Multiple Processing of One Raw File

I’m a strong advocate of shooting in Camera Raw because all of the light that enters the lens is captured in the file – not just the lights that the camera jpeg algorithm thinks is needed for the desired exposure.  This photo is an example of one where using that wider dynamic range of light can produce a better photograph when other alternatives such as bracketed shots and high dynamic range (HDR) processing are not available.  This was a single photo shot in camera raw.  I purposely under exposed the photo in order to avoid over exposing or “blowing out” the sun and the bright, early morning sky.  Of course, the result was that much of the sidewalk and flowers were in deep shadow lacking any significant detail.  The fix was straight forward: Process the same raw file twice – once for the highlights (sun and sky) and again for the shadows (sidewalk and flowers).  I opened up the file exposed for the highlights as a smart object in Photoshop, then opened the camera raw filter and increased the exposure to bring out the details in the shadows and flowers. I rather like the results of the blended effect – a wider dynamic range of light, while still realistic looking and not “over the top” as seen in some HDR processed photos.

If you live in the Albuquerque, NM area and would like to master your DSLR or quickly become proficient in Photoshop editing, please consider me as your personal tutor.  Photography is my passion, and I’d be privileged to assist you on your journey.

Capture the Memories Found in Travel and Life                                Email:


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About Dave Hood

Married to my wife of 47 years, Barbara. Two adopted grandsons, Jim age 13, and Billy, age 8. Retired from the Air Force Reserve after 26 years in 1993. Retired from Air Force civil service with 34 years of service in 2000. Worked an additional 7 years for General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems before finally leaving the workforce. Hobbies include working around the house, exercising our Labradoodle Shadow, travel, and photography. My photo equipment includes a Nikon D7100 camera, several Nikon lenses, a Nikon SB-700 speedlight, a Manfrotto tripod, a Kodak monopod, and assorted filters. I use Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop CS6 for post processing and ProShow Producer software for producing slide shows (mostly about travel) set to music.

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