I'm trying to create a Photoshop/Lightroom RAW processing preset to process 1200 images for photogrammetry. It's important that the lighting on them is as flat as possible and the shadows get bumped up to reveal details.

On some images, such as this one, pushing up the shadows and pushing down the highlights gives great results, making the lighting flatter and revealing details hidden in the shadows.

On others, especially ones with bright sky in them, such as this one, the same exact settings make the photo way too bright, I'm guessing because, on average, the image is brighter. Notice that, even though the wall in both images is the same, the same settings make it look very different.

Is there a setting that will make both images work? It's important that I don't have to manually tweak each photo since there are so many of them. All images were shot with the same ISO, aperture, shutter speed, etc.

  • lights -100, shadows +100, for compensate the bright look of the photo exposure -0.2. for extra details clearity +10. and in the favor you want your final images play around with the contrast
    – Horitsu
    Nov 6 '18 at 5:17
  • But be sure there is no perfect settings for all. So use a setting, copy it to all and make a quick control over all photos, adjust if needed
    – Horitsu
    Nov 6 '18 at 5:21

Is there a setting that will make both images work?

No. Because the amount of light in each image is dramatically different, yet you are using the same ISO, aperture, and shutter time. The amount of difference between the brightest and darkest areas are also dramatically different for both images.

Even if you are only concerned with the wall, there is quite a bit more light reflecting off the top of the wall than the bottom. You need to adjust the exposure settings to account for the varying amounts of light.

  • Thank you - I was able to get more even results through tone curves, slightly bumping up shadows and bringing highlights down. This had the effect I wanted on the darker pictures without blowing up the brighter ones. It's not ideal, but it worked! Nov 6 '18 at 22:52

Is there a setting that will make both images work?

The setting is called "High Dynamic Range", perhaps with tonemapping (depending on the intended output). Modern cameras (like Google Pixel 3 or the new iPhone) do it automatically, the old ones often have HDR option that must be selected manually.

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