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How To Correct Overexposure In Photoshop

By | 03/11/2022

To master photography, you have to master one disquisitional element of nature – light.

Of course, there’s the usual stuff of shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. But all three move around the pivot of light or exposure. At that place may be the good golden hour for taking the best shots, but in my opinion there is no bad time to take a photograph. In fact, a photographer has to brand do with whatever light is available and construct the all-time shot out of it. Light after all, non just varies during the day, information technology besides varies throughout the twelvemonth.

If y’all are a photographer and have a good sense of light (with or without a light meter), this tutorial is not for you. You probably know how to fix overexposed or underexposed photos. The target audition hither is the wannabe photographer who is just starting to come up to grips with shutter speeds, aperture, and ISO, and nonetheless coming up short with photos that have just taken in too much sunlight.

So, let’south see how we can fix an overexposed photo with the tool of choice – Photoshop (here, I am using
Adobe Photoshop CS5).

Understanding the problem – Overexposure

In simple terms, an overexposed photo means it is likewise bright. A photo gets overexposed when as well much of light enters through the lens. It happens easily plenty when you lot accept a photo in directly sunlight or the calorie-free source is as well strong for the subject field. Photographers utilise the term “washed out” for such photos. It is like shooting fish in a barrel to recognize an overexposed photograph as whites will appear too white and colors will be too bright and saturated beyond their normal tones. For instance, the photo beneath is besides bright and y’all tin see the loss in detail wherever there are lighter tones.

fix overexposed photo

Many digital cameras have automated bracketing or auto-bracketing which is also called Automatic Exposure Bracketing (AEB). AEB helps to reduce the overexposure to a sure extent provided your other settings are set right. You lot should also get into the addiction of checking the Histogram at the back of your camera after every shot and correlating it with the scene. If you get the exposure right, the start time around, you will take less to fix later on.

But just as photography is about capturing the unexpected, so also are the results sometimes. In many cases, y’all accept to bring the photo into a graphics editor similar Photoshop to optimize all the variables of a scene and fix overexposed photos.

Taming the problem – Fixing Overexposure in Photoshop

Photoshop gives you quite a few ways to set overexposed photos. You lot can accept your pick and attempt out to see for yourself which i works best with your specific example of overexposure. Here are the easy iii…

The Easiest Fashion – Choose Shadow/Highlight

If y’all are looking to adjust the exposure quickly, Photoshop (all CS versions) gives y’all a couple of sliders that arrive a cinch to accommodate the ‘lightness’ in your photos.

Go to
Image > Adjustments > Shadows / Highlights
. The characteristic automatically applies the default settings to your image and you can see it if y’all have
enabled in the dialog box. The defaults usually won’t be right for your photo, and yous have to achieve the all-time results past dragging the Corporeality sliders under Highlights and also under Shadows if need be.

fix overexposed photos

– the college the percent, the lighter the shadows and the darker the highlights.

2You can adjust the
Tonal Width
as well. When the slide is ready at a low percentage, the dark parts of the shadow or just the lightest parts of the highlight are corrected. A college percentage effects a greater range of tones across the epitome.

Shadow /Highlights
is quick but subversive as you are working on the image layer itself, and all changes are committed to the paradigm once Okayed.

Beingness non-destructive – Using the Adjustment Layer

With Photoshop CS4 Extended, you got the
Exposure Adjustment Layer. Aligning layers (Notation: these are different from the ones under theImage bill of fare) are powerful because they let you to employ all sorts of image corrections without permanently changing the pixels in the original image or layer.

Open the
Exposure Adjustment
layer by clicking on the icon on the
Panel. A new layer appears on the meridian in the

fix overexposed photos

2. It is uncomplicated to use: use the three sliders –
Exposure, Offset

–  to adjust the exposure levels.

fix overexposed photos

Exposure adjusts the highlights of the paradigm without irresolute the dark shadows. Starting time maintains the midtones and Gamma adjusts the dark tones without modifying the highlights.

Experiment with the sliders, and if the consequence is satisfactory save the image as a PSD file. With a PSD file, yous can adjust the values later, or use the same adjustment layer in some other photograph by dragging information technology to its layer palette.

The Pre-CS Way – Layer, Multiply, Repeat

If you lot happen to use one of the older pre-CS versions of Photoshop, yous can take the help of layers and blending modes. A blend way or blend colour is the color that is applied to the original color of the paradigm to produce an interesting 3rd color from this blend. There are different types of blend modes available…we will use
which basically multiplies the base of operations color (i.east. the color of the photograph) past the alloy color. The result color is always a darker color here.

Create a copy of the
Background Layer
past duplicating the layer (
Right click > Duplicate Layer

Change the
Blend Mode
of the new layer from
Multiply. This will darken the whole photo. If information technology becomes too dark, reduce and adjust the
using the slider.

overexposed photo fix

To get the perfect result, y’all tin can keep duplicating the photo layer and adding the Blend mode to the new layer, till you fix the overexposure.

overexposed photo fix

When you think that the photograph is stock-still, flatten the image.

– play around with the Opacity slider to become the optimized photo.

Using Camera RAW

Newbies mostly don’t shoot in RAW just shooting in the RAW format is advocated because it gives you a lot of flexibility with post-processing. Anyhow, mail-processing is compulsory when it comes to RAW. Higher-terminate expert quality cameras (these days some compacts too) give you multiple format back up like RAW, JPEG, and TIFF.

The RAW image format is uncompressed (i.east. an xviii megapixel camera will produce an 18 MB RAW file), and totally lossless (i.e. the consummate data as captured past the sensor). Then, you go all the data to piece of work with and you can cull to snip away in post-processing to create the perfect shot.

Adobe Photoshop has the
Adobe Camera Raw
feature that handles RAW formats from different cameras and allows you to post-process a photo to fix over-exposed areas.

Open up Photoshop and click on the little icon on top-left that says
Launch Mini Bridge.

Browse to the image binder using
Mini Bridge
and right-click on the epitome and select
Open in Camera Raw. Yous tin can likewise drag and driblet a RAW file into the window.

is our first destination. Click on the
Highlight Clipping Alarm
symbol. Over-exposed areas in your photo are at present indicated in ruby-red.

To arrange the exposure, we take to employ the sliders and advisedly calibrate them. Moving the
slider to the left reduces exposure, and the red in the photo gradually starts to reduce. Don’t slide the slider too much to the left because you desire to retain your colors besides.

fix overexposed photo

Moving the
slider just below the Exposure control to the right helps y’all recover some of the details you’ve lost in the blown-out highlights and further reduce the crimson from the epitome.

You can also calibrate the other sliders similar
Fill Calorie-free
which tin recover some parts from your darker areas without lightening them too much.

You can check and uncheck the
to see if the before and after changes appear more pleasing now. Save the prototype.

Use Your Eyes!

There is no fixed rule here almost calibrating the sliders every bit each photo is unlike and you volition take to combine them effectively. The all-time tool for the job is the 1 y’all already have – your eyes. Permit them be your visual guide every bit you go about fixing overexposed photos.

Want to get more artistic with Photoshop? Effort these gratis Photoshop brushes to touch on upwards your photos.

Tell usa about your travails with overexposed photos. Practise you right them or just dump them and click over again? Attempt out the steps here and save some of the gems that might be headed for the can.

Let united states know how you got on in the comments below.

Prototype Credit: Albina Bugarcheva via Shutterstock.com

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