How to fix underexposed photos in Photoshop

Do you have those times when you realise the photo you’ve taken for your blog is dark/ underexposed in a few areas when compared to the rest of the photo? It especially happens with kids when they are moving and can’t sit still for a picture so you use a high shutter speed. You try increasing the exposure to fix the dark areas, but as a result, the other normal – bright areas get blown out and look ultra white. I have an easy fix for you using the Dodge Tool in Adobe Photoshop – and it does it in less than 60 seconds. In the left photo below, you can see how the area in the bottom-right looks dull and dark when compared to the other areas in the photo in the left photo. You can see the results of using dodge tool in the picture to the right.

 

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Tutorial steps:
Step 1: Open your photo in Photoshop by going to File > Open > Browse your file location.

Step 2: In your layers panel, right click on the background layer and select Duplicate layer.  You could change the name of the duplicate layer – background copy or leave it unchanged. This is to prevent the original photo from saving the changes while you are still editing.

Step 3: Keep the cursor clicked on the newly created duplicate layer. Select the dodge tool from your toolbar and start brushing over the areas that you think are underexposed in the photo. And as you continue doing that, you will see the dark areas brightening up. Continue to do it until you feel the exposure in the photo is balanced. You can alter the size of the brush for the dodge tool in the toolbar at the top. For large areas, you can use a large brush size to fix it quickly, but to get it into intricate, small areas make sure to use a smaller brush – whatever suits your needs the best. For this image, I set my tool at a range of the Midstone and Exposure to 50%.

It literally takes less than 60 seconds and is one of the best tips I’ve learnt.

What are the common photo editing problems for you? Would like to share some more advice on my design tools I use.

 

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