Pushing Back Detail Using Lightroom CC

Posted August 25th, 2015 by   |  Photography, Software  |  Permalink

I used Lightroom CC’s highlight slider to push back detail in the bright regions of this photograph.


Taking pictures on a bright sunny day presents all kinds of challenges for our photography. One of the biggest issues we find is with white areas because they tend to blowout and lose detail from the bright reflected sun. Shooting images in RAW format will allow you recover some of the lost highlights in software as long as you don’t over expose the scene too much.

I work with a lot of photographers who are afraid of shooting RAW because of the perceived extra workload required to process them in software. I understand this fear, especially for people who have never spent much time working with photographs on their computers. The prospect of learning a program like Lightroom CC from the ground up can be especially daunting.

If your photos are important to you, then I want to encourage you to spend time to learn a RAW processing program like Lightroom CC. This software package and others like it are very capable and aren’t too big to learn as long as you are willing to invest a few hours of your precious time.

One of the most useful tools in Lightroom is the highlight slider. You’ll find this slider in the Develop module and it is designed to help recover highlight detail from over-exposed areas in an image. Take a look at this example photograph of boats at a marina (below). I photographed this a couple weeks ago in my hometown of Gig Harbor Washington on a sunny morning.


The scene appealed to me because of the calm water that produced fascinating reflections of the boats. The second thing I noticed about this scene was a man eating breakfast on the back of his boat while enjoying the morning sun. Using my Nikon D800 and a Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8, I set the camera for matrix metering and took the shot.

When I returned to my computer and downloaded my images, I saw right away that the white areas of the boats appeared to be blown out. In other words, there was limited detail on the white paint because of the brightness of the direct sun. Since I always shoot my images in RAW format, I knew that I would be able to push back some detail into those bright white areas by moving Lightroom’s highlight slider downwards.


Here’s the image as I captured it in the Nikon D800. You’ll see lots of regions in the photograph that are over exposed. I’ll use the Highlight slider in Lightroom CC to recover details in those areas.

The highlight slider is a very advanced tool and does an excellent job with recovering delicate highlight detail. In general, you should feel comfortable moving the slider down to the minimum position (-100) without causing too much visual degradation of the picture. In previous versions of Lightroom, you had to be very careful with the highlights slider because you never knew what would happen to those highlight areas. In some cases, the areas we just turn muddy and you would lose texture in the image. With the new highlight slider in Lightroom 5, 6 and CC, you should feel comfortable moving the slider to just about any position from zero to -100 on the slider scale. There are some photos where adjusting the slider to -80 or -90 doesn’t look good, but you’ll be able quickly see where the photo starts to break down and then you can re-adjust the slider appropriately. My general approach is to move the slider to where it recovers all detail, then back it off just a tiny bit to retain the realism in the image.


For this picture of the boats, I did a few things in order to push detail back into the highlights. The first thing was to move the exposure slider down by -0.30. This reduced the overall brightness of the photograph, including highlights, midtones, and shadows. My next step was to adjust the highlight slider down to the point where I was able to push detail back into the white areas of the boats. In this case it was about -70 on the scale.

My next adjustment was to increase the shadow slider to bring back information in the dark areas of the scene that I lost when moving the exposure down. Finally, I increased clarity and vibrance to add a little bit of punch to the image.


When comparing the before and after of the image, the adjustments I made were subtle, yet significant. If I was going to make a print of this image, the unedited version would have been terrible because the bright areas of the scene would have no detail and the image would end up looking flat. By recovering the highlights, I was able to salvage the shot.

Marina panorama

Here’s another shot, a panorama, from the same position. I used the same Lightroom settings as the previous image to recover the highlights.

66 Comments on “Pushing Back Detail Using Lightroom CC”

  • JamesPiork January 13th, 2021 7:11 pm

    prescription drugs online without http://canadaedwp.com pain meds without written prescription

  • JamesPiork January 13th, 2021 10:47 pm

    solutions for ed http://canadaedwp.com tadalafil without a doctor’s prescription

  • JamesBoamn January 15th, 2021 3:44 am

    ed pills that work hgapdfib buy levitra generic erectile dysfunction

  • JamesBoamn January 15th, 2021 7:58 pm

    prescription meds without the prescriptions dkmapfwk levitra erectile dysfunction drug

