Nikon D3400 Retouch Filters to Adjust Exposure and Color

By Julie Adair King

When shooting images on your Nikon D3400, you might need to adjust the exposure and color. The following Retouch filters enable you to tweak exposure and color:

  • D-Lighting: Active D-Lighting brightens too-dark shadows in a way that leaves highlight details intact. You can apply a similar adjustment to an existing photo by choosing the D-Lighting filter from the Retouch menu. On the photo shown here strong backlighting left the balloon underexposed in the original image.
An underexposed, backlit subject (left) gets help from the D-Lighting filter (right).

When you choose this filter, you see before-and-after views of the image, as shown. Press the Multi Selector left or right to adjust the Effect option, which sets the strength of the adjustment.

Press the Multi Selector right or left to vary the strength of the correction.

Also note the Portrait option, which is underneath the Effect option and dimmed in the figure. If the camera recognizes faces in the photo, you can select this option to limit the exposure adjustment to areas around the face (or faces).

However, only three faces (maximum) are considered for this special exposure change. Also, you must have captured the photo with the Auto Image Rotation option on the Playback menu enabled. To see how things look with the portrait feature, highlight the option and press the Multi Selector right to put a check mark in the option box. Don’t like the results? Press left to remove the check mark and turn off the portrait adjustment.

You can’t apply D-Lighting to a picture taken using the Monochrome Picture Control. Nor does D-Lighting work on pictures to which you’ve applied the Quick Retouch filter, covered next, or the Monochrome filter, detailed a little later in this list.

  • Quick Retouch: This filter increases contrast and color saturation and, if your subject is backlit, also applies a D-Lighting adjustment to restore some shadow detail that otherwise might be lost. As with D-Lighting, you can choose from three levels of Quick Retouch correction. And the same restrictions apply: You can’t apply the filter to monochrome images or on pictures that you adjusted via D-Lighting.
  • Filter Effects: Choose this option to access two warming filters, which enhance the warm (red and yellow) tones in the scene. You can choose from these options:
    • Skylight filter: Reduces the amount of blue to create a subtle warming effect
    • Warm filter: Produces a warming effect that’s just a bit stronger than the Skylight filter

Both tools produce minimal color shift, and neither enables you to adjust the strength of the effect. And to answer your question, no, you can’t apply the filter several times in a row to produce a stronger effect.

The other two filters on the Filter Effects, Cross Screen and Soft, are special-effects filters.

  • Monochrome: With the Monochrome Picture Control feature, you can shoot black-and-white photos. As an alternative, you can create a black-and-white copy of an existing color photo by applying the Monochrome option on the Retouch menu. You can also create sepia and cyanotype (blue and white) images via the Monochrome option. This figure shows examples of each.
You can create three monochrome effects through the Monochrome tool on the Retouch menu.

You can’t apply certain Retouch menu options to your photo after you do the conversion; the D-Lighting, Quick Retouch, and Soft filters are among those that don’t work on a monochrome copy. (Obviously, filters related to color adjustment also are no longer available.) So use those filters before heading to the Monochrome option.

After selecting Monochrome from the Retouch menu, select the type of image you want to create (black-and-white, sepia, or cyanotype) and press OK. For the Sepia and Cyanotype options, you then see a screen that asks you to set the intensity of the tint; press the Multi Selector up and down to do so and then give the OK button one final push.