Lightroom: Fix Highlight Recovery

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  • Problem
  • Updated 8 years ago
  • Solved
  • (Edited)
This is my #1 priority for Lightroom.

I often spend a lot of time, trying to tame highlights without having the adverse affects that sometimes accompany use of the Highlight Recovery tool when twisted profiles are selected.

Description of affliction:
- Hues shifts when using Highlight Recovery, often resulting in a flat, pink, wash.

Unfortunately for me, the twisted profiles are my favorites - I find the hue twists to be very pleasing for most profiles (like Adobe Standard, and Camera Vivid), despite not being as natural as the linear profiles (like ACR 4.4, and X-Rite).

Note: This phenomenon only affects some photos, not all, (but a pretty-fair number).

So, I use these counter methods when afflicted:
1 - Reduce exposure, and increase fill-light.
2 - Switch to a linear profile (in which case HR can be used all the way to 100 with impunity (increase lights via tone curve to maintain contrast).
3 - Use local adjustments for highlight recovery.
(and of course the tone curve)

To keep this short - I'd prefer to just twist the recovery slider and be done with it...

Summary:
------------
Highlight recovery works perfectly with linear profiles. With the yummy twisted profiles - not so much. Alternate means of highlight recovery are often time consuming, and/or require forfeiting the benefits of twisted profiles.

Rob
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Rob Cole

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Posted 8 years ago

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Rob Cole

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I am absolutely floored.

The highlight recovery problem has been fixed!
The highlight recovery problem has been fixed!
The highlight recovery problem has been fixed!

I don't know when, I don't know how, but highlight recovery is now working perfectly in both Camera Vivid and Adobe Standard profiles: from 0 to 100. I even located the exact patch of the exact photo used to demonstrate this problem for a previous post - no way to reproduce the anomaly. I'm afraid to hit 'Post' for fear I'll create a jinx.

To Adobe:
------------
- If you did nothing on purpose to fix this problem, then its a miracle - for me, its fixed.
- If you did fix this consciously, then thank you, thank you, thank you x 1,000,000.

I would desperately love to hear other peoples experience as per 3.4RC - is it just me? - Can anybody see hue shifts when using recovery now?

PS - I have just passed a sanity check: same photo processed with Lr2 (I have no other versions of Lr3 to compare) has the nasty recovery shifts. All photos perfect in Lr3.4RC.

Final Thoughts:
-------------------
I've seen no written documentation confirming this fix, nor have I heard a peep from any users, community professionals, nor Adobe employees as I've continued my complaints. Still, there is no doubt, at this moment, for me, the problem is gone, gone, gone...

Demo Images:
Before Fix:
HR=0:


HR=20:

Note the pinky-ness.

After Fix (Lr3.4RC)
HR=0: (Note this image had been re-edited since previous example pair was created, so color/tone will be different)


HR=20:

Note: same hues as hr0, just tone is a little different...

Rob
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Which camera? I'm still seeing pinky shifts on various cameras.
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Rob Cole

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I just checked Canon G12 CR2 files - highlight recovery is spot-on splatt-n-doobin'! (that's good...)
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Rob Cole

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Nikon D300.

I wonder if the fix was confined to the profiles themselves(?), as opposed to the shared code...

Which cameras do you still see the pinky shifts with? Are there any that you don't see it with?
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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I haven't taken a lot of notice - working with numerous different cameras - I'll keep my eye open for them.
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Rob Cole

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Any news?
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Rory Hill

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Rob

Not sure where you have been. Eric has been working on this for a long time, and has come out with v2 and v3 series of profiles fro the D300, D700 and D3 series to correct this problem.
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Rob Cole

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There was a lengthy thread about this a long while back and despite numerous concrete examples of the problem, Eric's response, paraphrased to the best of my ability, was:

"Lightroom's Highlight Recovery is working as intended..."

I couldn't believe my ears - but perhaps I misunderstood. Perhaps he meant: the problem is not in Lightroom proper, but in the profiles. I don't know whether he "fixed" it by untwisting the top end, or what - I never understood the cause of the symptoms.

After that, I never checked it anymore. If I needed highlight recovery, I either switched profiles, or used an alternative method of recovery.

Clearly, he has worked on the problem, and solved it in my case. So I guess there is proof that Adobe will sometimes come around eventually...

Do you have any idea when this problem was finally remedied for the above-mentioned cameras?
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Rob Cole

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I am still a little leery of a fix to the camera profiles only. But, I also don't understand the problem, and Eric Chan obviously does. But I always assumed the problem was in the suitability of an untwisted algorithm when applied to twisted data (since it always worked flawlessly with linear profiles).

It would surprise me if the fix did not include both a change to the shared code *and* the profiles, unless the profile fix was simply an untwisting of the lighter tones - but I'm admittedly way out on a limb again - take with salt...
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Rory Hill

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Rob, there are several threads under the ACR U2U forum http://forums.adobe.com/community/cam.... As I recall the solution was in updated profiles. I'm pretty sure this has been fixed for about a year. I know I had this problem with my D700 and the v2 profiles solved the problem. you should definately look, because one of the threads was pretty geeky ;>)
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Rob Cole

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Thanks Rory.

It would appear that if one does not hang out on the ACR forum, one does not know about things ACR. Lightroom forum does not cut it when the subject is the common develop adjustments provided by ACR.

PS - I could not find the specific thread you were referring to, but I did skim some others.

Thanks again,
Rob
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Rory Hill

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Well here is a cross thread Eric posted in the Lightroom forums, so you might want to give Eric some credit ;^)

http://forums.adobe.com/thread/602275

I think this is the thread I remember

http://forums.adobe.com/thread/602274...
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Rob Cole

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Thanks Rory - I know Eric tries to keep the Lightroom crowd up2date about the most critical ACR news (as do some others), but you'd have to be blind not to notice the amount of ACR info on the ACR forum is vast compared to the Lr forum - I now am receiving all emails for that forum. Consider this a tip, not a cut...

PS - Eric: please forgive if I quoted you out of context above (although I did stipulate that I may have misunderstood).
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Rob Cole

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I'm still curious if anyone else does or does not see this phenomenon - please specify camera.
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Rob, let me know if I can mark this problem as "Solved." Thx.
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Rob Cole

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Jeffrey - to quote V.Bampton: "I'm still seeing pinky shifts on various cameras.". I think we need to at least wait for Victoria to clear this. Based on her statement, it sounds like the problem is fixed for some cameras but not others. I can only vouch for the Nikon D300 & Canon G12.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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I'll mark it as solved, and I can always reopen it if/when I find any examples. I'm somewhat otherwise occupied at the moment, so haven't had much time to go further with this one.