Brightening shadows and midtones without blowing highlights

I’m a relatively new user of Shotcut, using it to do basic home editing. I tried it along with all the usual commercial options, and found it easier to use and very effective :slight_smile:

My video camera sometimes takes video exposed for the highlights, such as a reflection or a white object, or something angled towards a light source. Is it possible to brighten the darker areas of the image and the midtones without blowing out the highlights? In another program I think I used gamma.

In Photoshop, for still images, I would use the shadows control to brighten the really dark areas, exposure to brighten the whole image, then reduce highlights to prevent blowing them out.

I’ve found the color grading tool, which has sliders that affect different parts of the image. It gives a little more control than the brightness slider, but the highlights control seems to affect the whole image.

Thanks for any thoughts, ideas, or recommendations :slight_smile:

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You should be able to arrive at a good compromise using the Color Grading filter. Of course it depends how crushed your shadows and blacks are and how much DR your camcorder gives you. Exposing for the highlights is usually the recommended method in any case. If you can control over the camera’s recording colour profile, take the contrast, sharpness and saturation right down, that gives you more DR to work with in post. Shotcut isn’t magic, it really depends how good the source is to begin with.
Just experiment some more.

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Thanks Steve, I appreciate the advice. I had a little play with a video my wife took of my son today and the results were only ok, but I think there was just too much dynamic range. I’ll make those changes on my camera - I use a Sony RX100 v1, which is fairly good for the types of clips I do.

I think you mean not enough.

I’m a professional photographer, we may use terms slightly differently. There was too much dynamic range in the scene, the camera couldn’t capture it all. I think that’s possible more accurate :slight_smile:

Exactly, because DR typically refers to the range of light to dark intensities which the camera sensor can capture rather than what the human eye can see.
The same applies to your RX100 whether it’s stills or video (which is a stream of stills)