Dou­ble up for de­tail

Ge­orge Cairns shows you how to process a RAW file twice and blend the files for bet­ter re­sults

NPhoto - - Contents -

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.



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