@Wolfgang thank you for your response I currently use a old Dell U2515H ( 25" 2560 x 1440) as the main monitor and an old HP Z24i (24" 1920 x 1200) as a second monitor
Creating presets has never worried me and at the time of OpticsPro 11 I created a large number of presets (now a total of 560 including DxO presets) some with titles like
051-10 - SL(7St) CV(50) C(40) Mc(5) Ca(-10) LS(0).preset.
051-20 - SL(7St) CV(50) C(40) Mc(5) Ca(-20) LS(0).preset
051-40 - SL(7St) CV(50) C(40) Mc(5) Ca(-40) LS(0).preset
051-60 - SL(7St) CV(50) C(40) Mc(5) Ca(-60) LS(0).preset
051-80 - SL(7St) CV(50) C(40) Mc(5) Ca(-80) LS(0).preset
053 - SL(7St) CV(20) C(40) Mc(5) LS(0).preset
054 - SL(7St) CV(0) C(40) Mc(5) LS(0).preset
055 - SL(7St) CV(20) C(0) Mc(5) LS(0).preset
050 - SL(7St) CV(50) Mc(5) LS(0).preset
051 - SL(7St) CV(50) C(40) Mc(5) LS(0).preset
I will leave you to figure out what the settings are but it is not very difficult. However, with the coming of PhotoLab new features started to arrive and it became harder to use these cryptic mnemonic acronyms, plus PhotoLab tends not to like handling long preset names.
So I am not unhappy creating presets and the partial application gives the opportunity to apply part of a preset. This may help with creating a “library” of ‘Tone Curves’. The strategy you suggest is the one I typically use i.e. starting with a preset from a similar type of shoot.
The reason for my post was that after starting out that way I pushed the adjustments a little too far (just a tad!!) and encountered a problem!
I am glad that the sensor spots were not what they might have been.
With respect to the gradient that is something I need to understand and experiment with further but I am still concerned that while avoiding the problem I encountered is an acceptable solution I am still concerned that there actually is an underlying problem that could be “fixed”?
I understand the vignette issue and will keep an eye on it in the future.
One issue that I have with PL is that the histogram does not revert when undertaking a comparison between the original and the new render. It does change when comparing between VCs but with other packages that I have used a ‘before’ and ‘after’ compare includes the histogram.
I will use your settings to provide a reference in this case and see what I can do that is a little less extreme! Thank you for the time spent developing my photo, sadly it was not a particularly exciting photo, I have much better (as in more interesting) photos from a longer walk up the same path which ends at Cissbury ring, the site of a Neolithic flint mine which later became an Iron Age hillfort.
Just out of interest I have included 3 rendered photos of a scene taken from Cissbury ring. The first uses a variant of your settings, the second a slightly too strong variant of mine (the sky is too blue) and the third a lightly modified JPG image from my Pixel 4a (mods were horizon and CV(20)). Unfortunately PL5 does not handle Pixel RAW images at all!!