On this quick video, photographer Jimmy McIntyre looks at a relatively simple way to restore shadows and highlights from a JPEG image using Photoshop.
We always recommend shooting in RAW but if for any reason you only have a JPEG file there are still ways in which you can make the most out of it including pulling shadows and highlights (at least to some degree as we will see in this video).
We start with a new layer and paint it black and blend it with our image using “soft light” blend mode. We create a layer mask and making the image invisible (remove the “v” from the layer) and going to image>apply image and using the settings that McIntyre has on this screen (1:03).
Now you have a mask but it effect all of the image – you only want to effect specific areas (the highlights). So we select the mask and again do the image>apply image with the same settings. And do this a third time. This brings out more from the highlights and you can duplicate the layer and make the opacity to your liking to increase this effect even more.
You can also do this ith the Raya Pro which is a Photoshop add-on that McIntyre developed that can do many things and help you save time on Photoshop which you can check on our previous article – here. The Raya Pro cost between $30 and $90 depending on the exact version and you can find them here.