Shadows and Highlights

The Shadows and Highlights tools do an amazing job of bringing out the details that are lost in the shadows or bright areas of your photo. Figure 11-8 shows what a difference these tools can make.

Figure 11-8. Top: This photo shows a classic vacation picture problem: the day is bright, the scenery's beautiful, but everyone's faces are hidden by dark shadows. Bottom: The Shadows and Highlights tools brought back everyone's faces, but now they look a bit jaundiced. Use the color sliders to make them look healthy again.

Figure 11-8. Top: This photo shows a classic vacation picture problem: the day is bright, the scenery's beautiful, but everyone's faces are hidden by dark shadows. Bottom: The Shadows and Highlights tools brought back everyone's faces, but now they look a bit jaundiced. Use the color sliders to make them look healthy again.

Go easy. Getting overenthusiastic can give your photos a very washed out, flat look. The Shadows and Highlights tools are a collection of three sliders, each of which controls a different aspect of your image:

• Lighten Shadows. Nudge the slider to the right and you'll see details emerge from murky black shadows.

• Darken Highlights. Use this slider to dim the brightness of overexposed areas.

• Midtone Contrast. After you've adjusted your photo's shadows and highlights, your photo may be very flat looking with not enough contrast between the dark and light areas. This slider helps you bring a more realistic look back to your photo.

Tip: You may think you only need to lighten shadows in a photo, but sometimes just a smidgen of Darken Highlights may help, too. Don't be afraid to experiment by using this slider even if you've got a relatively dark photo.

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