How to save highlights in .dng files at +1.7 ?

Hey friends- new here, and hoping someone can help. I shot a very important drone timelapse for a tourism campaign and needed a 1/4 shutter, and the darkest ND I had left many of my photos at +1.7 - I thought of going auto ISO and dealing with flicker in post with LR Timelapse, but decided to trust the histogram, which still showed a tight mountain peak in the highlights. However, when I bring into photoshop really quick, my first impression is that the highlights are still too blown out. I’m hoping my intermediate post processing skills are what’s holding me back from recovering details in the highlights. I will post a file soon. I’m about to take off on an airplane.

Any thoughts in the meantime?


Hi John and welcome to the forum! We don’t deal with proprietary software such as Photoshop, light room, or LR timelapse, so we probably won’t be able to help with those tools.

We have our own tooling, and if you’re open to trying it, we are open to help you.

Hey thanks, I’m open to trying any software that helps me save the image! What would you recommend I try based off my situation?

First I’d get the image into an application that will tell you if your highlights are actually clipped or not. Then you can make a decision on what to do.

It would be a lot easier if you posted a file.


Here is one of the files at its brightest point in the sequence.

DJI_0060.DNG (38.9 MB)

well, that large white blob in the sky is going to be white.

You can’t save highlights which aren’t there, the DNG looks quite overexposed in FastRawViewer.

Smaller areas can be inpainted / overwritten with new content, and ‘partially clipped areas’ (areas where only one or two channels are clipped, not all three) can sometimes be saved be recreating content there…

… but this does not look hopeful to me. A large white blob.

You could replace the entire sky / inpaint (‘content aware fill’ in photoshop) to replace the entire overexposed area with new sky ‘made up’.

But I don’t think that’s easy to do in a video-sequence (a single image would be fine).

We’ll that’s super disappointing because the histogram in the DJI Fly app showed a peak in the highlights- not a smashed against the wall half-mountain.

I guess it can’t be trusted.

That means that there is a peak of information that is just shy of clipping.

The histogram is too small to properly read if there isn’t a little ‘drizzle’ after that peak that actually hits the right side.

In this case there was and it was large enough to be a problem for you.

Is it a single shot, a few shots or a video sequence?

It is a photo sequence of over 600 stills during sunset