  • JamesBoamn January 16th, 2021 12:31 am

    viagra without a doctor prescription usa lyoezahi sildenafil viagra otc

  • Jamesduers January 17th, 2021 3:28 am

    uegd best place to buy generic viagra online http://dietkannur.org jzhl syeb

  • Lesteranymn January 19th, 2021 1:31 am

    cheapest cialis web prices dwlheqdv http://tadedmedz.online/ does cialis lower blood pressure

  • DavidhulgE January 22nd, 2021 10:50 am

    buy generic viagra here generic viagra without a doctor prescription

  • Geraldjam January 26th, 2021 9:58 am

    http://zithromaxfast500.com buy zithromax online australia

  • Geraldjam January 27th, 2021 4:32 am

    http://tadalafilfast20.com tadalafil in india online

  • Joshuavix January 30th, 2021 1:09 am

    buy sildenafil buy sildenafil

  • cheap flights January 31st, 2021 2:53 am

    Hey there I am so excited I found your blog page,
    I really found you by mistake, while I was looking on Yahoo for something
    else, Regardless I am here now and would just like to
    say thank you for a incredible post and a all round
    thrilling blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to look
    over it all at the moment but I have saved it
    and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back
    to read a lot more, Please do keep up the great work.

  • cheap flights February 1st, 2021 12:18 pm

    You could certainly see your expertise within the article you write.
    The sector hopes for more passionate writers such as you who are not afraid to mention how they believe.
    At all times go after your heart.

  • Robertwem February 2nd, 2021 3:30 am

    generic cialis at walgreens pharmacy http://generictadalafil20.com tadalafil

  • tinyurl.com February 2nd, 2021 8:08 am

    Hi there, I read your blogs on a regular basis.
    Your writing style is awesome, keep up the good work!

  • cheap flights February 2nd, 2021 9:25 am

    Hey there! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be okay.
    I’m definitely enjoying your blog and look forward to new

  • tinyurl.com February 3rd, 2021 1:05 am

    This article is really a good one it assists new web visitors,
    who are wishing in favor of blogging.

  • LouisCiz February 4th, 2021 10:26 am

    erection pills that work mens erection pills
    ed drugs list

  • Kbcxnida February 4th, 2021 12:18 pm

    pharmacy online mexico Viagra Super Active canadian pharmacy drugs online

  • LouisCiz February 4th, 2021 3:51 pm

    over the counter erectile dysfunction pills ed medications list
    how to cure ed

  • LouisCiz February 5th, 2021 2:51 am

    new treatments for ed the best ed pills
    ed pills cheap

  • Jbnbskalp February 5th, 2021 9:45 pm

    canada drug top rated canadian pharmacies online canada pharmacies online prescriptions

  • NncsExeds February 6th, 2021 5:29 am

    dapoxetine viagra viagra / cialis alternative viagra

  • FqhhDiarf February 7th, 2021 11:09 am

    erectile dysfunction medications viagra pharmacy 100mg canada online pharmacies

  • LbsxDiarf February 8th, 2021 4:32 pm

    best non prescription online pharmacies the most powerful viagra in the world pharmacy online

  • JbbvDiarf February 9th, 2021 6:46 am

    canadian pharcharmy online fda approved discount pharmacies bestsellers

  • AhkdDiarf February 9th, 2021 8:38 am

    best online pharmacy drugstore online shopping diabetes

  • AqcfChoofeHoM February 9th, 2021 3:29 pm

    cheap cialis pills uk buy cialis united states cialis australia

  • FvfcExeds February 10th, 2021 3:42 am

    buy generic viagra online generic viagras buy viagra with echeck

  • GlennJeorn February 11th, 2021 6:20 am

    order cefixime online buy terramycin online
    generic ampicillin

  • Kvaxnida February 11th, 2021 10:00 am

    cheap payday loans fees advanced cash flow statement analysis cash loans on car titles toledo ohio

  • GlennJeorn February 11th, 2021 10:07 am

    generic chloromycetin buy suprax
    cefixime generic

  • tinyurl.com February 11th, 2021 5:25 pm

    I was curious if you ever thought of changing the structure of
    your site? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect
    with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only
    having one or two pictures. Maybe you could space it out

  • cbd February 11th, 2021 5:35 pm

    Who goes a borrowing goes a sorrowing.

  • decarboxylation February 11th, 2021 11:51 pm

    Love is blind.

