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Photography Question 
Adam J. Greenspan

How to Fix an Exposure Problem in Photoshop?

I recently purchased a Canon 10D (love it!), but I accidentally shot a whole bunch of photos underexposed by a half stop (I was learning the controls & set it up that way by mistake).

Is there an easy way to fix this exposure problem in Photoshop 7?

Thanks very much!

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7/25/2003 9:50:06 AM

doug Nelson   A half stop is about at the limit you'd want to try this. Go to Image/Adjust/Levels and move the left and right sliders to where they just touch the left and right limits of the histogram. Then move the center slider until it look right to you.
DON'T be tempted to use Brightness/Contrast, as it's more of a meataxe effect.

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7/25/2003 12:25:15 PM

Maynard  McKillen   Dear Adam:
Photoshop is versatile enough that you might find several ways to improve the look of underexposed images. Doug is right, too, about using Brightness/Contrast controls sparingly, if at all.
Another approach that might work is to create a duplicate layer of the image in the Layers window, then select the "Screen" option, also in the Layers window. A slider allows you to vary the opacity of the duplicate layer to suit. You'll probably notice the image grow "brighter."
By the way, the exact location of these features may differ in Photoshop 7. I tested the screen feature in PhotoshopLE.

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7/27/2003 1:04:23 PM

Sharon E. Lowe
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/7/2002
  Adam - what mode did you shoot in? If you shot in RAW format, you can adjust the exposure in the RAW imaging software that came with your camera. BTW, the RAW imaging software that comes with the Canon cameras is not, in my opinion, very good - it is cumbersome to work with and doesn't allow as much control over the final image as I would like. I use the Adobe Photoshop RAW imaging plug-in and love it! I love being able to pull my RAW images directly into PS and the plug-in allows very precise corrections in exposure, white balance, etc before you have to start working with levels and curves.

But, I agree with the previous suggestions if you didn't shoot in RAW. I typically use levels to adjust my images if they are too dark - don't forget to go into each individual color too to check those histograms. And, the screen option is a great tool too.

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7/29/2003 5:21:33 AM

doug Nelson   Maynard, thanks for the tip. There are a lot of Blending options for incorporating a layer into the whole image. Have you run across a good description of the options and what they do? Explaining things simply for the untutored seems to be quite rare.

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7/29/2003 5:29:27 AM

Adam J. Greenspan   Thanks for all the tips! I appreciate the help! I've tried a few different techniques, depending on the photo, and I've gotten some amazing results!

Also, I found a great book on the subject which I would definitely recommend: "The Photoshop Book for Digital Photographers" by Scott Kelby.

And, I found a great utility for working with RAW files, too (since Adobe hasn't committed to keeping their RAW utility around). Check out the new DSLR version of PhaseOne's CaptureOne software.


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7/29/2003 10:24:12 AM

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