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

hidden order

candy colors

candy colors

la mer rouge

La mer Rouge

humble reflection

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.



4 thoughts on “Highlight Recovery

    1. Merci Mélanie :-) I’m going to lear more French, not just because the friends but it is a very beatiful language ;-) (of course I don’t forget Romanian)

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