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05-09-2011, 01:34 PM   #1
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JPEG shooters: here's a way to lift the shadows - in camera

Here's a little trick I discovered. You can "lift the shadows" more than 1EV by combining the "shadow correction" and the custom image "high/low key" settings:

Set shadow correction to max.
Set high/low key to +4.

Typically you use this for moderately backlit scenes where you attempt to preserve some highlights. See the pictures below for the effect, compared to no shadow correction and high/low key set to 0.

I've prepared the demonstration pictures in camera using one RAW exposure. Ironic, isn't it? I don't intend to start another round of raw-vs-jpeg discussion. Whatever you can do in camera, you can do better in post. I just thought this was a neat trick for the jpeg shooters out there.

Regards,
--Anders.

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05-09-2011, 02:29 PM   #2
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Great tip! - thx
05-09-2011, 02:45 PM   #3
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THis is interesting. I will try it out.
05-09-2011, 02:59 PM   #4
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On which cameras does this trick work?

05-09-2011, 03:53 PM   #5
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You do have to be careful not to overdo this as it can leave paler colours, particularly skin tones, looking too plastic, but a similar effect can be created to good effect in PP if shooting in RAW: Using the Shadows/Highlights tool - PentaxForums.com
05-10-2011, 04:04 AM   #6
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@RioRico: It works on the K-x which I have. I assume it will work on any Pentax that has the two settings, but I cannot say authoritatively. I think the K-7 and newer cameras have both settings.

@Ash: You're right about the quality of the result. The contrast can suffer somewhat.

Sincerely,
--Anders.
05-10-2011, 10:44 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
a similar effect can be created to good effect in PP if shooting in RAW: Using the Shadows/Highlights tool - PentaxForums.com
Please correct me if I am wrong - but isn't Shadows/Highlight tool in PS (and to a lesser extent PS Elements, and most other editors) working on/available for the JPG?

For RAW in ACR as your thread showed there are additionally Highlight Recovery (very useful tool) and Fill Light tools - that actually can be applied to JPGs too (use Open As... Camera RAW).
05-10-2011, 11:08 AM   #8
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So this should work on K-x/K-r and K-7/K-5 since before there was no separate shadow correction. I think it is a little overdone in the example picture.

05-10-2011, 11:53 AM   #9
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Borrowed the No Lift photo and tried to match the With Lift photo using the two humble editors I have (very old version of PhotoImpact 8, and PS Elements 7)

An attempt at matching the with lift photo using PS Elements 7 -

max'd out PS Elements shadow lift -
could have done it twice, but this is the most that the shadows could be lifted in a single pass -
PS Elements was VERY good at this -
there was hardly any need for highlight correction at all -

Another attempt to match the with lift photo using very old version of PhotoImpact 8 (my usual editor)

this is closer - but PhotoImpact lifts everything when lifting the shadows - so had to use highlight correction and even lift the midtones a bit - in comparison PS Elements 7 was much easier.

My interpretation (using PS Elements 7)
05-10-2011, 01:26 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote
Please correct me if I am wrong - but isn't Shadows/Highlight tool in PS (and to a lesser extent PS Elements, and most other editors) working on/available for the JPG?

For RAW in ACR as your thread showed there are additionally Highlight Recovery (very useful tool) and Fill Light tools - that actually can be applied to JPGs too (use Open As... Camera RAW).
Difference is you'll encounter posterization much earlier with jpg, because they're 8 bits per color plane, while raw is (on the K-5) 14 bits per. Additionally, there's less data in the shadows to be revealed, for the same reason.
05-10-2011, 01:39 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote
Difference is you'll encounter posterization much earlier with jpg, because they're 8 bits per color plane, while raw is (on the K-5) 14 bits per. Additionally, there's less data in the shadows to be revealed, for the same reason.
Your points are all valid -

But isn't Shadows/Highlights in PhotoShop ONLY available on JPGs? -
- these are not in ACR.
05-10-2011, 01:56 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote
Your points are all valid -

But isn't Shadows/Highlights in PhotoShop ONLY available on JPGs? -
- these are not in ACR.
Sorry, dunno; I use Lightroom. It's got something called "Fill Light". Regardless of the software, the same thing happens, though.
05-10-2011, 02:17 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote
Sorry, dunno; I use Lightroom. It's got something called "Fill Light". Regardless of the software, the same thing happens, though.
That's correct in ACR (Adobe Camera RAW) there are fill light and Highlight Recovery as I mentioned originally - these work on RAW - Ash's linked post was about Shadows/Highlights - which is ONLY available for JPGs in PhotoShop - as he was demonstrating, and all I did was to point out Highlights/Shadows correction was also available in many other editors.

Despite the fact RAW is theoretically more flexible -
LR's Fill light and Highlight recovery do not have the fine control as in the Shadows/highlights in PhotoShop



LightRoom is very nice - but I'm not too sure it can do any more on RAW than ACR.
05-10-2011, 02:39 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote
That's correct in ACR (Adobe Camera RAW) there are fill light and Highlight Recovery as I mentioned originally - these work on RAW - Ash's linked post was about Shadows/Highlights - which is ONLY available for JPGs in PhotoShop - as he was demonstrating, and all I did was to point out Highlights/Shadows correction was also available in many other editors.

Despite the fact RAW is theoretically more flexible -
LR's Fill light and Highlight recovery do not have the fine control as in the Shadows/highlights in PhotoShop

LightRoom is very nice - but I'm not too sure it can do any more on RAW than ACR.
Raw is not "theoretically" more flexible, it *is* more flexible. 14 bits vs 8 bits is not theoretical.

I've not used ACR directly - if I understand it properly, it's for a different workflow than Lightroom. Regardless, in Lightroom, I use 'curves' for more granular control of such things (which encompasses all the settings you've got in that dialog you posted). I can't really make any observations about ACR as I don't use the ACR interface, but I can't think of anything I've seen in this thread I can't do with Lightroom. Or Aperture, for that matter.
05-10-2011, 03:18 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote
Raw is not "theoretically" more flexible, it *is* more flexible. 14 bits vs 8 bits is not theoretical.
I've not used ACR directly - if I understand it properly, it's for a different workflow than Lightroom.
The Shadows/highlights as pointed out by Ash is pretty simple to understand - and can correct the OP's JPG example of the subject partially hidden in the shadows and give more flexible results than the in-camera correction - which although works is not generally applicable because if the next shot is a normal non-back-lit scene - then the result is likely to be kind of pale and washed out -
so applying the more drastic shadows and highlight corrections in-camera can only be done on a sort of case by case basis.

Cannot argue with you re: 14-bits and 8 bits - and will agree any substantial processing will reveal the superiority of RAW -
but for minor adjustments and corrections - even on this example which seems more substantial - processing JPGs is adequate - no doubt the RAW may have been more "flexible" by the fact it is 14-bits (or on some Pentaxes - 12-bits) but one could not apply the PS Shadows/Highlights as suggested by Ash -

Also the end result is still going to be in 8-bit sRGB JPG - where the difference between 14-bits and originally 8-bit is going to be marginal visually, if at all - unless of course as mentioned one has to much more drastic processing - which most photographers would prefer to avoid by getting the right exposure to begin with.

RAW vs JPG is a long running debate -
both have their places and advocates -
this is not the appropriate place to debate it -
there are plenty of existing threads,
where valid cases are made for both sides.

Last edited by UnknownVT; 05-10-2011 at 04:01 PM.
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