Lightroom: The Recovery Slider

category: Lightroom • 1 min read

Lightroom Develop Module Sliders, recovery/fill/black

Lightroom Develop Module Sliders: Recovery, Fill & Black

Everybody uses the Exposure slider to make their photo lighter or darker. Then the problems starts, what to do with the recovery, fill… The problems are due to Adobe’s “poor documentation”. I will attempt to clarify.

The recovery slider works best with RAW photos. It will still work with JPEG photos, but not as well.

Differences between Exposure and Recovery

Slider Decrease Increase
Exposure Makes the whole photo darker Makes the whole photo lighter
Recovery Darken the highlights that look washed out. It’s possible to recover around 2 f/stops of over-exposure.

How to

  1. Hold the Alt/Option key while clicking on the Recovery slider.
  2. The photo will go black and show only the blown out highlights in red, green, blue or white.
  3. As you move the recovery slider to the right, the highlights will disappear.
  4. When they are all gone or almost all gone, you are done.