This post is part of a (very) irregular series about using Picasa, a free (whee!) photo editing software. Because we’re all about saving money around these parts. And because Photoshop is stinkin’ hard. If you missed the earlier installments in this series, worry not. You can always access them in the Picasa category.
Today I’m going to show you how to fix an overexposed picture. Really, underexposed pictures are a more common problem, but I don’t have material for that post yet, so we’re tackling a less common problem first. Because I am just THAT organized.
Before I took this photo of my nephew outdoors, I was shooting indoors in a room with a white background, so I’d adjusted my exposure up a few stops. This was perfect for indoors, but outside, this setting produced a washed out, overexposed picture.
Fortunately, I noticed this before long, so I managed to shoot some pictures that were properly exposed. If I hadn’t, though, I’d have needed to fix the overexposed ones. There’s a very, very easy way to do this in Picasa.
Just click on the thumbnail of your picture, and that will open it up, ready for you to edit.
On the left side of your screen, on the Basic Fixes tab, there’s an Auto Contrast button.
Just click it, and Picasa will adjust your picture’s exposure for you. In this case, it’ll darken the picture.
Oooh, that’s better.
If you want a little bit more control over this process, click on the Tuning tab on the left side of your screen, and you’ll be presented with several sliders. Since this picture has too much in the way of fill light and highlights, we don’t want to mess with those sliders. Instead, to fix this picture I moved the shadows slider to the right until I was happy with it.
So, here’s the before:
And the after:
See? Totally easy.
Even if you have a point and shoot and you can’t manually control the exposures (and thus screw up a photo like I did), you may run into a problem like this when you’re shooting a dark subject, like something with a lot of black or dark blue (this happens to me all the time when I’m shooting food on my black dishes). Your camera will see the dark colors and think that it needs to compensate by letting lots of light in, and your picture will turn out too bright. Fortunately, you know how to fix that now.
P.S. If you don’t already have Picasa, you can download it for free.
P.P.S. I am in no way affiliated with Picasa. I just lurve Picasa and want to share it with you.
Today’s 365 post: There’s nothing quite like local peaches.