Lightroom: add RECOVERY selectively in an image

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  • Idea
  • Updated 7 years ago
  • Implemented
  • (Edited)

I would like to see the ability to paint in or out RECOVERY in Lightroom.
Almost never am I happy with the way it performs.

It flattens the image out globally, often when I want to add recovery, it is only to a local area, such as a blown out shirt, rather than loose the crisp highlights and tone in the face, for example.

Please add this into the graduated filter as well as the brush.
Thank you.
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James Kachan

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Posted 8 years ago

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Lee Jay

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Use -exposure or -contrast instead.
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James Kachan

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Exposure would not do the same thing.
It affects the full range of tones, as in, "darks get darker" too.

Which isnt the same as something that is programed to respond only to the highlight range.
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Rob Cole

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>Exposure would not do the same thing.
>It affects the full range of tones, as in, "darks get darker" too.

Negative exposure darkens darks, but negative contrast lightens darks.
Also, negative contrast and negative exposure both darken lights. So, I blend a touch of negative exposure, with healthy dose of negative contrast, and a pinch of positive compensatory brightness, to get a balanced compromise "highlight recovery" brush:

For light duty, try:
* Exposure -.1
* Brightness +5
* Contrast -20
* Saturation +10

And for the serious cases:
* Exposure -.3
* Brightness + 15
* Contrast -50
* Saturation +20

Note: the saturation helps restore loss of saturation due to overexposure and reduced contrast and such... - I sometimes crank it much higher, and sometimes I add coloration to supplement for asymmetrically blown channels.

These brushes will recover highlights *and* have minimal impact on non-highlights should you "paint outside the lines". (If you are a very careful painter, then you can omit the brightness compensation setting).

These settings are not optimal for gradient use - they are best suited for (imperfectly) brushing the highlights only.

Reminder: I'm not saying this work-around is so good that Adobe should dismiss this feature request (on the contrary - I voted for it), I'm merely trying to help you get through until Lr4 ;-)

Summary: Negative contrast has a magical ability to restore detail in what might otherwise be lost highlights. And, not only does it have less impact on other tones than negative exposure, it has the opposite effect as negative exposure on dark tones. Negative exposure has a profound effect on upper tones, but a very similar effect on midtones as brightness, thus the combination of negative exposure and positive brightness shifts highlights leftward while leaving midtones relatively unaffected. Blown or nearly blown highlights can usually benefit from boosted saturation (and maybe even supplemental coloration). So, in this fashion, one can actually simulate "highlight targeted recovery" fairly closely using just the basic adjustments. - Try it!

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Eric Chan, Camera Raw Engineer

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Thanks for the suggestion.
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Rob Cole

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You got my vote James.

And, in addition to Lee Jay's suggestion for local work-around, I'd add these suggestions for the global work-around:

- when upping the recovery, compensate for the flatness by increasing brightness and contrast (tone-curve to taste...).

- and instead of recovery: reduce exposure and crank the fill (may also require some compensating via brightness/contrast/tone-curve,...).

Maybe do some of each...

Personally, I'm hoping Adobe gives a little more love to highlight recovery come Lr4, so we are less inclined to resort to locals and work-arounds (and so its looks nicer even when use locally). It's improved a great deal in the last year or two (thank you Eric), but I agree - still creates a "flat" look and so I too tend to avoid it if possible.

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Rob Cole

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I think this one can be marked "Implemented" :-)

Right James?
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Rikk Flohr, Champion

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The new highlight slider in PV2012 is brushable.