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Rico

Highlights & Shadows in Photoshop

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There has been a lot of talk regarding highlight and shadows lately.

Is there anybody here  using that function in PS? Go to Image>Adjustments>Shadows & Highlights>Advanced.

I find it a lot more useful than LR or curves/levels.

Of course there is a YouTube tutorial from my fast talking teacherūüėČ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Avr99WgsOKY

 

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I much prefer controlling the highlights and shadows in the Adobe RAW converter.

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2 hours ago, Michael Ventura said:

I much prefer controlling the highlights and shadows in the Adobe RAW converter.

 

Absolutely agree. And I don't go willy-nilly opening up every shadow I can see either . . . not all shadows need "opening" up, something "auto" simply cannot address.

 

DD

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I'll third that. It is far better to work on the raw file. You can only recover what you have got in the first place so if your raw conversion is losing detail in the shadows and highlights then they won't be there to recover on the converted image. Also for dealing with noise, which can be particularly bad in shadow areas, working on the raw image is far superior. 

 

Even if you only have a jpeg or tiff to work on, I would think it far better to use the ACR filter in Photoshop nowadays than messing about with that shadows/highlights adjustment. 

 

 

Edited by MDM

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Thanks everyone for the feedback. I didn't realize that he was using a jpeg for an example.

One way around that is to use PS as an external editor in LR. Right click on the thumbnail (edit in) and chose PS. If you haven't got an external editor set up, go to Choose Lightroom > Preferences (Mac) or Edit > Preferences (Windows) and then click on the External Editing tab.

You can then do all your edits in PS, including Nik in the 16 bit tiff  file. When finished, click save (not save as). That will take you back to LR with 2 files, original and edited.

Not all shadows need "opening up" but some do.

Anyway, I like itūüėź

Edited by Rico

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2 hours ago, Rico said:

Thanks everyone for the feedback. I didn't realize that he was using a jpeg for an example.

One way around that is to use PS as an external editor in LR. Right click on the thumbnail (edit in) and chose PS. If you haven't got an external editor set up, go to Choose Lightroom > Preferences (Mac) or Edit > Preferences (Windows) and then click on the External Editing tab.

You can then do all your edits in PS, including Nik in the 16 bit tiff  file. When finished, click save (not save as). That will take you back to LR with 2 files, original and edited.

Not all shadows need "opening up" but some do.

Anyway, I like itūüėź

 

I think the point is being missed here, the point being that you can't edit a raw file in Photoshop. The raw editing has to be done in Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw before opening it into Photoshop. And the point of editing the raw file in LR/ACR rather than a converted version (PSD, TIFF, JPEG or whatever) is that the ability to recover shadow and highlight detail is far greater working on the raw file than working on a PSD, TIFF, JPEG or whatever. 

 

If you only have a PSD, TIFF, JPEG or whatever to begin with (perhaps you shoot JPEGs only or you are scanning or copying film)  then sure go ahead and edit the shadows and highlights in Photoshop. But in that case it is probably better to use the ACR filter within Photoshop than the Shadows/Highlights adjustment as it has all the familiar controls for anyone who uses LR or ACR and is extremely powerful in comparison to the Shadows/Highlights adjustment. To get the ACR filter, hit Filter-Camera Raw Filter...

 

But each to his own.

 

 

 

Edited by MDM
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52 minutes ago, MDM said:

 

 

I think the point is being missed here, the point being that you can't edit a raw file in Photoshop. The raw editing has to be done in Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw before opening it into Photoshop. And the point of editing the raw file in LR/ACR rather than a converted version (PSD, TIFF, JPEG or whatever) is that the ability to recover shadow and highlight detail is far greater working on the raw file than working on a PSD, TIFF, JPEG or whatever. 

 

If you only have a PSD, TIFF, JPEG or whatever to begin with (perhaps you shoot JPEGs only or you are scanning or copying film)  then sure go ahead and edit the shadows and highlights in Photoshop. But in that case it is probably better to use the ACR filter within Photoshop than the Shadows/Highlights adjustment as it has all the familiar controls for anyone who uses LR or ACR and is extremely powerful in comparison to the Shadows/Highlights adjustment. To get the ACR filter, hit Filter-Camera Raw Filter...

 

But each to his own.

 

 

 

No points were missed. 

The RAW files may very well contain more information than a 16 bit ProPhoto TIFF file, however the difference may not be significant.

