As an opener to this forum, I thought I would extol the virtues of Adobe Lightroom 5 for any of you who hasn't yet upgraded to this product. I realize Adobe has transferred its software to cloud-subscriptions now, but any Lightroom version passed 5 is worth getting.

All of what this program can do is way beyond the scope of a simple post, but just this one feature alone (the way lights and darks can be dealt with separately) has salvaged many of my images that I had previously thought were "unsalvageable."

As an example, let me show you a rough shot I tried to get with some terrible lighting conditions, and what it looked like trying to salvage in the older Lightroom:

BEFORE: Using Just the Exposure Slider

The above screenshot was taken of Lightroom 3, which only has an exposure slider. An exposure slider lightens, or darkens, everything ... which is not a good thing. As you can see, the shot on the left is the original, which was of a very dark (black) subject against a light background. This is a trying challenge for the photographer! If I expose for the background, the subject is too dark. If I expose for the black subject, my background gets blown out.

I exposed for the background, and as you can see the spider is too dark. I was never able to salvage this image to be acceptable, IMO, with the older version of Lightroom. When I upped the exposure to get the black spider detail "seeable," the rest of the image (and the highlighted elements of the spider) also were lightened to the point they were totally blown-out. So I never used the image ... until I revisited it with Lightroom 5

AFTER: Improvements in Lightroom 5+

This screenshot shows the same "before" too-dark spider image, but this time the "after" rendering has been done with the new Lightroom 5+ tools: the Shadow Slider and the Blacks Slider

Where, before, I had to make "the whole image" brighter, using just the general Exposure Slider, now I am able to bifurcate my exposure in 4 different ways (Highlight/Shadow + Whites/Blacks), which allows me to create a much more balanced overall effect

These increased, and much more specific, post-processing abilities allowed me to render this image much more naturally. By darkening my Highlights/Whites, and by lightening my Shadows/Blacks, I was able to neutralize and balance this image to be reasonably pleasing and acceptable, rendering it much more subtly, and turning it from useLESS to useFUL in the process :biggrin3:

Anyway, just thought I would share what I consider to be an indispensable part of my photography in Adobe Lightroom 5+.