Over-exposed

A&M

A&M

I used your info on under-exposed photos...no idea what I am doing but it worked! Thanks! I often find I have over-exposed photos and wondered if there is a trick to dealing with these? I have an image I attached. I have PE5.

Thanks Alex

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Shadow/Highlight
by: Rick

Hi Alex. I'm glad you had success with my tutorial for underexposed photos.

I would argue that you DO know what your doing! You now know that you can lighten an underexposed photo by duplicating the background layer and changing the blend mode to Screen, which gives you the desired results.

Most people don't understand why blend modes work. Adobe describes Screen mode as looking at the color information of each individual RGB channel and using that to multiply the inverse of the blend and base colors. Well who would understand that!? I know I don't.

But we do know that it results in a lighter photo, which is what we want.

OK, on to your question. It really helps that you sent an example of what your dealing with.

It's a common problem when you shoot outdoors. Your camera looks at the light and determines the way to expose the shot. In your example it probably saw the bright sky and background and decided it needed to expose it as fast as possible. Unfortunately the subjects in the foreground, which is the most important part of your image didn't get enough exposure to adequately see them.

Photoshop Elements has a great adjustment tool for improving this situation. It's called Shadow/Highlight and it's really easy to use.
From the Enhance menu choose Adjust Lighting > Shadow/Highlights. Then just drag the sliders until you like what you see.

Lighten Shadows will brighten the shadow areas so you can see more of the captured detail.

Darken Highlights will darken the bright areas of your photo and reveal more of the captured detail. In your sample photo it looks like the sky might be completely blown out in which case you wont see a change there. But you never know until you try. I'm amazed at how much detail is in there hiding sometimes. You might also consider stealing the sky from another photo. See my Replace the Sky tutorial for how to do that.

The Midtone Contrast slider increases or reduces the contrast in the middle tones. Just play with it to see if you can improve it any. A lot of times I don't even change the Midtone Contrast.
Once you get it looking the way you like it just click OK and you're done.

Please send a photo of the corrected version so we can see the results.

Thanks again for the question Alex and to all others go ahead and submit your own question by going to the link below and I will do my best to answer it.

Photos appear to have a film over them
by: Norma

I have taken some baby photos on child setting and they appear to have as if they are behind a film. Can these be corrected or discard them.
Thankyou

REPLY FROM RICK:
Hi Norma,
It sounds to me like your photos may be lacking Contrast.
There are many tools in PS Elements to help deal with that. Here's what you can try:

1. First make a copy of your Background Layer to try the changes on. You can do that by going to your Layers Panel and drag the Background Layer onto the "Create a new layer" icon in your Layers Panel. It looks like a square with a dog-eared corner. That will add a copy of the Background Layer above the Background Layer in the Layers Panel. It will be called "Background Copy". Make sure that is the active Layer by clicking on it once.

2. Go up to the Enhance Menu and choose Auto Contrast. If that makes your photo acceptable you are done. If not, Undo that and go to Step 3.

3. Go up to the Enhance Menu and choose Adjust Lighting>Brightness/Contrast...
That opens a Dialog Box with a slider for Contrast. Try moving the slider to the right until your photo looks acceptable. This method gives you more control. If it still doesn't look right undo that and go to Step 4.

4. There are a couple more "Auto" fixes you can try under the Enhance Menu. There is Auto Smart Fix and Auto Levels. Try one first and if it doesn't produce satisfactory results, undo it and try the other "Auto" command. You might even want to try Auto Sharpen once you get the Contrast right.

5. Once you are happy with the way it looks I would recommend saving it as a copy so that you still have the original photo if in the future you discover a better fix.
You can do that by going up to the Layer Menu and choosing "Flatten Image". Then got to the File Menu and choose "Save As..." and name it something you will remember or maybe keep the same name and add an UnderscoreFixed (_fixed) to the name.

I hope these suggestions help you save the baby photos. If you need further clarification or have more questions don't hesitate to ask.

Good luck - Rick

Baby Photos
by: Norma

Thankyou Rick for answering my query, I am working on it at the present time.
Norma

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