I put this info out for anyone having issues with shadows and highlights. For me LR and ACR (same thing almost) weren't as good as this method.

Just my opinion

 

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6 hours ago, MDM said:

I'll third that. It is far better to work on the raw file. You can only recover what you have got in the first place so if your raw conversion is losing detail in the shadows and highlights then they won't be there to recover on the converted image. Also for dealing with noise, which can be particularly bad in shadow areas, working on the raw image is far superior. 

 

Thanks - I didn't fully appreciated the benefit until I experimented with an image with an overexposed sky. Reducing the exposure by 2 stops on the RAW file using ACR RAW creates a much better result than converting the uncorrected RAW to a 16 bit PS file and then making the exposure adjustment using the Filter>Camera Raw Filter.. in PS.

 

The following shows the difference. Top slice is original image, unadjusted with over exposed sky. Middle slice is after applying -2 stop exposure correction using ACR on the RAW file before RAW conversion and exporting to PS. Bottom slice applies the -2 stop correction using Filter>Camera Raw Filter.. in PS after RAW conversion. Interestingly applying a -2 stop adjustment using the Image>Adjust>Exposure in PS produces a rubbish result which is even worse than using Filter>Camera Raw Filter...  No idea why that should be.

Exposure-adjust-test.jpg

 

NB. I also tried the above test in 16 bit ProPhotoRGB space and the results are still broadly the same. Making the exposure adjustment before RAW conversion does a significantly better job than doing it afterwards. It's easy enough to try for yourself.

 

Mark

Edited by M.Chapman
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I shoot RAW & Jpeg. 99% of files opened are RAW using Camera Raw. I do most adjustments in Camera Raw including shadows/highlights. Mostly I do a very slight shadow/ highlight adjustment together with contrast in PS. I really mean slight just to lighten shadows a little and increase mostly the sky/clouds presence also a little keeping an eye on the histogram. RAW adjustments do not reduce image quality the same way as PS tonal adjustments do.

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I agree with all this.  Once you have carried out the RAW conversion, data is discarded and cannot be recaptured.  Highlight recovery as part of the RAW conversion process accesses data that subsequent processing of even a 16 bit TIFF cannot access, because it is no longer there.  Similarly for shadows, which is why it makes a lot more sense to deal with noise at this stage as well, although the Lightroom/ACR noise reduction engine is not as good as other options which can only be applied after conversion, such as Denoise (other like DXO, but I have not used it). If I am going to create a TIFF from a noisy image to process in Photoshop, I will typically do basic noise reduction in Lightroom/ACR and then apply further noise reduction as needed using the tools I can access in Photoshop.  One technique that I find works well in Lightroom/ACR is to apply any more aggressive noise reduction I need for the shadows via a radial or gradient filter which covers the entire image, then limiting its effect to the darkest areas using a luminosity mask, so that mid-tones and highlights do not lose detail.  You can do the same thing in Capture One using a layer and luminosity mask for extra noise reduction in the shadow areas.

 

Graham

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This will be my last post on this subject. (yay!)

You do not edit in RAW (LR or ACR). RAW does not contain an image.  It's a mistake to think that you are ever actually editing the RAW file. A raw file does not contain an image, it contains camera sensor data that can be processed (rendered) to create an image.  The raw image contains data in a mosiac format, whereas the TIFF uses a separate channel for each of the RGB components, which is why a 16 bit tiff is three times larger than a RAW file  However, it needs to be demosiaced by a raw converter just as the three separate channels of a TIFF need to be combined in Photoshop.

So, when you view a raw file in LR, what's really happening is that LR is using it's default rendering settings to process the raw data to create the image you see on screen. When you "edit" a raw file in LR, the raw file is not changed, but the processing instructions are changed (and thus the on-screen image changes).

Bottom line, then, is that when you do edits in LR, you are not working on the raw file but on the current, on-screen rendering of it.  

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40 minutes ago, Rico said:

Bottom line, then, is that when you do edits in LR, you are not working on the raw file but on the current, on-screen rendering of it.

 

Yes when you are editing in LR, you are adjusting the parameters used to create the rendered image from the RAW data.

 

Mark

Edited by M.Chapman

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I do most of the adjustment in LR, sometimes combining two raw conversions in PS,  but, very occasionally, I find a quick shadows/highlights tweak in PS gets the result I want. I wouldn't dismiss it entirely.

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