How To Edit Overexposed Photos

Did you know that in 2021, mobile phones accounted for almost 91% of all photos captured? 

Nothing beats capturing a perfect photo that shows the beautiful scenery, but sometimes your camera decides to overcompensate for that, and then you go with a blown-out image that might look more like a bad painting than a photo.

Keep reading to learn how to edit overexposed photos and regain the details you need with your photos.

Shoot in Raw

If you are shooting in RAW, you have much more control over your image post-processing. With a JPEG, the camera processes the image and saves it in a more compressed format. This means you lose some of the original data and have less control over editing.

With a RAW file, you have the original data from the camera sensor, and you can process it yourself to get the best possible results. Use the clarity and vibrance sliders to boost contrast and saturation.

Use Shadows and Highlights

The first thing you need to do when doing how to edit overexposed photos is to assess the image and see what can save. If the exposure is too high, the photo will be too bright, and the colors will be washed out.

To fix this, you need to use the shadows and highlights tool. This will allow you to darken the overexposed areas and bring back some of the lost detail. You may also need to increase the contrast to make the photo pop, or you can remove background from image for enhancement.

Adjusting the White Balance

Adjust the white balance to edit overexposed photos. This can be done in most photo editing software. Just click on the image and then click on the white balance tool, and from there, you can play around with the settings until you find one that looks good.

You can try to darken the overexposed areas selectively. This can be done with the burn tool. Select the areas you want to darken and adjust the settings until you get the desired effect.

Using the Levels Tool

Overexposure can often ruin a photo, making it appear washed out and bland. However, there is a way on editing overexposed photos using the levels tool. This tool can find in most photo editing software and is relatively easy to use.

Simply select the photo you wish to edit, then click on the levels tool. From here, you can adjust the levels of the photo until the overexposure is fixed. Be careful when using this tool, as it is easy to make the photo too dark.

Create a New Layer

To edit an overexposed photo, you can create a new layer. On this layer, use a curve adjustment to drag the white point down and the black point up. This will darken the image and help to bring out detail in the highlights.

Next, use a brush tool to paint over any areas that are still too light. Add a vignette to help draw the viewer’s eye to the center of the image.

How to Edit Overexposed Photos Like a Professional

If your photo is overexposed, there are a few ways how to edit overexposed photos. You can try playing with the levels or curves and if those don’t work, you can always try exposure compensation or fill light.

With some experimentation, you should be able to get your overexposed photos looking great again in no time.

If you liked this article, check out our tips on different topics. 


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