1 2 3 Previous Next 88 Replies Latest reply: Feb 27, 2012 6:07 AM by areohbee RSS

    Automatic highlight recovery - a double-edged sword.

    areohbee Community Member

      The more I use Lr4b1, the more I love the automatic highlight recovery, and the more I hate it.

       

      It's really not feasible to undo it using the tone curve, and local correction is also *very* challenging.

       

      It's single-handedly responsible for some marked improvements to some of my photos, and just rubbing all the highlight pizazz out of others - no way to win it back using the whites slider.

       

      I really wish I had the option to control it.

       

      Rob

        • 1. Re: Automatic highlight recovery - a double-edged sword.
          jrsforums Community Member

          WIthout a specific example from you, it is difficult to understand exactly what your problem is.

           

          SO....answering generically...

           

          ALl the sliders a global adjustments....and you will always get trade offs....i.e. the good with the bad.  The rel question we need to answer for ourselves is....is this new thing generally better than the old.  I think most answers, including yours, would be a resounding yes. 

           

          NOthing is perfect, nor will do perfect things with our imperfect images.

           

          TOne curves and local adjustments are difficult....even in photoshop, though somewhat easier there....but the tools are available to you in LR if you really need them. We could complain the LR does not give us layers and luminosity masks....therefore we should reject it, but....

           

          JOhn

           

          PS...I think automatic highlight recovery as implemented....even without the minor tweaks that maybe done....is the single greatest improvement in LR 4.  Not only does it handle the recovery beautifully, but you know immediately ( in develop mode) if parts of the image have been blown. 

          • 2. Re: Automatic highlight recovery - a double-edged sword.
            areohbee Community Member

            There are basically two kinds of highlights in my photos:

             

            1. Those where tonal detail makes or breaks them - a little flatness is a worthwhile trade-off for bringing them "in bounds".

            2. Those where the tonal detail is not important, but what is important, is that there is no flatness - that the tonal gradation continues unadulterated all the way to the clipping point.

             

            Lightroom's automatic highlight recovery is great for Type 1 highlights, but for Type 2 highlights - not so much...

             

            Rob

            • 3. Re: Automatic highlight recovery - a double-edged sword.
              jrsforums Community Member

              Words do not describe the problem you state....nor help understand why the other controls do not help you

              • 4. Re: Automatic highlight recovery - a double-edged sword.
                MadManChan2000 Adobe Employee

                Rob, it would be really helpful if you posted examples (i.e., original files) demonstrating the problem.

                 

                (Although I read nearly every thread, I don't take any action unless I have files ...)

                • 5. Re: Automatic highlight recovery - a double-edged sword.
                  Lee Jay Community Member

                  I can personally attest to the fact that he does take our input seriously and does take action when he has files that clearly demonstrate the behavior being described.

                  • 6. Re: Automatic highlight recovery - a double-edged sword.
                    tgutgu Community Member

                    Rob, again, why do you NEVER back your findings with image examples, so it is worth to discuss the issue with you. Your posts are pointless, if you fail to do so.

                    • 7. Re: Automatic highlight recovery - a double-edged sword.
                      decoyle Community Member

                      "I really wish I had the option to control it."

                       

                      Rob

                       

                      rob,,,   void the input data for the 'auto' recovery algorithm via exposure in the camera,,,

                      • 8. Re: Automatic highlight recovery - a double-edged sword.
                        thedigitaldog CommunityMVP

                        Lee Jay wrote:

                         

                        I can personally attest to the fact that he does take our input seriously and does take action when he has files that clearly demonstrate the behavior being described.

                        Damn straight. I can too. In fact, if not for Eric’s hard work on the new highlight recovery, we’d still be seeing the problems trying to recover data with an ugly cast and banding that is now fixed.  Eric took interest in this issue after some of us sent him problematic files. PV2012 is a major big deal in my book and the recovery is now excellent.

                         

                        Here is an example that Eric has seen. I didn’t even put PV2003 in which was even worse in terms of Highlight recovery. The image was shot ETTR so recovery was necessary as seen in the bottom image. The middle needed -26 Highlight recovery using PV2010. There is some color shifting magenta and an ugly loss of smoothness. The top is what I get simply by clicking on the convert to PV2012! That is before I move any sliders. Significantly better and more realistic. Amazing in my bookPV2010_2012HighlightRecovery.jpg

                        • 9. Re: Automatic highlight recovery - a double-edged sword.
                          Rusty Sterling Community Member

                          I do not understand what auto recovery (either shadows or highlights) is at all. I do not see anything called auto recovery in the develop module anywhere. Will someone please explain this to me.

                          • 10. Re: Automatic highlight recovery - a double-edged sword.
                            Jao vdL Community Member

                            Damn straight. I can too. In fact, if not for Eric’s hard work on the new highlight recovery, we’d still be seeing the problems trying to recover data with an ugly cast and banding that is now fixed.

