How to Remove Too Much Light in Photoshop


When the light in a picture is too bright it can obscure the image, hiding important details. Images taken in bright sunshine often turn out to have too much light in them. Before digital cameras, the term was called "overexposed" and was used sometimes for effect. Before digital software, you would have to try to correct the brightness through a long process, and many times, you would be stuck with the overexposed image. Thanks to desktop publishing and photography software, you can correct an overexposure in Adobe Photoshop.

  • Open your photograph in Photoshop.

  • Click on "File," then "Edit," then "Image" from the main menu at the top of the screen. "Image" should be the third option no matter which version of Photoshop you are using.

  • Scroll down to "Adjustments," which will be the second option in later versions of Photoshop. A second list will come up when you scroll to "Adjustments."

  • Scroll over from "Adjustments" to "Brightness/Contrast." "Brightness/Contrast" does not have a keyboard command next to it, unlike the other first few choices in the "Adjustments" submenu. "Brightness/Contrast" should be within the first five to 10 options that appear.

  • Click on "Brightness/Contrast." A box will appear near your photograph or over it, depending on the size of your screen. It will have two lines under Brightness and Contrast. There will also be boxes next to the words. Each box should have a zero in it. There will also be check boxes for "Preview" and "Use Legacy."

  • Make sure "Preview" is checked. You will not be using "Use Legacy."

  • Use your mouse or touchpad to change the "Brightness and Contrast." Do this by using the cursor to "grab" the marker in the middle of the "Brightness and Contrast" lines. The markers will be a small pentagon, shaped like a house.

  • Start by decreasing the "Brightness." Do this by moving the marker slowly to the left. You will see that as you do this, the number in the box next to "Brightness" will change to a negative number. The number can go as low as -150. As you move to the left, you should notice the brightness in your picture darkening. This is why you checked the "Preview" box.

  • Increase the "Contrast." Depending on how much you changed the brightness, you may notice that the colors in your picture are a little off. Move the marker to the right to increase the contrast until your colors are what you want to see. You can increase the contrast up to 150. When you have "darkened" your photo by decreasing the brightness, click "OK" on the "Brightness and Contrast" box.

  • Print out your photo if you are going to make a print. Otherwise, save the file with your changes.

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  • "Photoshop CS5 All-in-One For Dummies"; Barbara Obermeier; 2010
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