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Refining shadows and highlights

From: Shooting and Processing Panoramas

Video: Refining shadows and highlights

When you shoot a panoramic photo, chances are you have a lot of shadows and a lot of highlights. And because you're covering such a wide range, it's very possible that you don't have an ideal exposure all the way through. Fortunately, Photoshop's Shadow Highlight Filter. Does a great job of allowing you to target both the shadowy regions and the highlights, plus it can be run on a smart object, making it truly non destructive. I recommend that you take the image and right click and convert to a smart object.

Refining shadows and highlights

When you shoot a panoramic photo, chances are you have a lot of shadows and a lot of highlights. And because you're covering such a wide range, it's very possible that you don't have an ideal exposure all the way through. Fortunately, Photoshop's Shadow Highlight Filter. Does a great job of allowing you to target both the shadowy regions and the highlights, plus it can be run on a smart object, making it truly non destructive. I recommend that you take the image and right click and convert to a smart object.

This will set it so you can use the adjustment non-destructively. Next choose image, adjustments, shadows highlights. With the shadows highlights adjustment you see two basic sliders. Logically, there's one for shadows and the more you lift that, the more the shadows become lightened. And one for highlights so you can knock down the brighter areas. Now neither of these should be dragged all the way over. Typically though, I will click, show more options.

When you do, take a deep breath because there's quite a few choices. What you want to do, is define the shadowy region, so you set the tonal width. Adjusting the width will define what's a shadow. Then you could dial in the amount to lift it. Setting it to a very narrow width allows you to make a very fine adjustment. But you'd basically want to dial that in till you see the area affected and then use the amount slider to go to taste.

Checking the preview box off and on makes it very easy to see the before and after states as you work. You might find it useful to use Cmd or Ctrl + To zoom in a bit, so you can really see the region as you work. Notice that the scrolling bars remain live as you make adjustments. Before. After. I like that, because some of the muddy areas where there's vegetation here now have some actual detail.

Using the Radius slider, I can refine that and blend the results. Let's scroll up to some of the Highlight regions with the clouds here. In this particular case, I'd like to work the cloud details a bit. Adjusting the Highlights Amount. Knocks down the highlight areas. And I could use the tonal width slider to define what's a highlight. Pointing the clouds down a bit makes them look better.

And using the radius slider, I can gradually blend between what's selected and not selected. To avoid any clipping or posterization. As you brighten up the image it's always a good idea to add in some color correction, otherwise the image starts to look washed out. So this will restore saturation or vibrance to the areas that were most processed. Using the Midtone Contrast slider, you could restore crispness to the blacks.

Generally speaking, you're going to want to add this in, but don't overdo it or the image will really start to look overprocessed. That looks pretty good. Toggling the before and after, I can see the adjustment. And let's just press Cmd or Ctrl+0 to see the whole image, and pull this out of the way. Before, after. Definitely happy with that change as it really brings out the contrast nicely in the image. And gives better definition to the entire total range.

I'll click OK to apply it, and you'll notice it's applied as a smart filter, meaning that I can go ahead and turn off or on, double click to modify its results or double-click on the blending options to fade it back with the original, or change it's blending mode to taste. Using it as a smart object with the smart filter version really gives you the flexibility to continue to refine this throughout the printing or save for web process.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Shooting and Processing Panoramas
Shooting and Processing Panoramas

68 video lessons · 6268 viewers

Richard Harrington
Author

 
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  1. 1m 40s
    1. Welcome
      36s
    2. What you should know before watching this course
      35s
    3. Using the exercise files
      29s
  2. 2m 25s
    1. The end product
      1m 20s
    2. The objectives
      1m 5s
  3. 6m 25s
    1. Determining a target delivery size
      1m 5s
    2. What is field of view?
      1m 49s
    3. What is the nodal point?
      2m 33s
    4. Postprocessing choices for panoramic photography
      58s
  4. 8m 48s
    1. A solid tripod for panoramic photography
      1m 22s
    2. Choosing a tripod head
      2m 52s
    3. Lens choices for panoramic photography
      2m 15s
    4. Compensating for the nodal point
      2m 19s
  5. 4m 59s
    1. Shooting source images in JPEG format
      1m 49s
    2. Shooting source images in RAW format
      1m 21s
    3. Stitching in camera
      1m 49s
  6. 14m 21s
    1. Leveling the camera platform
      2m 17s
    2. Cleaning the lens
      3m 28s
    3. Locking exposure and focus
      1m 58s
    4. Shooting with overlap
      1m 50s
    5. Minimizing camera shake
      1m 43s
    6. A refresher on the exposure triangle
      3m 5s
  7. 8m 50s
    1. What is GigaPan?
      1m 46s
    2. Building the GigaPan platform
      2m 39s
    3. Framing and recording the shot with the GigaPan system
      4m 25s
  8. 5m 20s
    1. Why shoot an HDR panorama?
      1m 23s
    2. Setting up for the shot
      2m 27s
    3. Shooting the source images
      1m 30s
  9. 11m 49s
    1. Shooting a 360-degree panorama
      4m 20s
    2. Shooting handheld
      2m 6s
    3. Shooting panoramas using an iPhone
      1m 11s
    4. Using Photosynth for panoramic photography
      2m 59s
    5. Using 360 Panorama from Occipital for panoramic photography
      1m 13s
  10. 5m 48s
    1. Using a card wallet
      1m 8s
    2. Transferring data
      3m 22s
    3. Choosing a working drive
      1m 18s
  11. 8m 40s
    1. Using stacks in Adobe Bridge
      3m 35s
    2. Renaming and renumbering image sequences
      5m 5s
  12. 31m 30s
    1. Basic exposure with Camera Raw
      7m 10s
    2. Advanced recovery with Camera Raw
      7m 26s
    3. Reducing noise with Camera Raw
      3m 24s
    4. Removing dust with Camera Raw
      7m 2s
    5. Choosing a bit depth
      2m 21s
    6. Compensating for lens distortion
      4m 7s
  13. 1h 18m
    1. Initiating the Photomerge command from Bridge
      1m 29s
    2. Initiating the Photomerge command from Photoshop
      1m 47s
    3. Initiating the Photomerge command from Lightroom
      4m 16s
    4. Choosing an alignment method
      4m 37s
    5. Compensating for lens distortion
      7m 19s
    6. Blending the photos
      2m 51s
    7. Post-merge cleanup
      5m 44s
    8. Using the Adaptive Wide Angle filter to remove distortion
      4m 4s
    9. Merging the 360-degree panoramic photo
      10m 16s
    10. Merging the HDR panoramic photo
      13m 44s
    11. Merging the GigaPan panoramic photo
      5m 39s
    12. Using Photoshop filters to enhance panoramas
      3m 18s
    13. Using third-party filters to enhance panoramas
      9m 36s
    14. Additional third-party filters to enhance panoramas
      3m 49s
  14. 13m 36s
    1. Using the Photo Filter adjustment layer
      2m 5s
    2. Refining shadows and highlights
      4m 8s
    3. Improving contrast in panoramic photos
      2m 29s
    4. Adjusting vibrance in panoramic photos
      1m 26s
    5. Converting panoramas to black and white
      3m 28s
  15. 24m 40s
    1. Should you flatten a panorama?
      2m 47s
    2. Cropping a panoramic photo to a target size and resolution
      5m 23s
    3. Saving panoramas for printing
      3m 37s
    4. Saving panoramas for the web
      12m 53s
  16. 58s
    1. Goodbye
      58s

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