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Thread started 28 Jul 2014 (Monday) 08:08
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Ugh - embarrassing Lightroom question

 
Snafoo
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Jul 28, 2014 08:08 |  #1

OK, I have a problem with Lightroom that is entirely due to my own incompetence. I have a few images that are overexposed in spots, but I sometimes reach the end of the Highlight slide bar before I reach the adjustment that I need. This happens mostly in portraits where I've thrown a bit too much light onto a person's face. I know the detail is there (no blinkies), but it doesn't appear that the slide bars are set to adjust over the entire range. I could probably do what I need in Photoshop but I really suck at Photoshop so I'd rather stay within Lightroom if possible. I've tried selecting the region in question using the adjustment brush and playing with the exposure slider there, but I seem to get more artifacts using that approach than I do with the Highlight slider.

So, how does one deal with exposure adjustments that go beyond the slider range?


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bacchanal
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Jul 28, 2014 08:56 |  #2

It might help if you can post an example. The exposure slider is probably the way to go, but you may need to work on making your adjustment more subtle (zooming in, using more feathering, less adjustment, etc.).

If you can get over your photoshop fear, the patch healing tool can be great for this sort of local touch up problem, but again...subtle is the way to go.

Often when you have shiny spots on faces it's due to lighting/makeup, and those are going to be difficult to completely get rid of, but you should be able to mitigate them a bit.


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tomj
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Jul 28, 2014 08:57 |  #3

I'm not an expert, but what I'd suggest is decreasing the exposure slider as far as you can and see if the detail appears. It could be, despite no blinkies, that it really is blown out.


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tzalman
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Jul 28, 2014 09:33 |  #4

Start by reading this:
http://www.luminous-landscape.com …_age_of_lightro​om_4.shtml (external link)

It sounds like your highlights are really well and truly blown if Highlights -100 and Whites -100 don't produce any detail, but if you really want to know definitively, if you can make the Raw file available I can examine it in Raw Digger. Or you can download Raw Digger yourself.


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Snafoo
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Jul 28, 2014 10:57 |  #5

Thanks, all! I'm at work right now (shhh!), but will post a couple of examples when I get home this evening.

And yeah, Photoshop is my Everest. It's so unintiutive for this left-brained scientist. I tried Classroom In A Book, and got frustratd by the "Do this, then do this" approach with barely any explanation of the mechanics behind the steps. Maybe "Multiply Blend" is self-explanatory to some, but I was baffled until I read the technical description in Adobe Help (multiplies the base color value by the blend color value. Neat. I can understand that!)


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BigAl007
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Jul 28, 2014 11:22 |  #6

Remember that as well as the global Whites/Highlights controls in LR you also have control of Highlights as well as Exposure in the local brush tool. Another thing to consider is that Exposure in LR is a poor name, it would be better referred to as Midtones. Although as you will notice they all have a bit of effect on each other, so if you adjust one control you may have to play with some of the others to get just the effect that you are after.

As Elie says though if you have got to the point where you have applied -100 to both Highlights and Whites, then you have in all probability gone too far with your in camera exposure.

Alan


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emalvick
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Jul 29, 2014 17:41 |  #7

Snafoo wrote in post #17061461 (external link)
Thanks, all! I'm at work right now (shhh!), but will post a couple of examples when I get home this evening.

And yeah, Photoshop is my Everest. It's so unintiutive for this left-brained scientist. I tried Classroom In A Book, and got frustratd by the "Do this, then do this" approach with barely any explanation of the mechanics behind the steps. Maybe "Multiply Blend" is self-explanatory to some, but I was baffled until I read the technical description in Adobe Help (multiplies the base color value by the blend color value. Neat. I can understand that!)

Well, there are a lot of good books out there for Photoshop. You just have to find the right one (which often means having a few wrong ones). You might check out the book(s) by Martin Evening. He focuses more on the why than the how to. Some don't like it, but I'm similar to you. I don't learn or remember without knowing why. Google and YouTube can be quite helpful, too, although the why isn't always there.




  
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bsmotril
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Jul 30, 2014 19:38 |  #8

You can always use the adjustment brush too to eliminate small highlights.


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Ugh - embarrassing Lightroom question
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