I have the following image, and I would like to preserve a little bit of texture in the shadows.
As you can see (hopefully), the darkest parts of the image have gone to a solid black. There is some texture there that I would like to keep; not much, but some, and I would like to bring it out in the final image.
This is already a fairly aggressive rendering of the source file; here is a literal interpretation of the raw file, with autolevels turned off. For reference, here is the .NEF itself.
I am assuming that one does this with the levels or curves tools. Here is a screenshot of the Bibble levels & curves settings for the first image (note that it is also converted to B&W using the iNDA plugin).
I have tried adding additional control points to the curve but quickly became confused as to the mapping between input and output intensity. Perhaps untangling this confusion is the key?