6 Ways To Get Better Shadow & Highlight Detail In Your Photographs

You want your photographs to glow - right? So what’s better than one kind of glow? How about three?

You can get there by not succumbing to the classic temptations to clip shadows and/or highlights to produce a more obviously dramatic but a less lively, nuanced, and expressive tonal scale. Instead, hold the full dynamic range with a real black and white and also create gorgeous separation in the values nearest to them.

So many times we give the lion’s share of the contrast to the midtones. Midtone contrast is really important. But that doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice the light in highlights by making them too hot to look at comfortably or in shadows making them so dark they turn to murky mud. You can hold separation in these extreme ends of the tonal scale and produce beautiful qualities of light that complement not just contrast. Here’s how.


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5 Strategies For Adding Color Into B&W Photographs

2) journey grayscale
There are as many reasons to add color back into black-and-white photographs as there are ways to do it.
3) journey duotone custom copy3) journey duotone custom
You can change the emotional tone of photographs when you add warm or cool tints to them.
2) journey grayscale copy
You can separate areas of a photograph by toning them differently.
5) journey splittone
You can enhance the illusion of volume in a photograph by adding different colors into highlights and shadows; typically highlights are warm and shadows are cool.
3) journey duotone custom copy (1)
You can increase volume further by adding gradations of hue in specific regions of a photograph; typically this is done with brushes.
6) journey subdued color
You can add still greater realistic complexity by restoring trace amounts of the original color.
1) journey full color
If you increase the saturation of any of these treatments beyond a low level, you turn black-and-white photographs into color photographs.
Read more in my Black & White lessons.
Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.