No matter how good your camera or photography skills are, the chances of getting an underexposed or too dark image are always high. This problem is particularly observed when taking snaps in contrast or with a poor camera setting. It not only introduces noise in your photo but also hides aesthetic details.
But in any case, taking a too dark picture is not the end of the world. Thanks to technological advancements, it's no longer a tech-savvy job to fix an underexposed photo. So, to save you from tedious research, we have shortlisted the five proven software to repair unexposed images.
Table of Contents
Part 1: 3 Software to Fix Underexposed Photos
Below are the three most sought-after tools, key features, and pros and cons to fix underexposed photography. Let’s give them a quick read.
1. Adobe Photoshop
Adobe Photoshop remains the gold standard in the world of photo editing. It offers numerous ways to prop up your gloomy or underexposed photos and make them look stunning again. This remarkable software can even transform ordinary images into professional ones.
It has got all the fantastic features at disposal to give you the freedom to unleash your creativity. For example, you can perform skin tone adjustments, background adjustments, add/remove blurs, red-eye removal, teeth whitening, and so on. Not to mention, it has a vast library of filters, transitions, and animated effects.
Restore underexposed and old photos.
Resize images to different pixels.
Offer advanced features for adding animation to your photos.
Many tools for graphics designing and layouts.
Transfers photos between different programs.
You can easily create passport-sized or stamp-sized images.
The interface is difficult for beginners.
It cannot work smoothly on low-end PCs.
Consume a lot of space.
You need to pay for monthly subscriptions.
Since Adobe offers multiple ways to fix a photo underexposed, we will be looking at two simple steps to get the job done. Check out the below instructions:
Step 1: Launch Adobe Photoshop on your computer and import the image you want to fix.
Step 2: Go to Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast.
Check the Preview option and then adjust the slider until you’re satisfied with the image’s quality.
Step 3: You need to go to Image > Adjustments > Shadows/Highlights.
Adjust both sliders until the darker areas of the image are at the appropriate level.
Step 4: Finally, save the image on your device.
2. Adobe Lightroom
Want to turn your gloomy photos into stunning snaps? Get Lightroom and start editing the photos like a pro. This all-popular tool offers editing features to lighten dark photos and make them appear super cool.
Its advanced features in the Developer mode let you fix anything related to underexposure or high-ISO noise. In addition, you can fix grainy shadows, color banding, and overexposure of brighter sections. It takes a few clicks to bring a dark image back to life.
Besides that, this tool empowers users to apply stunning filters and effects to images and add text of any sort.
Have a powerful RAW image processor to fix underexposed images.
Come with stellar presets.
Own a whole lot of ready-made filters and effects.
It has a robust UI and is relatively easier to learn than Photoshop.
Its file handling system is not up to the users’ expectations.
Not suitable for making fine adjustments with precision.
A quite expensive tool for the features it offers.
Here are simple steps you need to follow to fix underexposed images:
Step 1: Launch Lightroom on your PC and import the dark image.
Step 2: Navigate to the Develop module and boost the exposure slider to make the image bright.
Step 3: Go to the Shadow slider and use the cursor to adjust its value as needed.
Be sure it enhances the dark areas even further without clipping the highlights.
Step 4: If your image still includes the black section, head to the Detail panel within the Develop module.
Here, use the Color slider to remove banding as needed.
Step 5: If you want to eliminate noise from your photo, go to the Noise Reduction section and boost the Luminance slider.
Also, adjust the Detail and Contrast sliders to make details furthermore explicit.
Note that you don't need to apply all these editing tools. Instead, use the relevant feature depending on the intensity of darkness in your image.
3. PaintShop Pro
Aside from repairing gloomy and dark images, you can also fix lens distortion and photo color correction. But its most distinctive trait is AI-powered image effects and tools. For example, users can replace a photo’s background, apply portrait mode, adjust the dimensions using the frame tool, remove noise, and more.
However, expect some time to learn the program using its tutorials. If you’re a beginner, this tool might be a little too difficult.
Offer powerful editing tools at a lower price than Adobe Photoshop.
Come with many built-in how-to tutorials.
Offer automatic noise removal feature.
It has many aesthetic video effects.
No monthly subscriptions are needed. It offers one-time purchases.
Its interface is quite complicated, particularly for not-so-tech-savvy users.
Can slow down your Windows.
It works only on Windows.
Check out how to fix a picture that is too dark using PaintShop Pro:
Step 1: Install the program on your PC and run it.
Step 2: Import your underexposed photo, then go to Adjust > Fill Flash.
Step 3: A small window will pop up. Here, adjust both Strength and Saturation to brighten the dark areas of your image.
Step 4: Hit Ok and bang. You have to fix the underexposed image.
Part 2: How to Fix Underexposed Photos with 1-Click?
If you don't want to go through any tech-savvy procedure to fix an underexposed photo, or you are unsafisfied with the result of the software mentioned above, Repairit will be your ideal choice. Using the advanced AI tech, it detects and repairs the grainy or underexposed parts automatically with a very high success rate. And it supports to repair photos in batches, so if you have multiple gloomy or too dark photos, repair them with a single click.
Support to repair damaged photos with all levels of corruption, such as overexposed/underexposed photos, pixelated photos, faded photos, grainy photos, etc.
Support to repair images of diverse formats, such as JPG, PNG, CR3, CR2, NEF, NRW, etc.
Repair critically damaged or corrupted photos available on SD cards, phones, cameras, USB flash drives, and more, as well as incomplete photo parts.
Compatible with Windows PC, Mac OS, and supports PC to mobile transferring/sharing.
This application is a simple tool that helps us to fix overexposed photos quickly. It has two modes: normal mode and advanced mode. In the normal mode, it restores overexposed colors and brightness on photos from the left-to-right direction. In the advanced mode, it fixes seriously overexposed colors and brightness on photos by adding a good sample photo.
Now, let's check the steps you need to follow to fix overexposed photo.
Step 1: Download, install and run Repairit on your PC/Mac.
Select Photo Repair from the left tab, drag and upload the underexposed images.
Step 2: Click on Repair and let the program fix them.
After uploading the underexposed images, you will see their detailed information on the below screen. Then click on the "Repair" button to fix the underexposed images.
Step 3: Preview the repaired photos and save them.
After the photos are fixed, click the "Preview" button to check the photo quality before you save the fixed photo. If you are satisfied with the fixed photo, you can press the "Save" button to download it into your computer.
If you are unsatisfied with the fixed photo quality, try the "Advanced Repair" function. And Repairit will need to upload a a sample photo that is taken by the same device and in the same format as the underexposed one. See the detailed guide for "Advanced Photo Repair".
Part 3: How to Lighten Dark Photos Online?
Don’t want to install any third-party programs on your PC? we have an easy solution for you to lighten dark photos online.
Use Adobe Express to brighten up your underexposed photos. It has all the tools you expect from a premium online program to customize the appearance of any photo. For example, you can enhance an image and adjust its brightness, shadows, contrast, and other traits to bring more clarity.
It has a built-in library of many filters and effects that you can apply with a single click. As with other online tools, Adobe Express offers a simple procedure to upload an image, adjust its brightness, and publish it directly to your social media account.
Getting an underexposed photo is too common a thing among photographers. But there’s nothing to worry about. With the programs mentioned above, anyone can fix gloomy images with just a few clicks. Of course, the software you choose depends on your individual preferences and requirements.