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Opening up shadows

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 I also find that some stock imagery looks very "unnatural" with shadows opened way up.




Right on John. I always try to keep them natural. Most shadows at high noon look unnatural if you try to open them up. You can do anything in software but that dies not mean you should.


Water DARKENED because that is the way I saw the image.


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John, I very often open up the shadows on images because I want to avoid the sinister look of something lurking in those shadows. Like everything, it's a judgement call on each particular image. When I open the shadows I have to add a little contrast and possibly a bit of saturation to balance things so they look natural. If needed, I then might use noise reduction in LR. I'm careful, and none of this has ever resulted in a QC fail. 



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Street shots often have high contrast and deep shadows, sometimes in areas where there is important detail e.g.  people.


I might use two raw conversions in LR and combine in PS, but you are right to be concerned about noise, almost always requires more control in the lifted shadow areas.


Agree with, a rather different looking, Edo, some further tweaking also generally required.

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Shadows -- I'm always weary of opening them up too much and exposing noise. I also find that some stock imagery looks very "unnatural" with shadows opened way up.


Just curious, how do you decide how much to open up shadow areas?

My criterion (hmmm .... is that the right word?) is "As I saw it". I use Photoshop to surpass the camera's limits. Not only by showing details in shadows and highlights, but also by straightening buildings, colour correcting - especially - blue skies and green grass so it looks as my eyes saw it.



Two pumas / mountain lions / cougars (Felis concolor) at entrance of cave, native to the Americas






That's a haunting image. There are lots of cougars (four-legged variety I'm talking about) here in British Columbia. Unfortunately, I've never seen one in the wild, only their tracks in the mud. As you know, one has to be careful around those big pussycats.

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