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Enhance light without loosing any texture



  • Drew Altdo
    Are you asking the best way to use Photoshop?

    As this is a forum for Capture One, I would suggest you do this in Capture One with the RAW as appose to trying to recover set details in a Processed file within photoshop.
    You can "lighten" an image with the Brightness slider in Capture One or by using Curves, Levels, Exposure, etc.
    You can regain texture/details with the Clarity slider in Capture One or by using Highlight Recovery, Contrast, etc.

    There's really not a single answer for your question, perhaps it be best if you posted an image of what you're trying to work with.
  • Peter Jones
    Hi there

    Before trying to respond to this question I suggest we clarify what you are asking.

    I am assuming you are shooting in raw (camera and lens info?) and your OS is Windows, and you are using Cap1 7 Pro?

    What do you mean by 'lighten the colour'? Do you mean increasing the exposure (so losing the highlights) or brightening the image (using levels/curves, etc,)? Do you mean lifting the shadows? Or adjusting saturation? Are you trying to 'lift' individual colours?

    Similarly, what do you mean by 'texture'? Do you mean sharpness/clarity/structure?

    You can do most of these things without leaving Cap1. Perhaps you should try the Cap1 styles and presets to get an idea of what is achievable? What is it, exactly, that you don't like about the Cap1 outputs?

    Also, what kind of images are you working on? Rural/urban/portrates? Each genre poses its own challenges.

    Good luck!

  • Tan68
    The forum description does include "...integration with third party applications" but I think this might mean how to export to Photoshop or something like that rather than specific actions and functions within Photoshop... ?

    So, I would agree with the suggestion to get your highlights the way you like them in C1 and then send to Photoshop. These suggestions are better implemented in C1... Some things can be done in C1 to destroy texture, an image can be exported as TIF, and there is nothing that can be done in Photoshop to reverse the loss...

    The obvious answer would be to not lighten so much... However, as far as lightening up an image but not losing detail, there are a few things I have noticed... stuff I try to keep in mind, myself, while you keep in mind that I am self-taught... :^) I use an APS-C camera with good dynamic range. I use RAW files.

    By highlights where texture may disappear, I mean glass or water or even a rusty wrought iron grill that was not in direct sun. Not specular highlights... I guess the same goes for cloth textures, but I don't work with that much... I keep an eye on:

    Clarity - clarity and structure tools are good, however, I find that they can make some of these highlights look harsh. So, I might not use so much clarity. I might not use so much on the entire image or I might reduce clarity in only some areas by using local adjustments. Increasing Contrast can have an effect I don't like on highlights. Contrast and Clarity just do. So, I try to be judicious.

    Levels Tool - Auto Levels will move the right hand slider leftward to the edge of the histogram. This may result in some red clip warning depending upon what threshold you have set in preferences. Moving the slider in levels is a good thing. If I feel I have lost some highlight texture, I might move the slider rightward a little. Move it away from the histogram edge. Sometimes I move the right slider rightward so that it doesn't even touch the edge of the histogram. The more you move it away from the edge of the histogram, the more dull the highlights can look. So, I guess it is a matter of taste and depends upon the subject of the image. I think touching the edge of the histogram is technically correct, though...

    Adjusting the left hand slider can protect highlights in a backwards kind of way. If you set a good blackpoint by moving the left hand slider rightward toward the edge of the of the histogram, the image will have a more rich look. With this more rich look, I don't feel the need to use so much Contrast or Saturation. Less contrast added to image and less harsh highlights...

    Curves - Very easy to destroy highlight texture here. No suggestions other than be careful. I am not a good curves user...

    Luminosity Level - I used to export images from C1 with a luminosity for important highlights of around 250 or so... I would open the TIF and find those important highlights are now 255. I don't know why or what I have done, but I export files with important highlights at 240 or 245 and things seem better. Anyway, take a look at your image after export. If the important areas are too bright, make adjustments and export again. I check luminosity of important highlights by hovering the mouse over then or using the... color checker? markers (C! Pro only, I think). Maybe too simple to be a helpful suggestion, really...

    Other things I do:

    Highlight Recovery - Sometimes I use a little of this even if I have no highlights to 'recover'. It affects the curve... I think it helps sometimes but using too much of it will make nice highlights just look gray and that is no good. So, perhaps some, but not a lot.

    Expose Not-So-Right - Depending on what is going on (and the camera I am using), I worry more or less about exposing right in camera... I used to expose waterfalls or similar right but only enough that software highlight recovery and etc. could work properly. However, even though the histogram in PP software would look good, I never was happy with the look of the highlights... So, I tend to protect important highlights like water and not expose right as aggressively. Really, I think I was clipping a channel. I might be able to recover in software so that luminosity looked fine but things were still dissatisfying with the clipped channel... Kinda like clipping red channel of a yellow daisy.. I still get an okay color for the flower. It could be better but is acceptable. However with things like reflections in glass or water, there was rarely an acceptably good texture... So, I protect the highlights and, if I feel I must expose toward (not to) the right, I am careful to check the RGB histograms in camera. Don't look at the white luminosity histogram only...
  • Tan68
    Now, if you mean lighten the color only and not overall brightness... That is something that can be done with the color wheel editors. You can select a color and brighten it separate from other colors. Different thing.

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