As a photographer, there's nothing more frustrating than taking a photo and realizing it's underexposed!

It can be disappointing when the photo doesn't come out how you wanted it to. But don't worry, all hope is not lost! We've done some research and found some easy solutions to help you fix the underexposure issue in no time.

By the time you finish reading this article, you will learn two methods to fix underexposed photos, plus an amazing tool that can fix your images in the blink of an eye!

In this article
    1. Not Enough Light
    2. Incorrect Camera Settings
    3. Metering Errors
    1. Steps to Fix Underexposed Images with Photoshop
    2. Limitations
    1. Steps to Fix Underexposed Images with Repairit
    1. Make Sure There Is Enough Light
    2. Use Correct Camera Settings
    3. Shoot in RAW Format
    4. Understand Metering Modes
    5. Be Aware of Lighting Conditions
    6. Use Fast Shutter Speed
    7. Use the Lowest ISO Setting

Reasons Why Photos Are Underexposed

Before we get to the “hows”, let's talk about the “whys.” Why are your pictures coming out too dark?

Underexposure happens when there isn't enough light in a photo, making it look gloomy or hard to see details in the shadows.

It's usually caused by problems with camera settings or mistakes made by the photographer, but there are a few other things that can contribute too. Here are three of the most common reasons why your photos might be underexposed:

1. Not Enough Light

If you ever find that your photos are too dark or underexposed, don't worry; it's a common problem. It's usually due to not having enough light when taking photos, especially in low-light situations or when taking pictures indoors with inadequate lighting.

2. Incorrect Camera Settings

Sometimes, the reason for underexposed images is that your camera's exposure settings are not well-suited for the scene you're shooting. This can happen if you're in manual mode and the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO settings aren't quite right.

It can also happen in semi-automatic modes like aperture priority or shutter priority when the camera doesn't choose the optimal settings for the lighting conditions.

3. Metering Errors

Another factor that can result in underexposed photos is metering errors. These errors occur when your camera's light meter inaccurately measures the scene's light.

But don't worry, there are ways to avoid them! Understanding different metering modes, taking into account scene contrast and subject reflectance, checking the histogram, and reviewing your photos regularly can all help.

Now that you know three reasons why you keep getting dark or underexposed images, it’s time to fix them!

In the following sections, we have discussed two methods to fix underexposed photos:

How To Fix Underexposed Photos in Photoshop?

If you're looking to make your photos look their best, Adobe Photoshop is the way to go. It's packed with tons of tools that can help you fix dark, blurry, or dull images and make them pop.

Plus, there are so many ways to customize your photos and make them truly unique!

However, Photoshop can be a bit pricey! But it's definitely worth the investment if you're serious about photography. With this powerful software, you can adjust skin tones, tweak backgrounds, remove blemishes, and much more.

And don't worry if you're not a Photoshop pro yet! There are plenty of tutorials out there that can teach you how to use the software to its fullest potential.

In fact, if you're struggling with underexposed photos, we've got you covered with some step-by-step instructions.

So, let's get started and take your photos to the next level!

Steps to Fix Underexposed Images with Photoshop

Here are the steps to fix the brightness issues in your images using Photoshop:

Step 1

Download and install Adobe Photoshop on your PC, and import the image you want to fix by dragging and dropping it.

Step 2

Go to the Adjustment Layer at the bottom of the Layers palette.

Step 3

Check the “Preview” box and adjust the Brightness and Contrast sliders until you achieve the desired image quality.

adjust brightness and contrast sliders

Step 4

Now, select the Shadows/Highlights and adjust their sliders to obtain optimal image sharpness.

adjust shadows and highlights sliders

Step 5

Select “Levels” and drag the “Input Levels” middle slider to the left to brighten the image. Move the other sliders to get an image that matches your preference.

adjust input levels

Step 6

Go to “Blend” modes in the Adjustment Layers, and tweak the settings to make your image more brighter and clearer.

adjust the blend mode settings

And that’s how you adjust the brightness and fix the underexposure in your photos!