                            Indeed. Eric has recived quite some files from me over the years too and every single problem they exhibited got fixed over time. Here is an example. I find it astonishing how well the new automatic highlight recovery works (Rusty, you don't have to do anything for this it just happens) and I haven't been able to find any negatives with it. That is not to say that there couldn't be any problems with certain files, so if there are issues, the best way to fix them is get such problem files to Eric.

                            • 11. Re: Automatic highlight recovery - a double-edged sword.
                              Rusty Sterling Community Member

                              @Jao: Thanks. I am not having a problem with it. I just did not have a clue what it was. Frankly, it should not affect me one way or the other since I have a specific workflow and process with a certain output in mind. Also, about 98% of my work is black & white. So again, I have an output in mind so if the recovery happens, I am likely to change it anyway with my regular workflow. I just wanted to know what it was. Thanks.

                              • 12. Re: Automatic highlight recovery - a double-edged sword.
                                areohbee Community Member

                                To try and elaborate a tad more:

                                 

                                It's not in the develop module, thus the term "auto" - there is no option to turn it on, off, or otherwise throttle it - it's always on.

                                 

                                It's what's responsible for more detail in your highlights now than you had before - have you noticed that?

                                 

                                Likewise, there is a similar effect at the left end for opening the deepest shadow tones  - have you noticed that?

                                 

                                You can see it in your photos when you convert to PV2012 if you have tones at or near the clipping point, and you can also see it in the histogram.

                                 

                                Also, if you turn on the highlight clipping indicator you'll notice a difference in the clipped regions.

                                 

                                It's also noticable when you adjust tones even if highlights were not originally near the clipping point:

                                Select PV2010, and increase exposure - watch the right end of the histogram. Repeat using PV2012. eh?

                                 

                                The highlights may be a little flatter, but they'll have more detail - usually a good thing. And, yes, as I've said before, and continue to say, I too appreciate the work Eric has done to bring us this improvement. Hopefully that message has not gotten lost in the interest of providing more critical feedback.

                                 

                                The purpose of this thread was to express that in the interest of recovering this detail, there can be a little flattening at the upper end, and this is not a good thing when the sorta glowy unadulterated look is preferred over maximum detail.

                                 

                                If you've never encountered this in your own photos, then you probably won't appreciate it in mine...

                                 

                                And sorry folks, but one can not accomplish the same thing with the whites slider - not even close.

                                 

                                Cheers,

                                Rob

                                • 13. Re: Automatic highlight recovery - a double-edged sword.
                                  Bob_Peters Community Member

                                  Good grief, Rob!  Why not make some of the problem files available instead of endlessly talking about them?  Illustrate the problem.

                                  • 14. Re: Automatic highlight recovery - a double-edged sword.
                                    areohbee Community Member

                                    They are available to Eric Chan.

                                    • 15. Re: Automatic highlight recovery - a double-edged sword.
                                      jrsforums Community Member

                                      Your not going to let this go....nor will you provide an example to show the "problem" which would prove your point or allow Eric to see if he could solve YOUR problem.

                                       

                                      I was disappointed when you twice said you were going o stop posting, as I think you have the POTENTIAL to add quite a lot to his forum.  However, this constant whining over a (so far) mystical problem is getting to be straining.

                                       

                                      PLEASE....put up or let it go. :-). You are only embarrassing yourself.

                                      • 16. Re: Automatic highlight recovery - a double-edged sword.
                                        slarti3 Community Member

                                        Considering the incredible simplicity of making it optional, perhaps even slightly hidden for the normal user, I really don't understand why there is so much fuss about it.

                                        Just add it and everyone will be happy and get the sort of control over the photograph that you expect from a professional grade program.

                                        • 17. Re: Automatic highlight recovery - a double-edged sword.
                                          jrsforums Community Member

                                          So...you have peeked at the underlying code and have determined its incredibly simple to make optional...???

                                           

                                          There air others of us that have no idea what the fuss was in the first place.

                                           

                                          If Eric gets the images and recognizes it as a real problem he will work on it.  We mortals should not guess at what is simple and what is not.

                                          • 18. Re: Automatic highlight recovery - a double-edged sword.
                                            Lee Jay Community Member

                                            Oh, it's simple alright.  Everything is simple when it's someone else's job to do it.

                                            • 19. Re: Automatic highlight recovery - a double-edged sword.
                                              Geoff the kiwi CommunityMVP

                                              Rob Cole wrote:

                                               

                                              They are available to Eric Chan.

                                              So you have emailed or linked to them at the address that Mr Chan has provided here Rob??

                                               

                                              If not put up or shut up.

