Tip of the Week: Shadows, Highlights and Hyperrealism

You are witnessing a sunset and want to take a dramatic shot of it, when you see the output not as you hoped it would be. Sometimes you envy those who see great sunsets that you haven't seen yet and wonder when you be able to ... and you ask, where is that place and/or what exposure settings needed to be set.

In most cases, its up to post processing ... mainly shades and highlights.

So how does that apply to a sunset image.Well, it contains oranges and blues (if setting was at sea). To have an exaggerated sunset we have play with shades and highlights.

Ocean Palm Tree Tropical Sunset Sky

Amazing sunset colors

In Adobe Photoshop or other post processing software, go to Image/adjustments/color balance. Within the opened panel appears color rows and below variants for shades, mid tones and highlights.

We need to increase color of shades and therefore add blue to the shadow areas.

We need to increase orange for highlights and so increase values for red and yellow.

There is no right and wrong here, its all dependant on the image and level of hyperrealism one needs to achieve.

Do try that and apply the same logic on a different setting(s)

Shades and highlights mainly render a dynamic image out of dull colors to increase its value as a single frame within the instance of time.

Hope this helps :)

Photo credits: Dave Bredeson, Jzphoto.

Your article must be written in English

March 17, 2020


Thank you! I've always wanted to take good shots with a decent camera, but results weren't what it supposed to be.This post helps a lot for beginners.

March 12, 2020


Excellent thoughts !The eye and brain almost immediately think, "wow, very beautiful" and give no thought to the processes behind producing the photo. The longer the eye and brain can be tricked, the more effective the "hyperrealism". But if you are familiar with editing photos in this manner, more quickly your brain says, "Hey wait a minute, you can't get bright blue water at a sunset." But in the end, you are correct in stating there is no right or wrong. What is most pleasing to the majority of viewers, and to the artist himself/herself, is the most effective.  William .

Related image searches
Highlights related image searches