While Adobe Photoshop is one of the most sought-after tools to fix images, it requires the users to pay on a monthly basis, making it quite expensive. Moreover, it has a steep learning curve. Newbies find it pretty difficult to get the hang of the software and spend hours trying to understand the interface.

However, there’s nothing to worry about! If you’re a newbie trying to fix an image, we have a better alternative for you!

Fix Underexposed Photos within 1-Click

So what if you don’t know how to use Photoshop? You can still fix your underexposed images to bright and crisp perfection with Wondershare Repairit!

It is an amazing program that can fix any gloomy image with just one click!

With its advanced repair algorithms, it can detect and fix issues in any image, whether it's underexposed, damaged, or corrupt. No matter how bad the damage is, Repairit can bring your photo back to life in no time!

It's also super easy to use, even if your image is inaccessible or unreadable.

Give it a try and see the difference for yourself!

Steps to Fix Underexposed Images with Repairit

Follow these simple steps and restore your image in a jiffy:

Step 1

Download and launch Wondershare Repairit on your PC, select “More Type Repair” from the menu on the left, and click “Photo Repair.”

choose photo repair from the Interface

Step 2

Click on “Add” to import an underexposed image file.

import underexposed image file

Step 3

Once you have selected the images to be fixed, click “Repair.”

click repair

Step 4

Repairit will quickly scan the images and fix them, after which you can preview and save them to your local storage.

preview and save fixed images

This will brighten up your image and make it more clear. However, if you think that the image needs to be repaired further, you can fix it via the “Advanced Repair” feature.

Check out our complete guide for Advance Photo Repair. These were the 2 methods to fix underexposed photo, but what can we do to prevent this from happening? Let’s see…

How To Prevent Photos from Underexposure?

As a photographer, you probably know that taking dark or gloomy photos is a big no-no!

Therefore, here are some friendly tips to help avoid getting an underexposed image:

1. Make Sure There Is Enough Light

If you're taking pictures indoors, during the night, or in the shade, you might want to consider using a flash or any other external light source. It can really help you capture the perfect shot.

2. Use Correct Camera Settings

If you're taking pictures in manual mode, make sure you set the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO to match the scene you're capturing.

If you're using a semi-automatic mode, like aperture priority or shutter priority, it's good to know how your camera selects the settings and adjusts them as necessary.

3. Shoot in RAW Format

Shooting your photos in RAW format can give you more flexibility when editing them. It's especially helpful for underexposed photos!

4. Understand Metering Modes

If you want to take awesome photos, it's important to know how to use different metering modes like evaluative, spot, or center-weighted. Choosing the right mode can make a big difference in capturing the best lighting conditions.

5. Be Aware of Lighting Conditions

If you're taking photos with the light behind your subject, you might notice that they come out looking a bit dark. To fix this, you can try using a flash or an external light source. Another option is to play around with the exposure settings on your camera.

6. Use Fast Shutter Speed

If your subject is moving, you may need to use a faster shutter speed to avoid motion blur.

7. Use the Lowest ISO Setting

When you're taking photos in bright conditions, using a low ISO setting is the way to go. But in low-light situations, increasing the ISO can help you capture better shots.

Just keep in mind that using higher ISO settings may cause some noise in your photos.

Wrapping Up

One of the most common photography issues is getting dark or underexposed images. This can happen due to a number of reasons, including low light, incorrect camera settings, or metering modes.

But the good news is that you can fix underexposure in images using photo editing tools like Adobe Photoshop or Wondershare Repairit.

In this guide, we have discussed these two methods to fix underexposed photos, plus we have also included some valuable tips to keep the darkness in images at bay.

Happy shooting!

Eleanor Reed
Eleanor Reed Mar 20, 24
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Eleanor Reed
Written by Eleanor Reed
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