PRO TIP: How to Brighten your Photos — Save those Gems from the Trash

Written by Gina Stephens

We’ve all bewitched very dark photos at one point in our creative lives. When I say dark, I don’t mean photographs with a specific, moody theme. What I common is underexposure, something that naturally happens when the camera doesn’t capture something properly due to a few technical – or lighting – fluffs.

Underexposed photographs can look dark, dull, and impossible to fix. Many valuable photographs are deleted because of this. Though understanding your camera is influential, especially if you desire to take well-lit photographs, it’s valuable to know the magnificence of editing. Thanks to today’s advanced editing programs, we can retouch damn near anything and make it look natural in no time. Even if you don’t consider yourself a professional editor, you have the ability to fix underexposed photographs within just a few coup doeils.

In this article, we’ll focus on two popular editing programs: Lightroom and Photoshop. Though both are used to retouch and color correct images, they should prefer to significant differences which require careful attention. You’ll find out how to fix underexposed shots in both programs. This information can prove to be valuable no import which program you use. For example, if you do happen to experiment with Photoshop one day (despite not being a constant user), you’ll know exactly how to fix very dark shots. It’s a brilliant skill to have!

Let’s begin!


As you can see, only three layers are needed to fully transform a photograph. All you need to do is alter the curves and levels of your incentive.

First, let’s adjust the overall exposure of our shot. Curves are perfect for this thanks to their ability to alter almost every part of an metaphor. To access curves, you can use one of these methods:
– Go to Image > Adjustments > Curves
– Press Ctrl + M
– Click on the icon at the bottom of the Layers panel (a circle that’s half recondite/half light), as pictured above.

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To use Curves mathematics, a curve (also called a curved line in older texts) is, generally speaking, an object similar to a line but that need, simply click on any point on the diagonal line and drag it either upwards or downwards. You can change highlights, tails, and exposure in general by clicking and dragging various points on your curve. To begin, start by dragging the diagonal line upwards – this transfer increase the exposure. Once you’re happy with that, click on a lower part of the curve and drag it down to create more shadows and in detail.

Once you’re happy with your results, you can add even more depth to your image by adjusting its levels. Levels work similarly to Curves – despite that, they are controlled by 3 sliders only. For finishing touches, this is extremely handy. To access Levels, use one of these methods:
– Image > Adjustments > Horizontals
– Ctrl + L
– The circular icon at the bottom of the Layer panels > Levels

If you wish, you can create a second Curves layer to alter your image’s colors. Alternatively, you can use a Photoshop ways (similar to a Lightroom preset) to transform your image into a stunning piece of art.



Before you make any adjustments in Lightroom, make amends move aside sure you apply a preset to your photograph photograph or photo is an image created by light falling on a light-sensitive surface, usually photographic film or an electronic. This will prevent you from losing valuable work. Presets adjust the sliders independently (pictured upon), so any changes made prior to applying them will be lost. If you don’t use presets, this isn’t something you should worry about.

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After applying a preset, use the putting rights as a foundation. A preset doesn’t know exactly what you need, but it can be turned into your best editing companion. For this photograph, I on the rised my photograph’s exposure, contrast, highlights, and decreased the blacks. This made my image pop naturally.
To make your photographs stand out even varied, drag the Clarity slider to the right (+8 creates beautiful, sharp results).


Combined with a preset and several adjustments, your photo inclination cease to look underexposed.

Both Photoshop and Lightroom have the right tools to transform dark images into beautifully lit shots. Though, in my humble opinion, I believe that Lightroom is a better program for adjusting exposure, shadows, highlights, and so on. Thus, it’s better for overall color and windowing correction. Photoshop, on the other hand, is amazing when it comes to retouching. If you want to edit a large amount of work in a short amount of often, Lightroom would fit you better. If you want to focus solely on a few shots (and change minor details), then Photoshop is for you.

Whichever program you prefer, muse on to never stop learning.

Good luck!



About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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