How To Fix Overexposed Photos Lightroom

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Terminal Updated on February 23, 2022

Adobe Lightroom can be the godsend we need equally photographers when we upload a photo that is incredibly overexposed. Information technology’southward no secret that Adobe Lightroom is a must-have for photographers to right harsh conditions in photos, as it’s the most capable, user-friendly photograph editing software out there. Don’t panic when you detect your photo is overexposed. At that place is a take a chance it tin’t be saved, but there are steps you lot can have to bring detail back into the photo. Try these elementary but essential steps on how to fix an overexposed photo in Lightroom.

If you lot desire to quickly solve your problem, I have a preset I created a long time agone for my ain overexposed photograph problems. Information technology should dramatically improve the exposure of your photo, only like with all presets, it volition require some of your own transmission adjustments.

You can download it for gratuitous as part of The Travel Library if you’re interested, as well as more Lightroom presets to play around with!

If you’d rather dive correct into the sliders yourself, I don’t blame yous. Let’s get into the steps to fixing an overexposed photo!

Some of these links are affiliate links which means if you make a buy through them, I make a modest commission. Read my total disclosure!

Tips for Avoiding Overexposed Photos

  • Always check your ISO. When shooting in manual mode, you can notwithstanding prepare your ISO to Machine, which means the camera’s choosing what ISO to fix. ISO controls the brightness of the photo, so even though the photo looks balanced in your lens, your ISO may exist too high making your photograph too vivid!
  • If you lot’re shooting in directly sunlight, shoot underexposed. If the photo looks perfectly lit on your camera view screen, chances are once you upload it to your computer, yous’ll run across a lot of detail in the photo is lost because of such bright lighting conditions.

After five years of photography, I however make the error of not shooting underexposed plenty to recoup for vivid sunlight. Don’t be too upset!

How to Gear up an Overexposed Photograph in Adobe Lightroom

The overall goal of correcting an overexposed photograph is to bring back item in the photo that has been washed out by too much calorie-free entering the sensor of your camera.

Especially in brilliant lighting conditions, similar direct sunlight, it’s easy to overexpose your photograph.

The tools used in Lightroom to correct the photograph don’t have to be used in this order, but information technology is normally the order I go in. That’s because the tools that I resort to in the afterwards steps ofttimes tin can brand dramatic changes to the photo.

It may be necessary, but you will most likely desire to brand dramatic changes if yous don’t accept to, which is why I use tools with a subtler effect outset to run across if they can give me the result I’m looking for.

Step One: Highlights Slider

Firstly, y’all’ll want to slide the Highlights all the way to the left. I do this in my regular editing fashion anyway considering at that place is often a lot of detail that goes missing in the background of a photo. This is especially true if y’all are taking portraits or shooting in bright sunlight, from my experience.

Bringing the highlights downward helps the states dim some of the brighter parts of the photo without having to dip into the actual Exposure tool yet. The Exposer slider is i of those tools that can make a dramatic affect on a photo with merely a little adjustment, so save that for later.

Step 2: Whites Slider

Similar to how the Highlights slider tones downward brighter areas of the photo, like lite on the face or bright skies, the Whites slider will bring downward the whites in your photo.

Past bringing the Whites slider all the way to the left, in that location’south a chance your photo will go really dim and apartment. However, information technology should save more of the detail in your photo that was lost in the exposure.

Step Iii: Exposure Slider

You would think if yous were trying to effigy out how to fix an overexposed photo in Lightroom that you would just play around with the Exposure slider.

The problem is the Exposure slider controls the light on the unabridged photograph. You tin make already vivid areas
bright and really dark areas

This is why starting with the highlights and whites of the photograph individually will hopefully consequence in a better looking photo. You’re individually controlling two areas of the photo, rather than the brightness of the entire photograph.

So, once you’ve brought down your highlights and whites, you can make an appropriate adjustment to the Exposure slider that keeps the effulgence of the photograph even.

At that place is no specific number to fix the Exposure slider to, since it will depend on the individual photo. Yous volition likely need to bring the exposure down, then keep sliding to the left until the photograph recovers more item, but before it gets too tiresome.

The settings in all of the other screenshots are the exact settings used in the example photo at the outset and end of this post and y’all tin can see I actually didn’t use the Exposure slider at all. It really only depends on the photo and how much rescuing it needs!

Step Four: Dehaze Tool

The Dehaze tool is one of my favorites in Lightroom, especially for editing my travel photos. Simply a small tweak to the slider tin can make a huge difference in creating punchy detail in your photo.

When I say just a small tweak, I mean it. While it brings forth detail in a photo, it also tends to darken a photo. This may help when fixing an overexposed photo, merely in general the photo can appear over-edited.

Endeavor sliding the Dehaze tool to the correct a piddling flake at a time and run across if it brings out more detail or if it is making your photograph look too processed.

Step 5: Tone Curve

The Tone Curve is typically the last place I get when fixing an overexposed photo in Lightroom. The photo potentially looks besides dark at this moment, since we’ve been bringing downwards all of the calorie-free to recover details.

Using the Tone Bend, you can try darkening your blacks. Do this by creating a bespeak at the lower-left intersection of the x and y-axis and then dragging information technology to the right along the x-axis. Y’all should see the blacks become darker in the photo.

Darkening the blacks using the tone bend should have less of a harsh upshot every bit opposed to using the Blacks slider.

There are some other tools y’all tin can dip into to help fix an overexposed photo.

You tin apply the
Brush Tool
to arrange specific areas in the photo. Brush over the area where you are still missing detail and then you can bring the highlights or whites further down, adjust the exposure, or try to dehaze this expanse.

I love using
to make my photos more than punchy. Information technology brings everything forrad and it could assist in bringing forwards any details you’ve recovered after fixing the overexposure in your photograph.

These are the main tools I use afterward post-obit my 5-step fix process, just it’south pretty much limitless every bit to what tools can assistance you bring dorsum item in the photograph.

You may observe you’re able to expose the photograph correctly later post-obit these steps, merely sure hues boss areas of the photo when bringing downwardly the exposure (similar the photo I used as an instance before under “tips for avoiding overexposed photos.”)

If that’s the case, you can go into the HSL tab and play around with the colors controlling the photo to residue the tones of colour with the exposure.

If you lot are still struggling with how to fix overexposed photos in Lightroom, I recommend playing around with the sliders until yous see something is working for you! It allows you go get to know Lightroom better, but hopefully following the five-step ready process and downloading the gratis preset will exercise the fob.

Free Preset to Help Fix Overexposed Photos in Lightroom

As I mentioned in the get-go, if you want to try to use the exact settings I’ve used before for fixing overexposed photos, you can download my preset for gratis from The Travel Library. You’ll get immediate access to your electronic mail!

Final Thoughts

Learning how to prepare an overexposed Lightroom is simpler than yous think!

The unfortunate part is we can do all of these things and more than and sometimes nevertheless non exist able to rescue our honey photo. Information technology truly but depends on how overexposed a photograph is, simply don’t let that get you down!

I’ve had photos that I could fix and many more that I wasn’t able to. It sucks mourning what would accept been a great photograph. Merely more photo opportunities come along and if annihilation, yous get more do in learning the ins and outs of Lightroom!

Take y’all e’er had an overexposed photo nightmare? Whatsoever tips I forgot to mention? Leave a comment and share!

Salvage this five-pace guide to Pinterest for like shooting fish in a barrel reference!

Hopefully you’re staring at a beautiful photograph right now, with the exposure just right!