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Semi-Silhouette

I like working with semi-silhouettes a lot – where the foreground is darkened, but not completely blacked out. It's a little more the way you actually see it in real life since your eyes can work with that kind of contrast range better than the camera. I find that semi-silhouettes usually take a bit of tweaking in Lightroom because the camera is going to expose either the sky or the foreground correctly, but not both.

The obvious approach then is to expose the sky correctly, then raise the Shadows control in Lightroom to bring back some detail in the foreground. This approach works, but the problem is that the foreground will be so underexposed that raising the Shadows is going to result in unacceptable (and unnecessary) noise levels in the final image.

Since you know ahead of time that you're going to be post-processing the shot, a better approach is to optimize the photo for post-processing. That means providing Lightroom with the most detailed RAW image possible that doesn…

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