Struggle with shadow/highlight adjustment

Discussion in 'Photoshop' started by Jan, Feb 20, 2007.

  1. Jan

    Jan Guest

    I love the shadow/highlight adjustment in photoshop for images with too
    much contrast or when faces are too dark.

    Somehow I never manage to get get the desired outcome with this tool.
    After using the shadow/highlight adjustment, the images have not enough
    contrast overall.

    To compensate I use adjustment contrast (eg +7) / Lightness (eg -5).
    Can I set the shadow/highlight adjustment sliders to get a similar effect?

    Jan, Feb 20, 2007
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  2. Jan

    BoilerBill Guest

    Must admit that I have a bit of a passion nowadays for that little

    However I find that I seem to get best results if I give a final
    polish afterwards using an 's' shaped curve to feed in the contrast.

    A polished effect is a good expression for it - makes metallic
    surfaces look like someone has just finished with the 'Pledge'

    K - updated 11/06
    BoilerBill, Feb 20, 2007
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  3. First you say you love it, and then you say you never get the desired
    outcome. Are you a masochist? ;-)

    Anyway, if you click 'Show more options', you see a slider to increase
    the midtone contrast.
    Johan W. Elzenga, Feb 20, 2007
  4. Jan

    Mike Russell Guest

    Shadow/highlight is one of the great additions to Photoshop.
    It's easy to burn your candle at both ends, and trade the shadow and
    highlight detail for midtone contrast.
    Dan Margulis, who IMHO writes the best books on color correction, uses the
    example of a picture of three cats, black, grey, and white. Adding contrast
    the the black and white cats (shadow and highlight) takes contrast away from
    the gray cat. This is a compromise that you need to work out for yourself.
    This is not an automated process because it depends on what you think is
    important in the image. Two possible choices are to back off a notch on
    adding punch to the shadow and highlights, or use curves to fine tune things
    after doing your S/H adjustment.

    I'd also suggest that you convert the image to Lab mode, and experiment with
    how the S/H command operates in that color mode - you may be pleasantly
    surprised at how much better the original colors are preserved. Curves are
    also easier to use in Lab mode, for most images.

    That should keep you busy for a while :)
    Mike Russell, Feb 20, 2007
  5. Jan

    Jan Guest

    Thanks for all help, it's appreciated.

    Increasing the midtone contrast is not where I'm looking for.

    For those interested (and willing to help), here is
    a sample (warning : 800 KB, 4 images!) :

    The orignal is a typical holiday better (at least in africa..).
    It has too much contrast and the face of the woman in the center of the
    image is too dark.

    Up to now this has been my method :
    1: With the shadow/highlight tool, lighten the image so the face of the
    in the center lightened.
    2: Use the contrast/lightness to improve the overall contrast.

    When using the midtone contrast of the shadow/highlight adjustment, the
    overall contrast is improved, but the face gets a bit too dark.

    Using curves doesn't work for me, I never seem to get the correct one...

    May be I have to start looking in the Lab editing, like in the last

    Jan, Feb 21, 2007
  6. Does not exist.
    If you only want a part of the image to be lightened, use Shadow/
    Highlight on a copy of the image in a new layer, and use a mask.
    TIP: Set the layer mode to 'Luminosity', so that Shadow/Highlight really
    only changes the brightness, not the colors. That is effectively the
    same as working in Lab mode in the L-channel only.
    Johan W. Elzenga, Feb 21, 2007
  7. Jan

    Jan Guest

    (Johan W. Elzenga) wrote in
    The file was 0 bytes because the webspace was full.
    I've uploaded it again.
    Jan, Feb 21, 2007
  8. Still does not exist.
    Johan W. Elzenga, Feb 21, 2007
  9. Jan

    Mike Russell Guest

    Jan - the big problem I see is not so much shadow versus highlight, but that
    all of your versions of the image have a blue-cyan cast, and the skin tones
    have cyan highlights. The blue cast becomes even more so in the last image,
    where even the skin tones are bluish.

    Regarding contrast, you are succeeding in bringing out additional detail in
    the relatively bright background, but I wonder if this is a mistake, given
    the fact that the foreground figures are the main interest, and you need to
    sacrifice contrast there to gain it in the bright areas.

    This would make a good curvemeister challenge image - if you're interested,
    let me know either here or offline. I would like to add it to the
    curvemeister site, and we can see what people do with it in the next several
    Mike Russell, Feb 21, 2007
  10. Jan

    Joe Guest

    Try multiple layers & Quick Mask etc..

    1. Make a dupe of the original

    2. Using whatever tool to brighten up the darker area or darken up the

    3. Then using Mask to blend them together. Of course you can use other
    method like HDR
    Joe, Feb 22, 2007
  11. Jan

    KatWoman Guest

    Try multiple layers & Quick Mask etc..

    1. Make a dupe of the original

    2. Using whatever tool to brighten up the darker area or darken up the

    3. Then using Mask to blend them together. Of course you can use other
    method like HDR

    For the future:
    Take the light reading on your subject!!! not the overall image or
    this is a case where a hand held or spot reading will give you a better
    if you don't have a handheld meter
    take your camera up close and measure the faces and clothes
    use the manual settings
    the other day I mentioned not using AUTO all the time as some situations
    call for the person not the camera to say what in that image is the most

    shade light will always be bluish on the skintones, I did not notice it
    this could be adjusted in white balance instead of using auto
    again need handheld meter to measure the temp or setting on camera

    I know this is not always possible due to time or other conditions... on the
    fly shots etc
    thank god for PS in those situations
    would be a shame to lose such a nice shot
    the methods mentioned should help a lot
    KatWoman, Feb 22, 2007
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