these natural HDR-like results can be produced with just one image, from any digital camera, using ACDSee’s Lighting tool.

ACDSee LCE example demonstrating exposure zones
ACDSee LCE example

Better than a flash

An actual on-camera flash can create unwanted highlights, unnatural colors, too much or too little illumination of the subject, odd shadows, and red-eye. Using LCE during the developing or editing process can eliminate these unflattering, unnatural effects.

Just for Pros

ACDSee Pro 6 and Mac Pro 3 users can harness the full power of LCE during the RAW conversion process. Working from a data-rich RAW file rather than a jpg will give you a much greater range of control and allow you to produce a high quality conversion, even from a challenging image capture.

Pro users can get full control over the output image when combining LCE with other RAW processing tools such as tone curves, allowing for a high level of control over the exposure, lighting and local contrast of your output images. Applying LCE adjustments to RAW files rather than rendered images also allows you to take advantage of the greater dynamic range found in RAW, allowing for greater flexibility in recovering shadow detail without introducing additional noise.

LCE in ACDSee Photo Flash

ACDSee Photo Flash provides a very simple interface consisting of a single slider. As the slider is moved to the right, the brightening enhancement curve is constructed so that the relative brightening of dark zones of the image compared to bright zones is increased. To the user, the use of the slider is very easy to understand: as the slider is moved to the right, the brightening effect is intensified, and as the slider is moved to the left, the brightening effect is reduced. Moving the slider all the way to the left reduces the brightening effect to zero, resulting in no change to the original image.

ACDSee Photo Flash
LCE in ACDSee Photo Flash

For images without deep shadows, a subtle darkening effect is also added at the same time in order to enhance the photo’s contrast. In the example shown, the darkening effect ensures that as the photo is brightened, the blackest areas of the image remain black.