Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
Another common problem that we often want to correct or fix, would be any blown out highlights or really bright areas in your photograph that don't have detail. And the problem is is that as we walk around the world and we look at different things, our eyes can adjust to areas that are lighter or darker. So say for example when you walk into a dark room. Our eyes would adjust so that we could see into those darker areas. Likewise, when we walk outdoors on a sunny day, our eyes can quickly adjust for that brighter light. Now, the difference between the brightest values and the darkest values in an image.
I call that the dynamic range of the image. And we're going to take a look at this image here of the church. And we can see that well, actually it has two problems. It's a little bit over exposed, and the dynamic range is pretty great between these really bright cloud areas, and the shadow areas here, in the church. So, let's go ahead and open that up, I'm going to use Cmd+R on the Mac, or Ctrl+R on Windows, in order to bring that up in Camera Raw. And let's take a look over here at our histogram.
You can see that because the image is overexposed, there really are very few dark values in the image. And if I tap the o key, or if I click on this triangle in the upper right, it's going to turn on the Highlight clipping warning. And we can see that there are some areas of our image that are actually clipped to pure white. That's how overexposed this image is. So the first thing that I'll do to try to correct this is, I will click on the Auto button. And as soon as I select that, you can see that there's been slight changes made here to the sliders, and if we take a look at the histogram, you can see that we now are making use of the entire dynamic range.
So there are a few more values down here in our black area. But if we just look at the image, we can see that it is still far too over exposed. So, I am going to pull the Exposure slider to the left, until I think visually the image just looks good. And you can see, as I do that, those warnings for the highlights that have been clipped, automatically go away. Now I don't want to pull the exposure too far to the left because I want to bear in mind not only what the darker values look like, but I also want to take a look at my histogram.
So I'm going to pull my exposure back, just a little bit, maybe to right about there so that the overall exposure of the image looks good. But we can see now that I'm not making use of the very bright values in my image. And the problem with the sky is that we have a lot of values that are very close together on the histogram, and we can see that, those are these areas right in here. And my goal here is to try to extend those a little bit to expand them, to create more contrast between all of these values here.
So that we'll be able to see differences in value in our image area. So the way I would do this is I would first pull my White slider over to the right a little bit. That's setting my white point, and I want to make sure that we're using the entire dynamic range of the histogram here. And then I'm going to pull my Highlight slider to the left to try to separate out some of those values. Now, as I do that, we'll notice that I then need to kind of define the whites a little bit more. But what that's doing is by pulling these values, say right around here, and these values over here by pulling them apart, we are adding contrast.
By adding contrast we are going to see the difference in values in the Highlight area. Now if I wanted to see a before and after, I could tap the p key. The p key will show us a preview of before and after. Of course, I could also see a preview side by side by clicking on the y right down here, so that we can see the before and after. So the one thing that I am noticing in this histogram, when I've made these other changes we can see right here that I've actually clipped some of my dark values to pure black.
So I'm going to move the Black slider over to the right a little bit, so that we're not clipping. I also want to add a little bit more contrast between these shadow areas here, to add contrast between the black painted area of the church and the white. So to do that I'm going to grab my Shadow slider, and I'm actually going to move that down. Now as a result of making such a large change to these sliders, we're also noticing that there's this blue tint in the clouds. So to correct that I'm going to use my Temperature slider.
Just move that over to the right a bit. That's going to warm up the image, and it's going to get rid of that blue cast for me. Alright, let's go ahead and turn off the Highlight clipping warnings. I'll do that by tapping the o key. But again, you could always toggle them off by just clicking on this triangle up here in the upper right of the histogram. We'll go ahead and click Done. It'll return us back to Bridge, and we can see the adjustments that we've made to that image. So of course I want to point out that you can only fix those blown out highlights to a certain extent.
If the dynamic range of your image was so great that the camera was unable to capture any detail in those highlight areas like the cloud areas. Well then it's going to be very difficult if not impossible for Camera Raw to be able to pull back information. So you want to make sure when you're actually photographing the scene that you do capture information in your highlights, and then you can use Camera Raw in order to refine those and bring out additional detail.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
180 Video lessons · 60006 Viewers
64 Video lessons · 88418 Viewers
148 Video lessons · 94974 Viewers
86 Video lessons · 57355 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.
Your file was successfully uploaded.