Correcting Exposure

 15 min

  

Whatever your experience as a photographer, chances are you'll have some photos which are either overexposed (too bright), underexposed (too dark) or 'washed out'. Don't despair! We'll show you how to fix common exposure problems quickly without going anywhere near a complicated Curves adjustment!

By the end of this tutorial you will be able to:

Let’s begin...

  1. On the Standard toolbar, click  Open.

  2. Locate your chosen photo and click Open.

    The photo opens in the workspace.

To quickly fix our exposure problems, we will need two identical layers to blend together...

Duplicating a layer

PhotoPlus makes it easy to duplicate a layer from the Layers tab.

To create a duplicate layer:

  1. On the Layers tab, right-click the Background layer, and select Duplicate.

  2. In the Duplicate Layer dialog, accept the default settings and click OK.

    A duplicate layer, called Background Copy, is added to the Layers tab.

Now we'll apply a blend mode to correct an overexposed photo.

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Correcting overexposure

Overexposure describes a photo which is too bright, and has therefore lost detail, due to being exposed to too much light. Multiply is the best blend mode to use to rescue overexposed photos! It has the effect of decreasing exposure in the darker areas, while keeping the lighter areas relatively unchanged.

To apply a blend mode:

The results are instantly clear!

Next we'll apply a blend mode to correct an underexposed photo.

 Save now! Click File > Save As and choose a new name for your file.

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Correcting underexposure

Underexposure describes a photo which is too dark, and has therefore lost detail, because of a lack of exposure to light. The Screen blend mode can be used to increase brightness in a photo, while retaining tonal balance. This has the effect of increasing exposure in the darkest areas, while keeping the lighter areas relatively unchanged.

To apply a blend mode:

The results are instantly clear!

Next we'll look into correcting a 'washed out' photo.

 Save now! Click File > Save As and choose a new name for your file.

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Enhancing a washed out photo

Washed out photos tend to have a grey tone caused by a lack of contrast between light and dark areas. The Overlay and Soft Light blend modes act by lightening highlights and deepening shadows to produce a well contrasted photo. They both also make colours in a photo more vibrant and reduce haze from landscape photos.

To apply a blend mode:

The results are instantly clear!

 Save now! Click File > Save As and choose a new name for your file.