Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Lessons Learned in Lightroom

Here's a great example of the recovery potential in RAW images with Lightroom's powerful Develop tools. This image was heavily overexposed, especially in the bright area representing his shirt. Had this image been shot as a JPG, it would be unrecoverable. Not so with RAW! What a transformation! Exposure, saturation and detail is all there...

Attached Image
Original RAW

Attached Image
Recovered RAW

Moral of the Story During camera exposure, push that histogram as far to the right as possible and don't delete those blown files until you've checked them out in LR - even a couple of stops of overexposure can be corrected on many shots.

PS I've also made it a practice to move the Recovery and Blacks sliders to adjust exposure - then adjust Fill if needed. With big corrections, the Exposure slider can tend to reduce saturation and contrast and complicate the process. Also, the Auto button often adds excessive Black values in the shadows portion of the histogram. This worries me as I prep for printmaking, so I manually adjust Black levels to just touch the left side of the histogram to retain maximum detail in dark areas.

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