Preserving Highlights and Shadow Detail (Video)

Dynamic range is a topic that I have discussed here a lot.  The reason for that is that it is really important to the outdoor photographer.  You face the problem of a really bright sky and a dark foreground almost all the time.

We’ve talked about dynamic range in the context of the camera, including a comparison of the dynamic range of various cameras (although the data is admittedly getting a little dated).  When you are shooting, I’ve introduced you to a filter to help even out the tones (the graduated neutral density filter).  I’ve also shown you how to bracket your photos to capture the full range of tones before you.

When it comes to processing your photos, there is a really simple move you can make to even out the tones, which I personally use all the time.  It is just pulling down the Highlights slider and pushing up the Shadows slider.  When it comes to adjusting your daytime skies, you can also reduce the blues and keep your whites bright.  And then there is HDR, or high dynamic range photography, which some consider a dirty word, but nowadays is simply a great tool for combining the tones of bracketed photos so you have the best file possible.

So we’ve covered this from a lot of different angles.  And now I’m adding an additional video to walk you through a lot of this.  For some, it will be a refresher, and for others a good introduction to how this all works.