An Ultimate Guide to Fix Overexposed Photos

We all have faced the problem of overexposure in our pictures. Overexposed photos are pictures that have been exposed too brightly and therefore appear overexposed. When photographers take photos in a dark environment, their camera sensor produces a high sensitivity. In other words, overexposure makes it difficult for them to capture images with good definition. As a result, these images look blurred and unclear. We need to remove that overexposure to make our pictures clear and high quality. In this article, let's talk about it in detail. Before you start tweaking your photos, you should understand why overexposure happens.

Part 1: What Is Pixelation and What Cause Photos Pixelated?

An overexposed picture is a problem that you can fix. You may have noticed that your photos look washed out, and the area around your subject is overexposed. There are several causes for taking an overexposed photograph. Let's check them out one by one:

What causes pixelation?

our eyes can tell the difference between light and shade, but our cameras cannot. That's why sometimes we think our pictures are coming great but are becoming overexposed. You can change the Camera settings to fix overexposure issues. If you use a camera with manual controls, try adjusting the exposure compensation by +1/3 or +2/3 EV to lower the overall exposure from over-exposed to under-exposed. The most common reason for an overexposed photo is the presence of bright light sources in the front of the object. The camera must adjust exposure settings to compensate for the bright light source in this case. In other words, your subject is too brilliant about its surroundings.

Another issue with an overexposed shot is incorrectly measuring the Light Meter. Every professional camera includes a built-in light meter, and if you want to prevent overexposure, you must understand how light meters function. Matrix, Center-Weighted, and Spot Metering are the three light meter modes. The matrix mode enables you to balance the whole picture while keeping the exposure only as long as the scenario demands. Spot Meter concentrates on a single location and offers a balanced exposure while leaving the rest of the photographs alone.

Let's jump into the part where you will fix the overexposed photo!

Part 2: How to Fix Overexposed Photos in Photoshop?

Fixing an overexposed picture is not an easy task. However, there are a few methods that you can use to get the job done. Using Adobe Photoshop is one of them.

The Exposure, Highlights, and White sliders are excellent Photoshop tools for adjusting exposure. To fix your overexposed picture in Photoshop, you must first insert it. After you've inserted your picture, you may experiment with the sliders.

For your ease: Changing the exposure slider affects the whole picture, but changing the other two affects a specific region or color. The exposure slider is recommended first, then moving on to the other sliders.

Using Exposure slider

You can modify the brightness of the whole picture by moving the Exposure slider left/right or by clicking on (-/+). While sliding, you will see numbers growing or decreasing depending on your direction. Slide left or right until you reach a good medium point on which your picture's exposure is on its perfect.

exposure slider

Using Highlight slider

The highlights slider lets you experiment with your image's burnt-out sections. The highlights slider affects the brightest sections of a photograph. It comes in handy when you've tried everything to cure the exposure but still have a few untouched regions.

hightlight slider

Using white slider

The white slider is similar to the exposure slider as it alters the overall brightness of a shot and mid-tones. The brightness of the mid-tones is altered. As a result, increasing it by moving it right increases the brightness of the mid-tones; when you drag this slider to the left, the brightness of the mid-tones decreases, while on the right, the mid-tones increases.

hightlight slider

Photoshop has many advantages, but there are some disadvantages as well. The main problem is that it's costly. Another disadvantage is that it's not easy to use. It takes time to learn how to use it properly, and then you may waste a lot of time trying to get things right when you could have just avoided all those problems by using another image editing program instead!

Part 3: How to Fix Overexposed Photos within 1-Click

So, if you don't want to play with the sliders in Photoshop, don't have enough time for it, or don't get the right point to fix an overexposed photo, here is an alternative. With this method, you have to do one click, and all the extra exposure will be gone in no time. Repairit is a professional software that can help you fix overexposed photos with a 100% success ratio. This tool is much more straightforward than Photoshop and, as mentioned above, requires only one click to perfect your overexposed images. One more thing to mention here is that, unlike Adobe Photoshop, it lets you fix multiple files simultaneously.

Wondershare Repairit

5,481,435 people have downloaded it.

  • 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 and install Repairit on your PC/Mac.

Running Repairit and select the "Photo repair" option, then click the "Add" button to upload your overexposed photos.

upload photo

Step 2: Start the photo repairing process after uploading the overexposed photos.

After you upload the overexposed images, you will see their detailed information on the below screen. Then click on the "Repair" button to fix the overexposed images.

initiate the repair process

Step 3: Preview and save the fixed photos.

Once the repairing process finishes, click the "Preview" button to check the photo quality before you save the fixed photo on your computer. If you are satisfied with the recovered photo, you can press the "Save" button to download it into your computer.

save the repaired photo

If you are unsatisfied with the fixed photo quality, try benefiting from the "Advanced Repair". For this, Repairit will need to upload a a sample image that is taken by the same device and in the same format as the overexposed one. See the detailed guide for "Advanced Photo Repair".

Part 4: How to Fix Overexposed Photos in Lightroom?

If you don't want to use the above two methods, another method is there. When shooting in RAW, the exposure of a picture is directly affected by the camera settings. Furthermore, RAW files include more info than JPEGs. As a result, you will be able to deal with more aspects during picture post-production. Again, you can use Adobe Lightroom for these post-production effects.

Step 1: Identification of overexposed elements.

Upload your picture in the Adobe Lightroom and use the Histogram to find overexposed regions in your picture as shown in the given picture.

find overexposed regions

Step 2: Adjust the parameters.

When repairing overexposed photographs in Lightroom, pay close attention to Highlights, Contrast, Shadows, and Whites. You may also need to utilize the Dehaze tool until you get the desired result. You may use the screenshot above to see how to change the settings.

adjust parameters

Step 3: Choose the Gradient Function.

Choose a horizontal gradient; the gradient and a round dot will be seen in the image. Experiment with various postures to change the strength of the impact.

gradient function

Step 4: Extend the Gradient.

The example below demonstrates how to spread the gradient over the sky. To get the best appearance, move a slider up and down.

extend gradient

There are a few disadvantages of using Lightroom for overexposed pictures.

  • The raw pictures need to be converted to jpg format.
  • There is no way to undo an underexposure/overexposure in Lightroom.
  • It will take a lot of time for you to fix the image manually. You might be able to do it in a few minutes if you have an experienced photoshop user at hand, but it would still take a long time.
  • There will be no guarantee that the correction will work, especially when you have a backlit subject and more than one light source in your frame.
  • The outcome may also look unnatural because of slight changes in your image's color tone and contrast levels after correcting it manually with Photoshop (or any other editing software).

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