28.08.2007 Category: Photography
Camera Raw is Adobe's Plug-In software for Photoshop which provides capability to open raw files. Raw image provides flexible processing possibilities due to its great color depth. In Camera Raw there is control named Fill Light which, like its name says, brings more brightness to the dark areas of the photograph. Camera Raw's Exposure and Fill Light controls together can even save a raw image which is partly over exposed and partly under exposed.
Fill Light control is especially efficient with photos with high contrast. Often when there is a high contrast in the view its necessary to slightly under expose the photo so that the brightest areas of the photo wouldn't clip to white. Fixing of that kind of photo might be easy with Camera Raw's Fill Light control.
Picture 1. The original photo of a lake view is partly little too bright and partly too dark.
Picture 2. Adobe Camera Raw's Fill Light control brightens dark areas of the photograph.
Picture 1 is the original photo taken on the shore of a finnish lake in bright weather. I tried to expose the photo according to the bright sky. Despite of that the sky became too bright and forests were still left far too dark. So the photo failed. Fortunately these days photographs can be digitally processed afterwards. I opened the raw file into Adobe Camera Raw 4.0. At first I corrected the Exposure so that I could see all the details in the sky. After that I used Fill Light heavily to make forests more visible. In this case Fill Light worked like magic and saved the dark areas of the photograph (picture 2). Same kind of result could be obtained with Photoshop's Curves tool but that is harder to use. Picture 2 is the final photo which has also been processed in Photoshop (Unsharp Mask, Hue/Saturation, Levels).
Picture 3. A landscape photo from Greece on the island of Lesbos. Unfortunately the left side of the photo has been left into shade.
Picture 4. Also in this case Fill Light works well and brightens the dark areas of the photo.
Picture 3 has been taken in Greece on the island of Lesbos. The picture has been taken during a bright day so the shadows are very dark. The picture is also very pale and dull because all the automatic processing of the camera had been turned off. The left side of the photo is very dark because of the shadows. Compare shadows to picture 4 where the shadows have been lightened with Camera Raw's Fill Light control. Additionally the photo has been cheered up in Photoshop (Unsharp Mask, Hue/Saturation, Levels).
In these cases Camera Raw's Fill Light was able to easily save the dark areas of the photos taken in difficult conditions. In my opinion Fill Light is very welcome control in Adobe Camera Raw software.