How to Edit Raw Files, 4: Correct Exposure
While it’s best to get your exposure right in-camera, shooting raw means that you have more control over the exposure of your final image should you need to adjust it later.
This is particularly useful when you are shooting in conditions where it’s impossible to capture detail in both the highlights and the shadow areas of your image – when shooting at sunset or sunrise, for example.
Remember that like many techniques it’s easy to get carried away with the amount of detail you try to recover, especially in the shadow areas.
You can end up with garish, false-looking tones similar to those seen in badly processed high dynamic range (HDR) shots, so use Adobe Camera Raw’s highlight and shadow recovery tools with care and taste, and keep checking the histogram display to make sure that there are still full blacks and whites in your image.
4 Exposure warnings
The ACR window also has a highlight and shadow exposure warning, which you can use to find any areas of an image that are losing detail.
Turn it on by clicking the small triangular tabs on the top left and right of the histogram display.
With these active, the main preview display will show clipped highlights as patches of red and clipped shadows as patches of blue.
Work until the patches disappear.
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