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If you’ve ever wrestled to get a decent shot of the outside and inside when shooting indoors on a sunny day, or been disappointed to find your subject silhouetted when shooting into the sun, we have your fix.
Our pal Josh, shown here holding his imaginary camera, has a nifty trick that will let you fix those shots in a jif. All you need is a copy of Photoshop (almost any version will do) and about five minutes.
You can use his technique to improve nearly any photograph where extreme lighting fools your camera into underexposing your image.
Watch our quick video to learn how to do it!
If you’re used to printing and sharing your pics just the way they came out of your camera, we think you’ll find this simple editing tip useful. Even if you’re a post-processing pro, we hope you find something useful here.
Why Does it Happen?
Very simply, your eyes are able to see a much wider range of light and dark values than your camera can record. Even our eyes have their limitations: if you’re trying to see the night sky but there’s a street lamp nearby, it’s very hard for your eyes to make out the stars. Block that lamp out, and your eyes adjust so you can.
When faced with wildly differing light and dark values in a single frame, your camera can’t record everything, so it has to make a choice. Usually, it does its best to meter for the average light in the scene. That means the bright stuff ends up being too bright or the dark stuff too dark… or a little of both. Those dark areas aren’t lost, however. Often, they’re hiding detail that the camera just barely saw. Make a few subtle adjustments in Photoshop, and you’re on your way to an improved image!
How to Fix It
Joshua Keay is a product designer living in New York City, though everything he designs winds up looking like toys. You can check out his portfolio at JoshuaKeay.com and at Monkey Business Labs.
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