The more time I spend with my Fujifilm X-T2 the more impressed I’ve become with it and the X-Trans sensor inside. One of the things I’ve been most amazed by is the amount of detail I’m able to recover from shadows that seem to have gone to black.

With about 20 minutes before the sun would crest the horizon off the New Hampshire seacoast it was still pretty dark when I made the above photo. So it was no surprise to find the shadow side of the monument rendering as black in the image. Even the histogram in Lightroom indicated there was no detail to be recovered.

Histogram indicating no detail in the shadows.

Or so it seemed.

While I’m happy with the photo the way it is I was curious as to just how far I could push the shadows and what if any detail might be revealed.

Below is an approximate 100% crop taken from the original photo. Just for the heck of it I pushed the shadow slider in Lightroom as far to the right as it would go.

100% crop from the original image.

Much to my surprise there was a lot more hidden in those shadows than I thought possible. This is the same crop, only this time with the shadow slider pushed all the way to the right.

The same 100% crop with the shadow slider pushed all the way to the right.

The real surprise, I wasn’t pulling all of this hidden detail out of a RAW file. All of this detail was hidden in the shadows in the straight out of camera jpeg. The second part of the surprise, there was virtually no noise introduced into the image after boosting the shadows.

Add this to the growing list of reasons why I continue to be happy  with my decision to switch from Canon to Fuji.

9 thoughts on “What lurks in the shadows.

  1. Wow – that’s great, Jeff! Also – long time, no “see” 🙂 Glad to see you’re still at it!

    1. I used to think you needed to shoot in RAW to be able to recover this much detail in the shadows. At least with the latest Fujifilm cameras in a lot of cases jpegs are good enough.

    1. I don’t think you’d regret it especially with the traveling you do. The camera and most of the Fuji lenses are so nice and small. Much nicer to carry than a big dslr.

  2. And the lenses are so sharp, much sharper than Canon’s (though it doesn’t matter soo much). I remember how I went to Iceland and had to shoot 3 brackets at least with my Canon and still that wasn’t enough and next year I went with my Fuji and I can pull out so much out of one RAW file, it’s madness.

    1. Sharp, and so small compare to the Canon lenses I used to own. My gear sees a lot of time in the mountains on long hikes, and the weight savings alone makes me wish I had discovered Fuji a long time ago.

      I also totally agree with you that it really doesn’t matter. Except maybe to those photographers who spend more time zooming in 200% on their photos than going out taking them.

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