                                              • 20. Re: Automatic highlight recovery - a double-edged sword.
                                                areohbee Community Member

                                                More info for those of you who care for it:

                                                 

                                                One of the things that fascinates me about Lr4b1 is that one can process an image with a radically different set of adjustments, and come up with a histogram that looks nearly identical to before, yet the image has markedly different qualities. For those who often think I'm bad-mouthing Lightroom or its creator(s) when I'm not: "this is a really good thing" - in my opinion.

                                                 

                                                What I've found is that I can get much closer to what I want for Type-2 highlights (see my second post above) by:

                                                 

                                                - lowering exposure and increasing highlights

                                                - a shadow increase will no doubt be necessary too in order to maintain overal tonality, and probably a compensatory blacks asjustment as well.

                                                (contrast and/or tone-curve to taste of course, as always...)

                                                 

                                                This produces a much smoother tonal gradient betweeen upper highlights and whites - less detailed, but preserves more of the glowy/unadulterated look that I am sometimes after.

                                                 

                                                Photos tend to have a little less "wow", and a little more old-fashioned & natural tonality this way, which may or may not be a good thing for a particular photo overall, in my opinion.

                                                 

                                                Try it for yourself on your own photos.

                                                (I have my reasons for not wanting to share my images in the open forum)

                                                 

                                                Rob

                                                • 21. Re: Automatic highlight recovery - a double-edged sword.
                                                  areohbee Community Member

                                                  Geoff the kiwi wrote:

                                                   

                                                  ...put up or shut up.

                                                   

                                                  As a community professional, you should treat forum participants with more respect.

                                                   

                                                  Rob

                                                  • 22. Re: Automatic highlight recovery - a double-edged sword.
                                                    thedigitaldog CommunityMVP

                                                    Rob Cole wrote:

                                                    As a community professional, you should treat forum participants with more respect.

                                                    Respect has to be earned. And it can be lost due too, depending on how one conducts themselves.


                                                    • 23. Re: Automatic highlight recovery - a double-edged sword.
                                                      Geoff the kiwi CommunityMVP

                                                      Interesting that you haven't answered the question Rob. Have you provided the file/s to Mr Chan?

                                                      • 24. Re: Automatic highlight recovery - a double-edged sword.
                                                        areohbee Community Member

                                                        Mr Chan knows the answer to that question - I really don't care if you or anybody else, who's mission seems to be to give me a bad time, knows the answer.

                                                        • 25. Re: Automatic highlight recovery - a double-edged sword.
                                                          jrsforums Community Member

                                                          I'm not sure what almost identical histograms has to do with anything.

                                                           

                                                          However, I do agree that there are lots of ways to get to pleasing images.

                                                           

                                                          I have recently Been playing with some college basketball pix.  I, similarly, found that lower exposure (than base or auto or both) was a little bit better starting point.  Then raising the white point to just below clipping and opening up the shadows gave me a better starting point for these images.

                                                           

                                                          I still need to work up the learning curve with LR 4 and will feel a bit better when it finally goes inal to zero into an approach for different types of images/looks.  Until the I plan to ot be constrained by using oly one approach, but to experiment with different approaches and combinations of sliders.  After all....reset gets one back to "GO".

                                                           

                                                          John

                                                          • 26. Re: Automatic highlight recovery - a double-edged sword.
                                                            jrsforums Community Member

                                                            "...Mr Chan knows the answer to that question - I really don't care if you or anybody else, who's mission seems to be to give me a bad time, knows the answer..."

                                                             

                                                            One reaps what one sows....

                                                            • 27. Re: Automatic highlight recovery - a double-edged sword.
                                                              areohbee Community Member

                                                              jrsforums wrote:

                                                               

                                                              I'm not sure what almost identical histograms has to do with anything.

                                                               

                                                               

                                                              It's my way of saying that overall (global) tonality is the same - i.e. total number of pixels at each tone is about the same.

                                                               

                                                              What's changed is nuances of local area contrast.

                                                              • 28. Re: Automatic highlight recovery - a double-edged sword.
                                                                areohbee Community Member

                                                                After essentially perfecting the tonality of one of my images, and now happy with everything, I proceeded to try to use the whites slider to try and eek the last bit out of the upper most tones, by extending the histogram to the right-most limit (+Whites).

                                                                 

                                                                Unfortunately, that goofed up my whole deal, all the way down to the shadows (and yes, in case you were wondering, I am very picky...).

                                                                 

                                                                Note to self: Whites slider has a deep reach into the histogram - never save it for last (or be prepared to readjust everything again after using it, or exposure at least - at a minimum).

                                                                 

                                                                R

                                                                • 29. Re: Automatic highlight recovery - a double-edged sword.
                                                                  jrsforums Community Member

                                                                  Rob Cole wrote

                                                                   

                                                                  Note to self: Whites slider has a deep reach into the histogram - never save it for last (or be prepared to readjust everything again after using it).

