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Lesson 4. Fixing Exposure Problems > Project 1: Brightening an underexposed ima...

Project 1: Brightening an underexposed image

A slightly underexposed photograph looks a little dingy and dull. For many such photos, the auto-fix lighting feature does a terrific job of brightening these up. Another method that’s almost as easy as an auto-fix is the simple technique you’ll use in this project.

In this lesson, the instructions tell you to use the File Browser to find and open files. You could use the Lesson and Project tags in Organizer instead to find the files, as you’ve done in Lessons 2 and 3. However, it’s good to get some practice with alternate methods of locating files. The File Browser has its own menu bar and a set of palettes that you can expand, collapse, group, and rearrange by clicking or dragging the tab. File Browser palettes cannot float or be removed from the File Browser. See Photoshop Elements Help for more information.

Choose File > Browse Folders to open the File Browser.

In the Folders palette, find and select the Lesson 4 folder in the Lessons folder on your hard disk. Then select the 04_01.jpg thumbnail on the right side of the File Browser.

Open the file by doing one of the following inside the File Browser:

  • Choose File > Open on the File Browser menu bar.

  • Double-click the 04_01.jpg thumbnail.

  • Double-click the image in the Preview palette in the File Browser.

Close or minimize the File Browser. Then do one of the following to duplicate the Background layer of the image:

  • Choose Layer > Duplicate Layer, and click OK to accept the default name.

  • Right-click Background in the Layers palette, and choose Duplicate Layer. Click OK.

  • Drag the Background to the New Layer () shortcut at the top of the Layers palette.

The new layer, Background Copy, is highlighted in the Layers palette because it is the selected (active) layer.

In the Layers palette, choose Screen as the blending mode, to replace Normal.


If the pop-up menu shown above is not available, make sure that the Background Copy layer is selected in the Layers palette, not the original Background layer. You can’t apply a blending mode to the Background.

Choose File > Save, and save the file as 04_01_Work.psd in the Lessons\My CIB Work folder that you created in Lesson 2. Make sure that Save In Organizer is selected, and that you’ve deselected Save In Version Set With The Original.

If a message appears about maximizing compatibility, click OK to close it. Or, follow the instructions in the message to prevent it from appearing again.

When you finish viewing the results, close the file.

In this first project, you’ve seen how simple it is to use blending modes to brighten a dull image. You’ll use other blending modes in other projects to correct different kinds of image problems. For more information about blending modes, see Photoshop Elements Help.

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