Blown Highlights

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Hi.

What are some tricks, or how-to's, on how to try and fix blown highlights using NX2? See what I'm talking about on this dog's head?

I screwed up and had the exp bias at +.33 and didn't mean to.

Also, there was tall grass between me and the dog. See it? - bottom left quarter of the image. Any tricks on hiding that?



Thanks for any help.

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Joined
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Unfortunately not much can be done. Besides the protect highlight slider he mentioned, I also use Shift-H to see blown sections, then put a Color Control point on the sections, adjust diameter and reduce brightness to the point where they disappear . Doesn't bring detail back which is not possible) but it tones them down.

If you shot in RAW, you can also reduce EV in CNX2.
 
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With the NEF in CNX2 press Shift H to see the blown hilites. Bring the EV slider down until most or all of the hilites are not blown - you will see this on screen, it will turn black. If you can achieve this with the -EV then raise/protect the shadows to try to produce a more pleasing picture. If you cannot control the hilites thought -2ev, then there is nothing else you can do, the information is lost. To me it looks like the hilites can be recovered in this shot.

For the grass you can try the healing tool.
 
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As other's mentioned, I would decrease the overall EV to get the blown highlights back in range...at that point you can always drag the middle slider to the left to bring some midtones back in and level things out...doing this you will probably have to bump the contrast a bit at the end though as bringing the middle slider toward the left decreases the contrast as well (but brings all the middle tones up).
 
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First, set your Default Colour Space to ProPhoto RGB.

You might have to restart - I can't remember.

Open the image.

Turn Pic Control to Neutral and turn all in camera sharpening off.

As stated above switch on double threshold.

Try sliding EV until White area disappears.

If you are successful turn Double Threshold OFF.

Use a Digital Lighting Edit Step in Better Quality Mode to redress the under exposure caused by the EV.

Apply HP and/or USM sharpening selectively.

For the grass put a CCP on the green area, adjust the circle of influence and use the colour picker to choose a colour from the fur.

DG
 
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With the NEF in CNX2 press Shift H to see the blown hilites. Bring the EV slider down until most or all of the hilites are not blown - you will see this on screen, it will turn black. If you can achieve this with the -EV then raise/protect the shadows to try to produce a more pleasing picture. If you cannot control the hilites thought -2ev, then there is nothing else you can do, the information is lost. To me it looks like the hilites can be recovered in this shot.
This method is what I use and I find that it works quite well. However, it can only be used on RAW images. If it's a jpeg, there isn't much that can be done.
 
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After seeing all those recommendations, I'll toss in what I would do.

About the blown highlights: I would use the LCH Editor's Master Lightness channel and pull down the far right side of the curve. You can check the highlights using Shift+H as others have suggested. My guess is you won't be able to recover any detail in this image whether it's a RAW file or not.

About the green grass: The first thing I would try is using the Auto Retouch Brush. It probably won't work but if it does, it'll work very quickly. If that doesn't work and if you still want to use NX2, I would select the green color and use the Color Balance edit step to change the tone. The reason I wouldn't use the Colorize step's color picker as Dave suggested is that you will probably risk losing the detail of the dog's fur. Last, you probably have other editing software that allows you to copy parts of the fur to the green area. Actually, I would do that rather than trying to use NX2 to solve this particular problem, assuming the Auto Retouch Brush doesn't do the job.

The only thing that matters is that whatever you settle on works for you.
 
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Ummmm Mike,

Please read again - I suggested a CCP (Colour Control Point) which would maintain the detail in the area but change its colour to suit other "correct" parts.

I downloaded the image and tried it to ensure that what I was proposing would work - and it did - even on a JPEG.

DG
 
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I'm surprised that you didn't lose any detail, Dave. I haven't used Color Control Points in awhile because I use only Selection Control Points. Is it possible that Color Control Points do a better job of isolating a particular color than Selection Control Points?

You mentioned that it worked even on a JPEG. This is not the kind of issue that would vary depending on the file format.
 
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"I'm surprised that you didn't lose any detail, Dave. I haven't used Color Control Points in awhile because I use only Selection Control Points. Is it possible that Color Control Points do a better job of isolating a particular color than Selection Control Points?"

No colour is lost - only modified. All detail is preserved. The original colour chosen by the CCP is modified by clicking on the Colour Picker in the edit step and choosing, in this case, the "orange" colour of the normal coat in place of the green overlay caused by the grass. Original detail is preserved and could, if necessary, be accentuated by the contrast slider in the CCP.

The same principle can be used to "even out different shades of blue in a sky.


"You mentioned that it worked even on a JPEG. This is not the kind of issue that would vary depending on the file format."

Correct - my point is that it would work EVEN BETTER on the 16 Bit ProPhoto RGB RAW file.

DG
 
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The original colour chosen by the CCP is modified by clicking on the Colour Picker in the edit step and choosing, in this case, the "orange" colour of the normal coat in place of the green overlay caused by the grass.
Ahhhhhhh. It has been so long since I have used the CCP that I didn't remember that it has a color picker. The SCP doesn't have one. I thought you were referring to the eye dropper in the Colorize edit step. This is all making sense now. Thanks for clarifying!
 
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