                                                                   

                                                                  R

                                                                   

                                                                  I agree with never save it for last, as you will not in my BB pix, I adjust the whites sliders to peak the white uniforms early in the steps.

                                                                   

                                                                  IT is similar to first setting exposure in pv2010.

                                                                   

                                                                  John

                                                                  • 30. Re: Automatic highlight recovery - a double-edged sword.
                                                                    Jao vdL Community Member

                                                                    There is a now well documented bug in LR 4 b that makes the white slider

                                                                    affect the entire tonal range:

                                                                    http://forums.adobe.com/message/4183508#4183508

                                                                    You SHOULD be able to use the white slider as a final adjustment.

                                                                    • 31. Re: Automatic highlight recovery - a double-edged sword.
                                                                      decoyle Community Member


                                                                      Unfortunately, that goofed up my whole deal, all the way down to the shadows (and yes, in case you were wondering, I am very picky...).

                                                                      R

                                                                       

                                                                      hey rob.... ? why,, after essentially calling the 'basic' sliders a kludge would you think that one could wash the pinstripes off the wedding dress with a firehose and not effect the vail...:)) ain't gonna happen

                                                                      either the parametric curve with the split sliders compressed to increase contrast or yes,,, the ever lov'n point curve > lock it down and reap the highlights....i know you know,,,,so why? be insistent on using the kludge...open the toolbox !!

                                                                       

                                                                      den

                                                                      • 32. Re: Automatic highlight recovery - a double-edged sword.
                                                                        areohbee Community Member

                                                                        I had to read that a few times to get your point, but in this case you are absolutely right - it was a job for the point curve, not the whites slider (parametric tone-curve was already "taken"). Duh - silly me...

                                                                         

                                                                        Tnx

                                                                        R

                                                                        • 33. Re: Automatic highlight recovery - a double-edged sword.
                                                                          jrsforums Community Member

                                                                          Jao vdL wrote:

                                                                           

                                                                          There is a now well documented bug in LR 4 b that makes the white slider

                                                                          affect the entire tonal range:

                                                                          http://forums.adobe.com/message/4183508#4183508

                                                                          You SHOULD be able to use the white slider as a final adjustment.

                                                                          I thought this was specific to going from 0 to -1.

                                                                          • 34. Re: Automatic highlight recovery - a double-edged sword.
                                                                            areohbee Community Member

                                                                            Thanks Jao, but that was not the issue in this case.

                                                                            • 35. Re: Automatic highlight recovery - a double-edged sword.
                                                                              areohbee Community Member

                                                                              decoyle wrote:

                                                                               

                                                                              ...why,, after essentially calling the 'basic' sliders a kludge would you think that one could wash the pinstripes off the wedding dress with a firehose and not effect the vail...:))

                                                                               

                                                                              Although I have been over-using the basic controls, and trying to do too much with them (primarily in the interest of learning), if you neglect them completely (and head straight for the curves) then you aren't getting everything out of Lightroom 4 that it has to offer.

                                                                               

                                                                              Its via these controls that one can define the "look and feel" of the photo. Want it dramatic, with a flare of HDR-ish-ness? - crank up the exposure and down the highlights, shadows to suit...

                                                                               

                                                                              Want a more natural look? Lower exposure and increase highlights and shadows...

                                                                               

                                                                              Histogram may be same in each case, but look and feel will be different.

                                                                               

                                                                              You can't do that with the tone/point curve.

                                                                               

                                                                              eh?

                                                                               

                                                                              R

                                                                              • 36. Re: Automatic highlight recovery - a double-edged sword.
                                                                                VeloDramatic Community Member

                                                                                You know the drill Rob,

                                                                                 

                                                                                For guys like me who have to process a thousand images on deadline there's just no time to start playing with curves. The basic controls have to work efficiently, and ballpark allow us to achieve 95% of the potential quality for 95+% of our images.

                                                                                 

                                                                                I look forward to the next beta iteration but it may require the final LR4 release running at production speed before I can decide the quality/productivity balance is right for me. LR3.6 sets a high bar when speed and quality count equally. I'm rooting for the team to surpass both metrics.

                                                                                • 38. Re: Automatic highlight recovery - a double-edged sword.
                                                                                  hamish niven Community Member

                                                                                  With you VeloD.

                                                                                  processing of large volumes has to be done quickly. I'm waiting for relative development presets, so that I can Auto an image and then add/remove a little highlight, shadow, contrast etc

                                                                                  Then we are getting places.

                                                                                  Rob is a great protaganist of the details and technical aspects, but for me, like you, I want to get to a good place with an image or a series of images very very quickly. The client can then fiddle to get what they want for the magazine, website, brochure, paper they are printing on etc, I want to give them an image that is great but not where they cant manipulate it to where they need it.

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