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Fixing an overexposed photo

From: Enhancing Photos with iPhoto

Video: Fixing an overexposed photo

If you're shooting under changing lighting conditions, it's very easy to overexpose your photo. Now, many of you shoot in automatic mode. However, I sometimes find those frustrating, and try to shoot manual to better control my exposure. Of course, the chance of getting things wrong is a bit higher. This image is overexposed. I could both tell by the clipping areas here in the left, and the fact that the details on the histogram are slammed to the right. Moving the middle exposure slider here will adjust that balance quite a bit.

Fixing an overexposed photo

If you're shooting under changing lighting conditions, it's very easy to overexpose your photo. Now, many of you shoot in automatic mode. However, I sometimes find those frustrating, and try to shoot manual to better control my exposure. Of course, the chance of getting things wrong is a bit higher. This image is overexposed. I could both tell by the clipping areas here in the left, and the fact that the details on the histogram are slammed to the right. Moving the middle exposure slider here will adjust that balance quite a bit.

Additionally, since this is a RAW photo, the Exposure slider goes a long way to recovering some of those tones. Pulling that to the left will pull down the overall exposure level, and you notice how the histogram goes from slammed to the right to a little more balanced. Once I've done that, I'll drag the black slider in to get proper contrast, and play with that middle slider a bit more. That's looking pretty good. I'll just lift those shadows, and again, play with the Saturation controls.

In this case, because I have a lot of red, I'm taking advantage of the Avoid saturating skin tones. Without, it looks like they have a bad sunburn, so make sure you consider that option, particularly if working with people, or bright red areas, so that they don't start to look unnatural. Let's apply those techniques here to a couple more photos. Using Quick Fixes, I'll click Enhance, and then come on over the Adjustments. This actually opened up the exposure, so this is one of those cases where you might want to override what iPhoto guesses.

I'm instead going to pull down, so the background doesn't blow out. I'm okay with her face being a bit in shadows, because she's underneath a hat brim, and she should be. Remember, those middle sliders go a long way to finding the right balance in your image. Here's one more example that is overexposed, and I'm just going to pull that in. Notice all the details slammed to the right. A simple drag to the left, in this case, particularly since there aren't skintones, properly centered the data in the middle of the histogram.

I can now pull the sliders in to get proper blacks, and proper white contrast, and that looks a lot better. If you're having a color cast that you want to get around, you can always take the eyedropper, and click on something that should be white to get your white balance back. But notice the before, and the after. A dramatic exposure adjustment went a long way, and then simply adjusting the levels to restore contrast did the job.

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This video is part of

Image for Enhancing Photos with iPhoto
Enhancing Photos with iPhoto

46 video lessons · 3618 viewers

Richard Harrington
Author

 
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  1. 1m 54s
    1. Welcome
      29s
    2. What you should know before watching this course
      31s
    3. Using the exercise files
      54s
  2. 10m 19s
    1. Working in Full-Screen mode
      1m 26s
    2. Entering Edit mode
      56s
    3. Switching images
      1m 28s
    4. Checking the info on an image
      2m 14s
    5. Zooming in for detail
      2m 14s
    6. Using the navigation window
      53s
    7. Seeing the before and after state
      1m 8s
  3. 12m 6s
    1. Straightening crooked photos
      2m 22s
    2. Rotating an image
      1m 16s
    3. Removing red-eye
      2m 14s
    4. Cropping for better composition
      1m 39s
    5. Cropping a photo to a specific size
      2m 35s
    6. Cropping multiple sizes
      2m 0s
  4. 16m 13s
    1. Understanding the histogram
      3m 13s
    2. Making a Levels adjustment
      2m 15s
    3. Fixing an underexposed photo
      2m 36s
    4. Fixing an overexposed photo
      2m 42s
    5. Improving contrast
      2m 36s
    6. Adjusting shadows and highlights
      2m 51s
  5. 12m 41s
    1. Improve a washed-out photo with saturation
      1m 30s
    2. Increasing saturation while protecting skin tones
      1m 58s
    3. Boosting an image to quickly fix saturation
      1m 51s
    4. White balancing a photo
      2m 24s
    5. Removing a color cast manually
      2m 35s
    6. Stylizing an image with effects
      2m 23s
  6. 14m 28s
    1. Converting to black and white
      2m 21s
    2. Refining a black-and-white effect with temperature
      2m 21s
    3. Creating high-impact black-and-white photos
      3m 5s
    4. Creating sepia-tone effects
      2m 29s
    5. Double-processing for duotone effects
      4m 12s
  7. 13m 45s
    1. Using the Retouch brush
      1m 55s
    2. Removing noise
      2m 10s
    3. Sharpening a soft photo
      1m 52s
    4. Adding punch with definition
      2m 5s
    5. Defocusing a photo
      2m 15s
    6. Controlling the focal point with vignette effects
      1m 26s
    7. Adding borders with iBorderFX
      2m 2s
  8. 8m 27s
    1. Duplicating an image
      47s
    2. Reverting to an original
      1m 49s
    3. Deleting an image
      3m 4s
    4. Copying and pasting adjustments
      44s
    5. Preserving maximum quality when exporting
      2m 3s
  9. 22s
    1. Goodbye
      22s

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