In Lightroom, what’s the difference between exposure and brightness? Both seem to do the same thing, but they are not.

  • Exposure and Brightness work very similarly for the shadows.
  • Exposure sets the white clipping point
  • Brightness changes the mid-tones while compressing/expanding the high tones to try to prevent the clipping of the highlites.

My preferences have changed over time, and I am sure that they will change again, but here they are now:

  1. Reset the brightness to 0
  2. Reset the contrast to 0
  3. Set the exposure
  4. Set the blacks
  5. Adjust the image with the tone curve