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Index Show Lost Highlights / Shadows

Misnamed: Under the 'View' Menu, there is a 'Show Lost Highlights' and 'Show Lost Shadows'. It would be understandable to assume that at any time, you can click these to see the areas of your photo where photo information has been lost...

...but you would be wrong. What!?

'Lost' actually means 'Clipped Now': Unfortunately, 'Show Lost Shadows' means 'show me any color channels with a value right now of 0' and 'Show Lost Highlights' means 'shows me any color channels with a value right now of 255'.

So any adjustment that changes the 0 to something non-zero and that changes 255 to anything not 255 will defeat the 'Show Lost...' feature.

Prove it to yourself: Open a photo in NX with known clipped highlights (the more severe, the better) and turn on 'View / Show Lost Highlights'. Then, add a 'Light / Contrast' step and set contrast to -5 (reduce contrast a little). You will notice that all lost highlights and shadows are now gone. There are clearly still 'lost highlights' in your photo, but NX is no longer showing them to you.

So, what is the feature good for? When you open a NEF for the first time, you might want to use exposure compensation a little. It is nice to see what is being lost, or being recovered. Or, for a particular step in the Edit List, seeing what color channels are being 'pushed' too far.

No History: Just remember, there is no 'history' to 'Show Lost Highlights' and 'Show Lost Shadows'. It is only showing you what is 0 and 255, right now. Hopefully knowing that will allow you to more effectively use this feature.

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