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White Balance / Highlight Recovery Plug-in Information

[ Get the plug-in ]

How highlight recovery works

Applying gain on the R, G, and B channels will cause one or two of these channels to exceed white level. Normally these values above white level are clipped. However, it is possible to use this information to make an intelligent guess about the other channel(s) that did not have gain applied. The ungained channel(s) will usually contain clipped values; highlight recovery will make an intelligent guess about what the original unclipped values were. If the original image does not contain perfect white balance, then highlight recovery offers the possibility of increasing dynamic range compared to no highlight recovery.


You will get technically superior results by shooting to a RAW format and applying any white balance and highlight recovery there. This tool is for situations where you do not have a RAW file to work with.


Original. This image is from a scanned photo (shot on film).

Normal white balance, no highlight recovery. *This image has its luminance normalized to match the next image for the sake of comparison. Due to mixed color temperature lighting, there is no white balance that can make all the whites appear white.

White balanced with highlight recovery. Roll-over the image to compare with the version without highlight recovery. Note the additional highlight detail near the barrel of the gun.

White Balance Highlight Recovery Demo

Get the Plugin

Similar white balance plug-ins sell for $39.95 (Imaging Factory White Balance v2.0).

Download: [ Mac ] [ Windows 32 & 64-bit ] | Installation instructions + manual

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v1.0.7 - Full GIMP support (PC only; via PSPI).
v1.0.6 (Mac only) - Mac Photoline support, save + load settings default directory now sticks
v1.0.5 - Multi-threaded for faster performance, clicking on preview shows original image, x64 support for PC
v1.0.4 (PC only) - Plugin now compatible with older processors that lack SSE2 instructions. Fixed tab order.
v1.0.2 - Fixed bugs with the eyedropper in 16-bit and 32-bit modes.
v1.0.1 - Compatible with Irfanview and Paint Shop Pro.


Why are we giving away free Photoshop plugins? Are we crazy? While we sell commercial Photoshop plugins too, we don't feel a need to try to make a profit on everything we offer and would like to share our software with the world.

If you like our plugins, please help out your friends by telling them about us. You can also visit the Colormancer website to check out our other Photoshop plugins (color correction tools and professional noise reduction).


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Our freeware plugins: White Balance | Tint + Black and white conversion | Noise removal