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Thread: PP on image with lots of highlighs and shadows

  1. #1

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    Mathieu

    PP on image with lots of highlighs and shadows

    I have a couple of picture that have lots of clipped highlights and shadow (Both in the same picture).

    So I lowered the exposure on each, until I have less clipped highlights as possible. Then raise the fill lights to raise the lost midtones due to the removed exposure. Then I adjusted a bit the Recovery to get a bit more. And then litle bit (3-4) of brightness.

    And then I found how to play with the Tone Curve. Is it only me but I found it easier in THIS situation (Mix of clipped highlights and shadows) and SO MUCH more natural looking when I'm done. I just reduce the highlights until I get less clipping as possible, then raise the blacks and shadow (vary on this part). I really end up with a more natural image. With the first process my GF on the picture would sometime look like a drawing...

    Is this a good method? Is this a prefered method in this situation?

    Btw, I might mix some keywords here and there, so feel free to correct me and even introduce new keywords

  2. #2

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    Re: PP on image with lots of highlighs and shadows

    Like a lot of things to do with image manipulation, Mathieu, there are many ways to achieve a similar result.

    Personally, when faced with this problem, I work on two separate layers and use masks.

    Create a duplicate layer of the original background. Edit one for the shadows (I would use Curves) and the other for the highlights.

    Add a mask to the second layer (highlights) and adjust as required. I would probably use a Hide All Mask which would mean the highlights of the first (shadow) layer will now be totally blown.

    Paint over these areas on the mask with a soft edged low opacity 'white' brush and the reduced highlights will gradually appear over the blown areas, make several passes of the brush until it looks correct.

    Possibly the best effect would be obtained by using 3 layers with the original image being used as a mid tone layer then a shadow duplicate layer plus mask and a separate highlight layer plus mask.

    It takes a bit of time and unless you are already used to this sort of thing, layers and masks may seem a bit daunting at first. However the results of specific editing of the layers should give a more controlled result.

    By building up the effect with several applications of a low opacity brush (say 20%) you can vary the opacity (effect) of the overall adjustment on specific areas of the overall image.

    And personally, I would use multiple edits of an original Raw File and do most of the brightness editing on these before converting.

    But this is just how I tackle a common problem; other people will use different methods.

  3. #3

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    Mathieu

    Re: PP on image with lots of highlighs and shadows

    Hi Geoff, thank for your answer.

    For now I'm using Lightroom to edit my Raw files, but I also have Photoshop. But problem is that I'm not really used to the layers, filters and all that stuff, so I'm not touching them for now. This is the next thing I might get into for PP learning.

  4. #4
    Lon Howard's Avatar
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    Re: PP on image with lots of highlighs and shadows

    Mathieu, as Geoff mentioned there are numerous ways to approach this. When you get a chance you might try saving three separate exposures of the raw file (moving exposure slider left and right) and then combining them in an HDR program that has shadow and highlight clipping controls. Perhaps this is what Geoff was alluding to? The resulting TIFF file might be more to your liking without having to employ layers, masks, brushes and the like.

  5. #5

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    Re: PP on image with lots of highlighs and shadows

    Well, the result I got with the tone curve was natural and very acceptable. So that's another method

  6. #6
    Lon Howard's Avatar
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    Re: PP on image with lots of highlighs and shadows

    Quote Originally Posted by kontrol View Post
    Well, the result I got with the tone curve was natural and very acceptable. So that's another method
    Thanks. I have largely ignored that function in ACR but I'll be giving it another look. It would certainly be faster. Cheers!

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