  • chloroquine sulfate February 12th, 2021 7:54 am

    cloraquinn hydroxychloroquine coronavirus chloronique

  • Jbnvskalp February 12th, 2021 11:18 pm

    personal cash loans no bank account payday loans martins ferry ohio portland cash loans

  • NbnhExeds February 13th, 2021 7:25 pm

    buy sildenafil citrate online buy 150 mg viagra online generic female viagra 100mg

  • oklahoma marijuana news February 15th, 2021 11:59 am

    A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

  • FqbbDiarf February 15th, 2021 6:57 pm

    cincinnati payday loan cash advance payday advances in los angeles same day text payday loans

  • where can i buy zithromax February 16th, 2021 6:24 am

    uses of zithromax zithromax.com z pack for skin infection

  • LabxDiarf February 16th, 2021 12:19 pm

    wie kann man die wirkung von cialis verstärken cialis e paroxetina cialis controlled substance

  • JbbnDiarf February 17th, 2021 5:26 am

    cialis electronic cigarettes remedio cialis tadalafil cialis generic supplements

  • AhbzDiarf February 17th, 2021 2:04 pm

    cash advance slip meaning sell gameboy advance games for cash hydra payday loan phone number

  • Richardtemig February 17th, 2021 5:04 pm

    cialis patent expiration which is better – cialis or viagra
    cialis side effects

  • Richardtemig February 18th, 2021 12:23 am

    how much does cialis cost cialis 5mg coupon
    side effects of cialis

  • FbsgExeds February 18th, 2021 5:39 am

    cialis without a prescription where to buy cialis in canada how to get cialis 800mg

  • AbcfChoofeHoM February 18th, 2021 8:48 am

    free viagras vviagra sample buy viagra no prescription overnight shipping

  • Richardtemig February 20th, 2021 3:50 am

    how to take cialis normal dose cialis
    cialis daily

  • Kndnnida February 27th, 2021 5:01 am

    viagra bottle viagra over the counter usa 2018 buy viagra online without prescriptions

  • ClarkWem February 27th, 2021 2:16 pm

    9t9mz rs33r z574

  • https://www.lekekremim.com February 28th, 2021 9:15 pm

    ile hemen tanışın saç dökülerine önlem olan complex sadece
    49tlsaç dökülme karşıtı erkek şampuanı .

  • PHP SHELL INDIRr March 1st, 2021 2:24 am

    Thank you for the good writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it.

    Look advanced to more added agreeable from you! However, how can we communicate?

  • kaliteli beğeni March 1st, 2021 2:44 am

    I’ve been browsing online greater than three hours as
    of late, yet I never discovered any interesting article like yours.
    It is pretty value sufficient for me. Personally, if all web owners and bloggers made
    excellent content as you probably did, the net can be much more
    useful than ever before.

  • takip 2018 en iyi site blogu March 1st, 2021 4:06 am

    May I simply say what a relief to discover a person that truly knows what they are discussing online.
    You actually realize how to bring a problem to light and make it important.
    More people should check this out and understand this side of the story.
    I was surprised that you’re not more popular since you surely have the

  • washington dc March 3rd, 2021 8:29 pm

    2eFgDE Interesting article, thanks. Could you explain the second paragraph in more detail please?

  • MarcosInini March 3rd, 2021 11:24 pm

    tadalafil online 20: http://tadalafilonline20.com/ tadalafil 30 mg

  • MarcosInini March 4th, 2021 3:48 pm

    order tadalafil: http://tadalafilonline20.com/ tadalafil

  • WesleyBluew March 4th, 2021 9:57 pm

    tadalafil pills buy tadalafil us
    tadalafil generic

  • MarcosInini March 4th, 2021 11:20 pm

    tadalafil: http://tadalafilonline20.com/ generic tadalafil 40 mg

  • WesleyBluew March 5th, 2021 10:39 pm

    what is tadalafil tadalafil

  • WesleyBluew March 5th, 2021 11:02 pm

    tadalafil 30 mg tadalafil
    tadalafil pills 20mg

  • thi cong khach san March 6th, 2021 2:03 am

    Its hard to find good help I am forever proclaiming that its difficult to procure good help, but here is

  • mua vietlott online March 6th, 2021 2:21 am

    Major thankies for the post.Thanks Again. Keep writing.

  • tu quan ao mdf March 6th, 2021 2:35 am

    You could certainly see your expertise in the work you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who aren at afraid to say how they believe. Always go after your heart.

  • http://kredytus.over-blog.com March 6th, 2021 4:14 am

    When someone writes an paragraph he/she keeps the idea

Leave a Reply

© 2021 Visual Adventures | Site Policies | Web by Works Development