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The Low Light Photography Field Guide by Michael Freeman

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Double-Processed Raw

In principle, the full range of a high-contrast image captured in a 12-bit or 14-bit Raw file can be compressed satisfactorily into an 8-bit viewable file using a Raw converter.

The range of tools, including exposure, brightness, contrast, and curves adjustment, allow a great deal of control. However, in many Raw converters most of these are global operators—tools that work on the entire range of tones and colors in the image—whereas many low light situations have, as we’ve seen, sharply divided areas of brightness. The problem is often that of maintaining local contrast while holding or reducing global contrast. Photoshop’s Recovery and Fill Light sliders do an excellent job of local control at different ends of the tonal ...

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