Lightroom White/Black Brush Sliders Are Destructive

  • 3
  • Problem
  • Updated 3 years ago
  • Not a Problem
All the previous brush sliders were non-destructive. I could completely clip the whites or blacks in my image in the 'basic' panel or with a curve and restore them by brushing in a different exposure or pulling down the highlights/pulling up the shadows. The new white/black brush sliders, however, totally grey out information that was lost in the other panels.

It would be very helpful to have properly-working white/black brush sliders. I could, for example, bring a lot of sparkle into the highlights of my image by pulling up the whites, but restore any blown highlights by brushing them back with the whites brush. Right now the details are lost and the area goes grey.
Photo of dave herr

dave herr

  • 12 Posts
  • 5 Reply Likes

Posted 3 years ago

  • 3
Photo of Kelly C.

Kelly C., Senior Lightroom QE

  • 82 Posts
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Official Response
Hi Dave,

Local whites/blacks were not designed with the intention of recovering colors that are clipped. While they can be very useful for teasing out extra highlight detail (positive Whites) or extra shadow detail (negative Blacks), for the recovery workflow that you’re after, I’d recommend using other local control channels (Exposure, Highlights, and Shadows).

Regarding the placement in the imaging pipeline, the primary reason is to be able to maximize the amount of highlight and shadow detail that you can bring out. Whereas normally if you increase the "global" exposure or whites, then as you approach clipping, the highlights will become rolled off. The local Whites/Blacks gives you a way to approach pure clipping without any rolloff -- if you think of curves, it means the curve is steeper (instead of a shoulder and toe). To make this work, though, the user needs to start with unclipped data and then move it (gradually) towards clipping using local whites/blacks