Video Tutorial: How I Recovered a Deeply Shadowed Sunset Image In Lightroom

Dec 6, 2018 | Photography Tutorials, Tutorials


When shooting to capture a stunning sunset like I had the night of this shoot, I always expose for the sky, knowing that I can recover the shadows in post.  I shoot on a Nikon D750 and the shadow recovery is fantastic.  However, in this image, I definitely underexposed a bit more than I planned to!  Thankfully, I was still able to recover this incredible sky in post!  This image was taken about 30 minutes after the sun had dipped below the horizon.  We were down to the last light of the day, and I was thrilled when I saw those soft clouds start to turn to all shades of pink!  I knew this would be the perfect backdrop for a loving father/daughter moment.  Watch below for how I achieved this edit.

Please Note: This extreme shadow recovery works because my subjects were facing away from the camera.  If my subjects were facing toward the camera, their eyes would have lacked catch-lights, and the shadow recovery would have made their skin grainy.   If I had wanted them to turn around and face the camera, I would have needed a reflector or fill flash to get good light on their faces while still preserving as much of the sky as possible.  Since they were facing away, I knew I could work with what was there to recover the foreground shadows while still preserving that beautiful color in the sky.


password: WLW_Shadow_Recovery



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