How to Recover Highlights and Shadows Selectively

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A very effective method that I often use to recover highlights and shadows selectively in Photoshop is through the help of curves adjustment layer that give the possibility to better manage the light according to the widest needs.

Curves adjustment layer are one of my fav adjustments, very versatiles and easy to apply. To make a curve adjustment layer and use them selectively it is possible to use a layer mask and with the use of a paintbrush, mask out the areas that we do not want to affect by this edit.

In this tutorial we’ll see something deeper and more specific to how to recover highlights and shadows selectively in a easy way

Let’s see how to do it:


1. Create a new Curves Adjustment Layer and adjust the curves as your needs. In the example image I need to decrease the highlights of the sky so I lowered the curve



2. Navigate to Image>Apply Image and put the settings as follows: since I need to decrease the highlights the following settings arefor the highlights, but if you need to apply them to the shadows put the flag on invert


3. The curves adjustment layer is applied selectively! Check the layer thumbnail to check the selective application


4. To softner the effect change the curves adjustment layer blending mode to soft light or simply decrease the opacity


Another very easy way to create with just one click the same kind of edit is through the use of the the effects in my TTS Pro Panel that have 2 specific effects dedicated to this

So these were the simple steps to recover highlights and shadows selectively in Photoshop, as you can see it is simple and quick to apply. If you need further informations or you want to tell me what is the technique you use for recover the highlights and shadows please let me know with a direct message or with a comment below. I’m always happy to respond to you!


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Hi, my name is Giuseppe Sapori, a professional photographer and author of this website, created by yours truly to show my work and share with you the techniques I use. My expertise is in the field of Landscape Photography... (Read More)

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