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Another way that we can improve Exposure is to deal with situations where we have underexposure. And here I want to take a look at two different images, in two different scenarios where this can really help. Let's start off on the image, annika.jpg. I'll go ahead and click on that, and then press F to go to Full Screen View mode. This is a photograph that was captured by a good friend of mine, Roger Hoffman. We were down at the beach, and I was tossing my daughter Annika up in the air, as you can see. One of the problems is is that the image is just a little bit underexposed.
So I want to brighten this image up, and I'm going to do that with a Blending mode. So let's click in our Background layer, and then let's duplicate that layer by pressing Command+J on a Mac, or Ctrl+J on a PC, and I'm going to go ahead and name this layer "screen," and I'm going to name it screen because that's the Blending mode we're going to use. Click on the pulldown menu and select Screen, or you can hold down the shortcut key, which is Shift+Option+S on a Mac, Shift+Alt+S on a PC. Well whatever your preference, go ahead and select Screen, and here we can see our before and after.
Again, before, a little too dense, a little too dark, and now we have after, much more corrected and better exposure. Now as always, we can always go to the Opacity slider and click and drag this down in order to find just a sweet spot for this image here. We have our before and after; really easy exposure correction. Let's take a look at the other photograph. If you navigate to the Window pulldown menu, you can then select the other image, which is behind_the_scenes, and here we have a portrait of Chris Lieto in the studio, that I took just a couple of weeks ago, and I kind of like these behind the scene studio shots.
Again, one of the things that I notice is the image is underexposed. I want to brighten this up. I want to boost this image a little bit. Well, let's click in our Background layer. Press Command+J on a Mac; Ctrl+J on a PC again. We're going to use that Screen Blend mode, so I'll name this layer "screen." Click on the Blending mode pulldown dialog, and here, we're going to select Screen. Screen is great for brightening it up. You can think of this as if you have two projectors, and both projectors are projecting the same image onto a screen; therefore, you have this double brightness.
Well, in this case what I really like is how the athlete looks in the center. I don't like how the background got brighter. Here is my before and then after. Well, what I'm going to do then is I want to create a mask. And I'm going to create a mask that's filled with Black. To do so, hold down the Option key on a Mac, Alt key on a PC, then click on the Add Layer Mask icon. Now our Mask is filled with Black here. We'll go ahead and select our Brush tool. And make sure we have White in our foreground color here, and then we'll make our brush bigger.
We can do so simply by pressing the right bracket key. And all that I want to do is just paint in this brightening effect. Now currently, my brush Opacity is low, so I'm going to crank that all the way up to 100 here. And I'm just going to make some really quick and rough brush strokes to see if this is going to be good idea. Now I think this is going to work pretty well. Let's now take a look at the before and after. Here we have before and then after. And what this mask is doing for me is it's allowing me to really brighten up this area. But let's say that I also kind of want to brighten up the background, just a bit.
Well, what I can do is I can navigate to my Masks panel. In our Masks panel, as you remember, there is a Density slider. As I drag this to the left, what it's going to do is bring more of the brightening effect into the background, so let's try that. I'll go ahead and click and drag it to the left, and you can see that as I do thi,s it's brightening up that background area, this over here and over here, more and more. So the nice thing about this is, even with this type of a Mask, I can kind of control the overall light by dialing this in to a point where I think it looks best for the image.
Now, of course, as always, if this is too much brightening, we can always go to our Opacity slider, and we can modify this as well, so that we have just a little bit less of a brightening effect. However you decide to dial this in, you can see that you have a lot of flexibility, and this can really improve your overall image. Let's take a look. Once again, here's our before and now our after.
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