How To Deal With Highlights & Shadows Clipping

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Clipping occurs when your camera struggled to process the complete tonal range during the image capture. It basically means there are either pure black pixels in the shadows and/or pure white pixels in highlights.  Lightroom lets you know this with a little triangle warning indicator in the histogram. The one at the top right indicates highlights clipping, and the top left is for shadows. If you select the triangle, Lightroom will even highlight the offending areas in your image using a mask overlay.

To fix highlights clipping in Lightroom, first, try reducing the highlights with the Highlights slider in the Basic panel of the Develop Module. Depending on how much clipping there is, you may need to reduce the exposure a little using the Exposure slider.

Conversely, to fix shadows clipping, increase the Shadows slider and/or increase the exposure.

In cases where you have clipped highlights and shadows, you are just going to have to find a happy medium for the sliders. In these cases, I tend to focus mostly on highlights, as pure white pixels are far more noticeable than pure blacks.


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