Three ways to brighten a photo in Photoshop

Photoshop offers a variety of features focused on working with digital photography. When it comes to brightening a photo (or dimming), there are several different ways. The three most simple and effective methods are given in this manual. Look at the sample photo that we will use in this lesson.

1. Using an Exposure Adjustment Layer

One of the most basic ways to brighten a photo is to use the Exposure adjustment layer. To do this, simply click on the icon shown below.

Translator’s Note: Right-click on “create a new adjustment layer or a fill layer” and select “exposure”.

Adjusting the exposure layer produces 3 sliders: Exposure (Exposure), Offse (Shift) and Gamma correction (Gamma Correction). Move the exposure slider to the right to brighten the photo.

Slider Offset (Shift) will affect the shadow area of ​​the photo. Move the slider to the right to lighten the shadows. Gamma correction (Gamma correction) affects the mid-tones in the photo. Unlike the first two sliders, we move Gamma correction (Gamma Correction) slider to the left to lighten. Be careful with the exposure adjustment layer, do not overdo it. With it, you can make only small changes. Below is an example of a photo with the setting Exposure (Exposure) to 0.50 and Gamma correction (Gamma Correction) to 1.15.

2. Using the Curves adjustment layer.

The next option is to use curves to brighten the photo. At first, using Curves may look a little scary, but once you are comfortable, you will enjoy working with them. To add an adjustment layer, click the icon as shown below.

Via Curves You can selectively lighten the parts of the photo you want. The right edge of the curve affects the brightness of the photo, the left – affects the shadows, and the middle – the middle tone. How to use the curve will depend on your photos and what you want to end up with. A simple way to lighten – raise the center of the RGB curve, thereby lightening the midtones.

It should look like this

Another way to use the curve is to bring the curve to view as shown below, which will create a soft foggy effect.

Here is our result

3. Using the Levels Adjustment Layer

In addition to Exposure and Curves we will consider the third option Levels (Levels), which is also good at work. To add a new adjustment layer Levels (Levels), click on the icon as shown below

On the adjustment layer Levels You can move the middle point to the left to lighten the middle tones, or move the right point to the left to lighten the lightening area responsible for the light. But be careful not to get highlights in the image.

You can also move the black “Output Values” slider to the right, which will give a slight foggy effect.

Here is an example of a photo after adjusting the levels.

Any of these methods will allow you to brighten dark photos with a certain degree of control and selection. Next time you want to brighten dark photos, try 3 methods and see which one is better for your photos.

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