Sep 24, 2013

How to Recover Detail in Highlight and Shadow

Recovering Lost Detail

It may be hard to see at times, but you are often capturing more information in a photo than you realize; the trick is learning how to find that detail. In this tutorial we go over a very simple solution to bring out detail in the shadows as well as the highlights.

For maximum detail and flexibility when editing your image, shoot in RAW 16bit format. If you are shooting JPEG, you are losing out on an enormous amount of color and light information.

Here are some of the tools we use:

  • Curves – Curves are one of the most essential editing tools in Photoshop, they are extremely powerful.
  • Apply Image – Apply image will take a snapshot of your image and place it on a layer mask. This will help to blend shadows and highlights.


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    Danielle Dautel

    Thank you so much for all of your help Aaron! Phlearn has taught me so much already- and to see my photo edited here? Surreal!

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    Steven Maguire

    Aaron. Before you make the second curves layer mask shouldn’t you disable the first curves layer so it grabs the info from the background layer. If not, doesn’t the curves 1 layer effect the outcome of the second mask.