Raise your hand if you shoot outdoors!
If your hand is raised then I know you understand how wild of a ride it is to shoot outdoors. Changing locations, moving from the sun to the shade in a matter of a few steps in some situations and how the sun changes as time passes during the shoot, it feels like the chances of an overexposed image is basically 100%.
What do you do when you’re desperately trying to avoid an overexposed image and then it happens against all of your wishes to the Universe? First, remain calm. There are ways to save an overexposed image from that ‘delete’ button that I am going to share with you today!
1 - Shoot in RAW
No matter what you do, shoot in RAW. Shooting in RAW saves as much of the original image data as possible, which means all those places you thought were totally blown out still have information in them that RAW will capture.
2 - Sliders to the Left
There are a few sliders in Lightroom that you can use that will calm down the highlights and bring detail back in. Open up your overexposed image in Lightroom. Now open up the right panel and look at the Highlight slider, the Whites slider and the Exposure slider. These sliders are the game changers for an overexposed image. Watch as they slide to the left and suddenly detail is back into your image, darkening the whites and helping you get a beautiful base to start from for any other edits you’d like to make.
3 - Use a Preset
Presets are designed to work well with all sorts of images-- overexposed included. What’s beautiful about using a preset is that you’ll end up creating a stunning match with what will be your once overexposed image with the rest of your images in the set. I love using the Wanderlust Collection preset for overexposed images. The Wanderlust Collection is full of moody tones and muted colors which are perfect for the photographer who embraces the bold and dramatic. They have been created to instantly give you the moody look without much tweaking so you can edit your images efficiently and effectively.
After using a preset I like to fix the skin tone with the Targeting adjustment tool in Lightroom. Click here to watch my video on how I fix skin tone in Lightroom.