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These days, it's very easy to get a dark photo. Perhaps the auto sensors in your camera misfired, or there is mixed lighting that threw things off or maybe you just had the wrong setting selected. That's okay, iPhoto is very forgiving and can help you do quite a bit of repairs as you work. In this case, let's take a look at this first photo here. I'll edit the photo and I want to work with it. Now under Effects, I can of course take advantage of Lighten or Darken, but generally speaking, I want to jump over to the Adjust Tab.
Now, this particular photo is RAW and that's good. That means that it has the most information to work with from the digital camera. I could take the Level Slider here and pull it in. Pulling it until it reaches the first bump in the Histogram there and you'll see that the whites are going to get brighter and then I could move this Middle slider to balance out the exposure of the image. Now, that's looking out pretty good. Holding down the Shift Key will show me the before and the after.
If some of the shadowy areas are too dark, I could lift those with the Shadows slider and you see that the dark windows become brighter. However, maybe some areas are blown out and that's where the Highlights slider comes into play, so you could pull down the brightest areas. Once you get that where you like, remember, it's always a good idea to round out a little bit of Saturation. If you adjust Exposure or the Levels using Saturation, will feel in some of the missing color.
Additionally, with some photos, you'll have an Exposure slider, particularly with RAW which makes it easier to make adjustments. Now, that's looking pretty good. Let's take a look at one more photo. This picture is a little bit dark. Notice it's not a RAW photo, so I don't have as many choices. While I still have Exposure, it doesn't work quite the same as it does for a RAW photo. I'll take advantage instead of the Shadow slider to lift up some of the shadowy areas like the tree and then the Highlight slider to recover some of the blown out areas in the sky.
Pull down a little bit of noise and let's zoom in there to really see that. The Noise slider comes in handy as you're working to get rid of some of the noise in the area. See without, there's a lot of color aberration in this photo, so pulling that down helps. But in this case, I think I lifted the shadows too far, so I'm going to back those off just a little bit. Definition helps round things out a bit and that's looking pretty good. Let's pull that back out and while it's not the best photo in the book, it's okay, it's also not the biggest photo in the book.
So at the smaller size, that's going to work out well. Let's just flip through here and find one more dark image. This one actually looks a bit dark and here's how it looked originally. A little dark, a little washed out. I can lift the shadows and see how that illuminates the backdrop quite a bit. There's lots of material there in the shadows. Let's bring out a bit of that cave and as we do that, I'll bring in some saturation.
It is important, though, as you drag that, notice how it's easy to get a sun burnt look. That's why I'll generally leave the box checked, Avoid saturating skin tones. This allows you to put saturation into the rest of the image, a little contrast to round that out, looks pretty good and some Definition to bring out the details in the rocks and recover the highlights. That looks great. I'm really happy with that image and I'll go back to the Book to see it laid out.
All right, that definitely worked and you see that it's easy to make adjustments to the overall image if it's a bit too dark.
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