Sometimes we get so caught up in the beauty of the scene in front of us that we forget that we might be pushing the limits of our cameras a little too far. One solution, of course, is to shoot with HDR in mind. HDR or High Dynamic Range is where you shoot a bracketed exposure of several shots over and under the metered exposure.
HDR gets a bit of a bad rap sometimes due to the overly garish nature of some images it can produce. It is, however, a powerful technique for pushing beyond the limits of your camera’s sensor. But what if we were so wrapped up in the moment, we did not shoot an exposure bracket? Can we recover dynamic range? The answer is yes, assuming you shot RAW. Today we are going to look at how to recover dynamic range using a single RAW file using Lightroom CC Classic.
Choose The Right Image
First of all you are going to require an image that is within the histogram both on the shadows and highlights end of the scale. Blown highlights are unrecoverable no matter what you do. Once you find a suitable image it's best to copy the original RAW and re-import to a new working folder.
With our single image in a folder in the Library module, we are going to right click and select Create Virtual Copy. We are going to repeat it and make a second Virtual Copy. The copies are denoted by a little fold over icon bottom left of the thumbnail. Select the first virtual copy and click the Develop Module.
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