As always, there’s about 100 ways to do things or fix problems when it comes to editing, so this toolbox goes through a few options for you.
Keep in mind that how effective these methods will be depends on how large the blown out areas are. If you have HUGE white blobs, this is going to be much harder to fix and might be something you look at fixing in camera, on location in future. Bracketing, under-exposing, or using an external light source or reflector could help.
Some options for fixing/reducing blown highlights include:
- Lower highlights in LR and reduce clarity
- Copy/paste some bokeh from somewhere else in the background
- Clone stamp bokeh from somewhere else in the background
- Use motion blur on the bokeh
- Use gaussian blur on the bokeh (I recommend you add noise afterwards)
- Fill in the white spots with the brush tool in a colour from the outside of the bokeh
- cover the bokeh with a radial gradient, or add haze in Adobe Camera Raw.
Your main goals are probably going to be to:
- soften the edges of the blown out areas so they aren’t so sharp
- add some colour so it isn’t so white
Keeping that in mind will help you decide what you want to do, and how to do it with the tools available to you.