Highlight Recovery


Time ago I published a technique that exploits the option of highlight recovery in raw converters. I use Photo Ninja, the option highlight recovery is quite strong and a few times I’ve to turn off it. But also it allows me to get a certain mood. I’m sure it’s possible with lightroom, capture one, dxo or any capable raw converter. This post is for amateur mates, I guess it’s one of several techniques taught by professionals but I haven’t found a name or anything related, perhaps high-key photography but it’s not the same.

This is the deal: when you shot a picture and increment the exposure till the picture seems to be in white then you apply an aggressive highlight recovery in your trusty raw converter then the photograph can recover colours but not textures, this can help you to get ethereal meanings. This cannot works in jpg because it hasn’t the same flexibility, it can bear so much aggressive editing.

That’s the technic part, now about the, I’m not going to say art, intention. My intention is try to express an idea of lightness, or an emphasis in the essence of the sunsets.

This is absolutely different to ETTR whose goal is to increment the exposure just enough to avoid clipped highlights to get noiseless shadows but having the highlight data in the raw file.

I think it works better with abstract subjects, where the mind has not to wonder why it looks strange and just accepts that it’s something different.

Hidden Order

candy colors

La mer Rouge

Humble reflection


Say me blue

And this last (that I published alone before), I think I got a dreamy look. Although here I didn’t use so much of the effect because I wanted to show it more natural, to recover the reflections.


Made of fading time

I took this photograph with so much interest in that cloud at dusk. To have a better representation I took six photographs and stitched them to get this file. I think if the conditions are given it’s better to zoom in the lens and stitch the photographs instead of taking one photograph and after that do an extensive cropping. That usually ends amplifying the lack of details, if there are no much pixels, and lens aberrations or noise. Actually my camera has a great fixed lens, I do it more because ten megapixels have its limits. It’s easy to see if an image have been just sharpened instead of other one that is naturally detailed.

If you click the image your monitor is going to explode, lol, no, I mean, it’s going to open a window with a much bigger file ;-)

That cloud is like time, it seems so slow but if you are distracted it has already reached you. It’s already night.