Quick Photo Fix

I know in this busy holiday season, you probably don’t  have much time to read a lengthy blog post, so here’s a quick post with a quick photo fix if you have an underexposed, or dark image, like the one below:

 

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Step One: Duplicate your photo. (Mac:  Cmd + J; PC: Ctrl +J)

 

Step Two: Change the Blend Mode to Screen and rename it “Screen.”

 

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(Note: You rename your layers by double-clicking on the name in the Layers Palette and typing in the new name.)

 

According to the Adobe website, “[The Screen Mode] looks at each channel’s color information and multiplies the inverse of the blend and base colors. The result color is always a lighter color.”

 

This will automatically lighten up your image.  For many images, you can stop here.  And this is the end of my Quick Photo Fix Tutorial.  Here is my image after just this step.

 

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However, if it is not light enough, or some parts are too light, you can continue reading on for my Somewhat Longer Quick Photo Fix.

 

Step Three:  Add a Layer Mask.

 

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In my example, I added a layer mask to my Screen Layer because, although it improved the majority of the photo, the sky lost a lot of its color when changing the blend mode to Screen.  Therefore, I added a layer mask so I could brush the color back into the sky by concealing the results of the Screen Layer in the sky only.

 

You do this by selecting the Brush Tool.

 

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And with a Brush Size of around 500, a Hardness of 0%, and the foreground color set to black, I painted back the blue sky.  This is represented by the black on the Layer Mask:

 

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(Note:  If you are unfamiliar with Brushes or would like to unlock their full potential, you have to check out Tiffany’s upcoming Guide to Brushes Class, beginning in March, which is Part 3 of her DigiScrap School series of classes.  You won’t be disappointed!)

 

Step Four:  Duplicate the Screen Layer as many times as necessary.

 

In my image, I only needed to Duplicate the Screen Layer one more time until I liked how it looked.

 

Here is a side by side look at the original and the edited image.

 

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And there you have it.  A quick fix and a somewhat quick fix for overexposed images.  If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them in the comments below.

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