Two images from one RAW

by Oleg Ti

And sometimes three and more… Why?

RAW file keeps more and more information if to compare it with TIFF, even TIFF-16. I don’t even say about JPEG!!! And sometimes we need to “pull” 2 or 3 or maybe more images from one RAW file. As I said that is because of our necessity to get as good quality of image as we can. Of course, we can do in with curves or levels in Photoshop but you know that even TIFF-16 is worse and worse than RAW.

If I make my pictures in the studio I can work a lot with the lights, understanding what I need and what I do!  On my workshops and masterclasses I often say that the photographer should make such pictures that don’t need a lot of postproduction later. But sometimes it happens and unfortunately we have to make “deep” postproduction of our photos.

Sometimes we don’t have time, necessary equipment, full understanding what kind of picture we need. And therefore we get images that need wide correction of exposure on different areas to make its more natural, more accurate . Sometimes we see after the shooting that we need to change exposure of different areas to make picture more glossy and beauty.

And that is the case of this kind! I chose the photo that I made on one of my workshops, where I showed the work of studio lighting. I like to explain about key, fill, modeling and background lights using sources of hard light. And I advise other photographer to use hard light to understand light: it is difficult, but this is your chance to make a nice, bright image. And here I got nice picture using only hard lights but I wanted to make it more bright! And here is the way I did it!

Here is the source file. This is the source for 100%: color balance is 5600, the exposition on “0”, the curve is straight, the contrast is “0”. Soft, low-contrast photo does not convey what I saw in the studio.


I wanted beauty, bright, contras picture, so I decided to “pull” 2 images from one RAW.

The first is the main picture (below), here I was looking at the contrast on the face and the right arm.


The second image (below). Here I was looking at shadow areas and the dress of the model. I corrected exposure to 1.5 exposure steps up and increased the contrast.


Further, I put this two images as two layers in Photoshop, added mask for upper layer, filled it with 100% black and showed areas I need to get from “overexposured” layer painting it with white brush.

That is what I got! You can do it with smart object in Photoshop, but my Hasselblad does’t provide me such a possibility so I need to do it with layers. But If you have an action on your computer it doesn’t take a lot of time. Only 5 seconds. Not more.

Good luck!