A Technique to Bring Back Lost Details Out of Shadows

Sometimes your favorite shot out of a series would be perfect if only one little thing was fixed. For me, that is often shadows obscuring details I really wish were more visible. PHLEARN has released an extensive tutorial on how to get those shadows to reveal details in a way that doesn't look super fake, which an issue I have with other methods I have seen.


Before-and-After

 

You can read more about the process at PHLEARN.com" target="_blank">PHLEARN, and also check out their Pro Tutorials if you've got the desire for more!

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17 Comments

am I the only one to think that some of the shadows on the wall could've added a bit more drama?

The only one I really miss is the arm holding the knife...which seems pretty important...

 Watch the video and you will know why.

You could've just said they wanted to remove that element from the image and I'd have saved 10 minutes of my day.

because they "wanted to remove that element" isn't a valid reason.

ahh!!... so, I'm not the only one!!... with that shadow missing there, I think the whole context of the photo changes, isn't it?

Von Wong's picture

what happened to the knife arm shadow... big mis-step there. Very nice recovery though

Christopher Sztybel's picture

In my opinion, the totality of this image being an effective one was that knife shadow.

Someone wanna fix the link?

Post article, link to another website. Fstoppers you are coming off my facebook feed. Most of what you post has been disappointing. Just tired of it. Thanks for the effort, but its been lacking lately I am just tired of the information you put in my feed.

wow that's harsh austin... i couldn't be happier with their content.   Does LR do just as good of job at lifting shadow detail as PS?  Seems like it would. 

They're content is not so bad but watch as I re-write this article and condense Phlearns 20 f***ing minute video into a few sentences:

A Technique To Bring Back Lost Details Out Of Shadows

Photoshop - Use Shadows & Highlights dialog. Play around with sliders under heading 'Shadows' until desired result is found. Use selections and layer masks to isolate the change to shadows only.

Lightroom 4 - Lift Shadows & Blacks sliders (can not remember the names of the sliders to use in previous versions of lightroom but the principal is the same).I'm hoping people will read my comment before wasting time out of their day.

If aren't proficient enough with PS and LR4 to follow the above instructions then please do watch the video.

EDIT: This comment was properly formatted but DISQUS has decided to mangle it. EDIT 2:Ok, now it works after the edit.

Another informative little tutorial from PHLEARN,very nicely done. Aaron is a wealth of PS skill and experience and transmits information really rapidly ,irreverently and in a cool self depreciating manner. I learn a fair bit from watching how he builds up images. So, with my weak PS skill I have no issues with spending 20 minutes to watch this process.
Amazing to read how the haters just love to hate (you silly flatulent fellows!)And the thing about the knife? I fail to see the relevance of the knife in the image at all...she has a gun, he has the booze...its a classic crime noir,pulp fiction image....that knife hovering menacingly over her head just killed the illusion for me...so I'm glad it never made the final cut.

Um... Removed the knife, but left half an arm on the right side of the girl?! Geez... I thought the whole point was removing distracting details from the scene. What happened there?

This video makes no sense to me. Removing the arm? The arm doesn't add to the scene information?

the guy is hurring up to do something so basic... Really ba content here.