Double up for detail
George Cairns shows you how to process a RAW file twice and blend the files for better results
Double-process a RAW file and improve the exposure in an image.
RAW files are packed with information about the colours and tones in the image, which enables you to claw back missing details. Selective adjustment tools such as the Graduated Filter enable you to lighten or darken problematic areas without changing correctly exposed ones.
In our starting image the bright sky contrasts with the backlit horse, so the camera has struggled to meter for a correct exposure. Indeed, the sky is over-exposed and the horse is under-exposed, so detail is missing from the shadows, midtones and highlights.
In this tutorial we’ll show you how to process the RAW file twice – once to reveal the shadow detail on the ground, and again to create a version that restores the missing highlights in the sky. You’ll then take the two versions into the Photoshop, where you can use extra tools such as layers, brush tips and layer masks to blend the best bits from both versions together.