January 14, 2008
This is a cross-posted Photoshopnews story in which I have tried to unravel the question of how should you set the shadow output levels when editing an image in Camera Raw. You will find that the exact same principles apply when working in Lightroom.
Some image editing habits become so ingrained that it is hard to unlearn them when newer ways come along and make the old favorite methods redundant. An example of this is the subject of setting the output Levels in Photoshop for the print output. For many years Photoshop users were taught to set the output levels for the shadows at a slightly higher value than 0,0,0, even though (as you will read here) it has not been necessary to do so for quite some years now. Then came along Camera Raw and Lightroom and some photographers have been agonizing over how to set the output levels for an image when there is no output levels control in Camera Raw or Lightroom. Hopefully the following article will help shed some light on how Photoshop is still able to manage the output levels for you and why the solution is really a lot simpler than you would think.