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One of the reasons why I think photography is so fascinating, because if you get out into the world with your camera, well, it really keeps you humble, because it's difficult. It's tricky to try to capture correct exposures. Like with this picture here one of the things that I knew I needed to do is to try to have some detail in the sky, yet in doing that the subject is well just completely under-exposed. So what I want to look at is how we can use our basic panel controls in order to correct that. One of the things that we might try is the Exposure slider.
In doing that I can go ahead and brighten the image, but then the rest of it, well, I've lost all of this detail on the surfboard and on the sky. The Exposure slider here, it's just too powerful. What I really need to target is I need to target my shadows. So here I double-click the Exposure slider control that then resets it to 0. So let's go down to our Shadows slider, in doing that I can start to boost those shadows. You see how I'm bringing light into that area of the picture? So I'm going to bring in some shadow detail, then I'll also bring in some exposure.
All right, well, now I'm getting a little bit closer, yet as I do this, I risk blowing out or losing detail here in this part of the picture. Well, that's where the Highlights slider comes in. Here we can click-and-drag this to the left and what that will do is it will help us recover detail in that area of the photograph. You can see how it's just darkening up the tones in that area. Now that we've done that I can also work on my overall Whites, so this will just kind of brighten the image up a little bit and kind of give it a little bit of a brightness boost, so there's a higher luminosity level in this picture.
A lot of times I love these deep rich blacks, but with this photograph I can't afford to take that down anymore. I'll bring in up just a bit and then I'll increase my Contrast. Next, after having made all of these adjustments, I want to evaluate the before-and-after, and then perhaps modify a few of these adjustments. Let's click on the Preview icon or press the P key, here is our before and now here's our after. In doing that I'm so glad to see all of this detail that's been brought into the shadow areas, but I've decided that I want to take that down just a little bit.
It's a little bit too strong for me, so here I'm just going to bring this back a little bit and also bring my shadows back. I'm looking for that sweet spot where I have a nice amount of detail and brightness and light here, so that the image doesn't look contrived, but well-balanced. Here I think that looks a little bit better, it's a subtle change, but for me it kind of works. If we press the P key, you can see there is the before, press that again, now here is the after. And as you can see in this example and in the previous example, we can use these controls to target different areas of our photograph and the more that we use these basic controls, the more that we'll be able to start to think about, well, how can I approach this image, what's the problem here, what slider can I use in order to correct that? Then as we make the correction, we almost always want to go through the whole gamut of these sliders, because typically it's a combination of these different adjustments together, which leads to the best results.
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