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How To: Lighten a Photo

by Steph on 4 September 2012
in Photography,Photoshop CS+,Tutorials Pin this scrappy stuff!

Ever take a great photo only to be disappointed that the lighting isn’t right? As in, you’ve got a dark photo? Today I am going to show you how to fix a dark photo. It’s pretty simple! Here is the photo I want to lighten up- My daughter and husband’s faces are a little too dark.

First we are going to play with the exposure. Go to  Image->Adjustments->Exposure. A little box will pop up. Play with the sliders until you get a look you like.

Next we are going to play with the Brightness/Contrast. Go to Image->Adjustment->Brightness/Contrast. Once again a little box will pop up. Play with the sliders until you get a look you like.

Now, you might be satisfied with the look of your photo right about now. Half of the time I am. But if you think it still needs a little something something, then play with the curves too. Go to Image->Adjustments->Curves. A grid with a line will pop up. Move the line around a little bit. Usually it is just a very small move that makes the difference.

And now we have a lightened photo! Not too hard, right? Give it a try, you will probably discover that it’s kinda fun to play with exposure and curves and all that stuff!

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 LLinda 5 September 2012 at 3:46 am

Great lesson on a problem that pops up frequently. It’s disappointing when you can’t scrap the photo you want because of the exposure, and pool shots seem to do this a lot for me.


2 ScrappyMama 7 September 2012 at 1:49 am

I’ll definitely have to give this a try…the only thing I knew to try was to try adjusting the levels : P Thanks for sharing these tutorials with us…I can’t tell you how much I appreciate them!!!


3 Carol 8 September 2012 at 4:05 am

This is a great tutorial and one I for sure can try on many of my photos, especially those my daughter takes of family with the bright lights behind the subject. Can’t wait to try it. Thanks so much.


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