Guides to Fine Arts Like Painting, Designing, Architecture, Sculpture, Photography and More

By David Peters

Photoshop can help provide a solution for those overexposed photos. The easiest way to do this is to open it in Photoshop and select Image- Adjustments- Shadow/Highlight (CS-only, for pre-CS look below). While you will see an immediate difference in your photo, it will probably be too intense but this can be used as a starting point. The defaults pre-set in Photoshop are usually extreme. Simply adjust the Amount Slider and the Tonal Width Slider in both the Highlights and Shadows until balanced to your liking.

Fixing Overexposed Photos, Pre-CS - The Layer Sandwich Trick If you don't have CS, then the following trick will help you achieve similar results.

Step 1 - New Layer Open your photo and choose Layer- Duplicate Layer to make a copy of the Background Layer, or by dragging it to the New Layer Icon at the bottom of the Layers palette.

Step 2 - Change The Blend Mode Change the Blend Mode of the new layer from Normal to Multiply in the Layers palette to uniformly darken the photo.

Step 3 - Repeat Now repeat the entire process again. Create a new layer, change the blend mode to multiply, and watch the result. Continue doing this over and over until you go from "it's almost just right" to "it's awful!"

Step 4 - Lower The Opacity Now leave that last layer active even though it's taken you too far and lower the Opacity using the slider at the top right of the layers palette. This lowers the intensity of the effect. When you've found the right amount, you can flatten your image.

Step 5 - Flatten And Save Choose Layer- Flatten or use the palette's fly out menu and choose Flatten Image. Save your file (File- Save) and that's it!

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