|Before and after tonal correction.|
|Figure 1: Common practice of tonal recovery often introduces lots of noise problems.|
It is also important to know that Clarity is also a subset of contrast as well. This affects the mid tonal ranges which also affects micro contrast and sharpness.
What I suggest to my students is a better approach which basically respects the data within the file, and allows the user to exploit the features of Lightroom with minimal noise.
In Figure 2, the first thing I do is turn down contrast. Because Shadows and Highlights are subsets of contrast, I know I can bring up my contrast details through those sliders.
By dropping the contrast, I also comfortably increased my exposure setting. You can see I went up by almost 2 stops. When you first do this, the image looks a little dull or flat, but don't worry, this is normal.
Now that my contrast has been turned down I will recover some of that. Both my shadows and highlights are adjusted to taste, but also I adjusted both the whites and blacks. This brought back some of the punch that was lost by reducing the contrast.
Lastly bump up your clarity setting to bring a little contrast to your midtones.
|Using my technique vs other methods of tonal recovery.|
Depending on how much you adjust, you'll still have some noise to contend with so I would still adjust your noise settings to taste, however by following this technique for tonal recovery, you should see a pretty dramatic improvement over other methods.
BHL On Black