How to correct an overexposed photo in photoshop
In this tutorial I am going to explain how to get some details back in an overexposed image. Photoshop isn't magic so we can't bring back details that are lost due the exposure, but we can bring back the details that are too bright. I'll show you a fast and easy method to do this. Follow me!
I just downloaded this 'washed out' example image from the Internet but you can use any overexposed photo you like. Ok let's get started...
First we open this image in Photoshop (File -> open) and rename the layer to: "overexposed". Remove the background layer if it's there. Now we duplicate the layer by right-clicking on the layer and choose "duplicate layer" or we can move the layer to the little "create a new layer" button at the bottom of the layer menu and drop it there.
Rename the new layer to "effect". Now to go Image->Adjustments->Exposure.
What you have to do here is to get a high detailed image, the brightness doesn't really matter, but there have to be much details in it. I lowered my exposure and offset a bit and raise my gamme correction. I used:
- Exposure: -0.92
- Offset: -0,1314
- Gamme Correction: 0,90
Now press Ok and change the layer blending mode to linear light. Lower the Opacity down to 30 a 40% (depends on the photo). Now there are already much details but the color and saturation doesn't seem right. Let's change that!!
Press Ctrl+U on the PC or Cmd+U on the Mac to get the Hue/Saturation window. You can also go to Image->Adjustments->Hue/Saturation.
My picture is a bit yellow so I move my Hue to the left to get a more reddish image. I also lower the saturation and Lightness down.
Of course your settings can be different from mine, but this gives you a pretty good example how to solve a overexposed image. Here you can see the "before and after". The contrast is much better and there is more color information.
I hope you liked this tutorial. If you have any questions, please leave a comment and I'll respond as soon as possible. If you don't have a question, add a comment also.
Thanks for reading!