Monday, January 30, 2012
Double Process Your RAW Files
Bring out your shadows and highlights by using two versions of the same image
Many photographers double process RAW files to create images with detail in both the shadows and highlights where otherwise, a single capture would sacrifice one or the other. A bright version is optimized for shadow details and a dark version for the highlights. The result is two photos, each with a different exposure. With both files open in Photoshop, one is dragged on top of the other using the move tool. A layer mask gets added to the top layer and the "bad" part of the top layer gets erased which reveals the "good" part from the bottom layer. Here's how to do it.
Step 1: Open the original in Camera RAW and process the file so the shadow areas look great. Then open the file in Photoshop and leave it on the desktop.
Step 2: Re-open the same file in Camera RAW but this time process it so the highlight areas look great. Open that file in Photoshop so you have both the good shadow and highlight files ready to blend.
Step 4: In the layers palette, you'll see the brighter version appear on top and the darker version disappears from view, but it's still there.
If by accident you paint into the sand and it's too dark, change the foreground color to white and paint over the area that needs correcting. Be sure to use a very soft edge brush if you want the effect to look gradual.
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