Camera Raw: Unable to recover highlights in some cases

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When you try to restore the light areas in the sky in adobe camera raw or lightroom, the brightness in the light areas is restored and the color is not. The area becomes black and white! In my case, I tried to restore the light parts controllers "light" and "white". This problem is on mac and windows. I call it a problem, because the color information in photographs is, I was convinced restoring light uchastki in captureone, there they were yellow and not black and white. Link to the original photo in raw https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B1e3BLTr9lTTcW5fbkVBUHJFS0k

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Zhenya Sneg

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Posted 1 year ago

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Todd Shaner, Champion

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That sky area  Blue and Green channels are clipped. There is no way to recover 100% clipped Blue and Green pixels, which is causing the yellow color. Here's the over-exposure preview in RawDigger showing the G, B, G2 channel clipping:


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Zhenya Sneg

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And due to what capture one in this area has a color?
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Todd Shaner, Champion

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If the sky area has a different color using Capture One it probably  uses a different highlight recovery algorithm . Can you post a screenshot of the Capture One rendering?

You can use the adjustment inside LR to help recover the clipped sky area. You'll need to paint in the sky area using the Adjustment Brush with 'Auto Mask' selected using the below Exposure, Highlights, and and Blue Color (227, 78%) settings.



Here's what it looks like with Basic panel adjustments added:
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Zhenya Sneg

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Todd Shaner, Champion

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Capture One is doing a better job of recovering the clipped Highlights in the sky area that appears White. In LR that area is R=G=B regardless of the Highlights setting (0 to -100). The Red channel is not clipped in this area when viewed in RawDigger (see reply below) so should be recoverable. In Capture One the same area is recovered as R<G<B and rendering as yellow-orange, which is probably close to the scene reference lighting.

The best solution is to shoot at an exposure that doesn't clip the highlights or shoot an Exposure bracket for an HDR. But there's no question Capture is doing a better job with this over-exposed ARW raw file.
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Zhenya Sneg

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Thank you!
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Andrew Rodney

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Actually ALL three color channels are clipped with the current ACR rendering  (in ACR if Blue and Green are clipped, it’s Histogram would show Cyan**). ACR’s current rendering shows the Histogram in the highlights to be white which tells us there are no channels that have data that wasn’t clipped. 

To the OP, there’s noting you can do; you over exposed this image. ACR can’t create what isn’t there. Now PV 2012 will do a better job than the other two options for ‘highlight recovery’ but can’t do miracles. There’s no data in that area so it’s guessing what to do by rebuilding gray pixels out of nothing. You’ll have to fix this in Photoshop (new sky?) or find a better exposure. 

http://digitaldog.net/files/SaturationClipping.jpg


Everything you thought you wanted to know about Histograms

Another exhaustive 40 minute video examining: 

What are histograms. In Photoshop, ACR, Lightroom.

Histograms: clipping color and tones, color spaces and color gamut.

Histogram and Photoshop’s Level’s command.

Histograms don’t tell us our images are good (examples).

Misconceptions about histograms. How they lie.

Histograms and Expose To The Right (ETTR).

Are histograms useful and if so, how? 

Low rez (YouTube): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjPsP4HhHhE

High rez: http://digitaldog.net/files/Histogram_Video.mov
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Andrew Rodney

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Correct Todd; one can’t evaluate a raw Histogram in any Adobe product (too bad; seems like small engineering). The Adobe Histograms always show us the effect of the current rendering controls a user has set (or a preset). With the OP’s current settings, he’s blowing alway all three channels. That’s why it shows a white spike, not a colored one that indicates one (or two) channel clipping. Again based on the current rendering. Another raw converter will very likely be different in terms of rendering and thus Histogram. RawDigger is the tool to see the reality of the raw data! 
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Agreed! Unfortunately not too many people understand the issue and consequently haven't add there vote here: https://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/raw_data_histogram_display_lightroom_and_adob...
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"There's no way to determine actual raw data clipping from inside LR or ACR."

I have to correct myself. There is a way to determine if one or more of the RGBG2 channel raw data is clipped (100%) using the WB eyedropper tool. I completely forgot this discovery from about four years ago. It won't give you the actual data values, but it is helpful when trying to determine if an area in a raw image file has clipping in any channel. I'd still like to see the ability to view the raw histogram values.  More here:

https://forums.adobe.com/message/5343900#5343900
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Andrew Rodney

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Well all one has to do is move various white Recovery sliders as far as they can go, see that you’re still clipped and it’s a pretty sure thing you’ve clipped the actual data (by how much? You need RawDigger). AFAIK, if one of the three channels has data, the ACR engine attempts to build the other two and you get the ugly affect seen here. If all three are clipped, nada; it’s still clipped. Personally, I’d love to see a toggle in LR/ACR for ‘show me the raw Histogram” which would do what RD does and it wouldn’t be based on any of the current rendering settings (so gray them out until you turn this off?). 
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I totally agree. This is just a cheap stop-gap method for determining raw data highlight clipping until Adobe implements it.
Personally, I’d love to see a toggle in LR/ACR for ‘show me the raw Histogram” which would do what RD does and it wouldn’t be based on any of the current rendering settings (so gray them out until you turn this off?).
Great implementation idea!