It is important to remember that what you first see in the develop module is how, by default, what Adobe has decided what the image should look like with their Adobe Standard Profile for your specific camera. For the best possible results you should profile your camera. However, what you see here is just a place to start your processing.

I have chosen an extreme example here so that the choices are obvious. You want to eliminate clipping because any area of the photo that is clipped in the highlights, when printed will deposit NO INK on the paper... Areas of the photo that is clipped in the dark areas will print as black... it'll look like the ink has "pooled" as muddy areas on the paper.

Here are the major points to consider in this Photograph, Rocky-Creek-7.CR2

There is no one correct way to "render" how a photograph looks. It's really up to you. Just ask yourself... is it Art, (your view) or is it "just" technically a photograph?

The Art of Photography

Histogram Analysis

1: The first step in our image processing is to "fix" the clipping . Once the clipping has been dealt with we'll Proceed at the top of the "Basic" panel with the White Balance Tool and work our way down...

A closer look at "clipping"

cliiping indicators
In this diagram for process 2010, the highlight clipping indicator shows that there is definitely a lot of clipping in the highlights!

#1 arrows points out that the clipping indicators are turned on (the white outline surround the little up arrows. We'll turn on the indicators and leave them on)... If there was clipping in the shadows or blacks we'd also see bright blue areas in the "Preview" window of the photo.

The #2 arrows are pointing out the highlight clipping in the image at left and in the histogram.

clippingIn this second diagram the oval area at the right of the histogram shows the number of pixels that are generate the highlights and the clipping.

This is what to look for
If, in the histogram there is just white at the right at 255: All three channels (R G and B) are clipping.

If there is a color, then one or two channels are clipping and that implies there is usable information (picture data) that contains recoverable detail from one or two of the channels. Either way we should be able to successfully recover that information.

As far as I know, Adobe's Raw demosaicing engine is/was the first image processing software that can recover and display information recovered from any one of Clipped Red, Green or Blue channels.

The difference between Process 2010 and 2012

process2010 process2012

clipping2010With process 2010 you can only decrease the clipping by moving Recovery the slider to the right.


In Process 2010 increasing Recovery to 80 and decreasing Exposure to -.40 decreased the clipping but didn't remove it completely.

clipping2012 Process 2012, sets a unique baseline for the photograph and attempts to solve the clipping issues for you. The new baseline let's you increase or decrease the clipping using the "Highlight" slider.


In Process 2012 decreasing theHight Slider to -.31 eliminated the clipping.

You can always go back and change a setting at any time...

Finding White Balance, white, mid-gray and black.