How to Brighten Up a Specific Part of a Photo with Virtually Any Image Editor
No matter how fancy your camera or how fast your lens, without perfect lighting you’re unlikely to end up with a perfect photo. That can be pretty disappointing if you’ve got a great photo of a person without adequate light on their face. Fortunately this is an easy problem to correct and you can do it with virtually any image editor. Here’s how.
This is a very simple trick, and all you’ll need is an image editor that can handle 1) multiple layers and 2) lighting adjustments (through Levels, Curves, or something like it). The video above demonstrates how to do this in Photoshop but Photoshop is definitely not required. Use any image editor that meets the above requirements.
While the video will walk your through the process, here are the basics steps:
- Open your image and use a rectangular marquee tool to select the portion you want to brighten up. Be sure to leave some room around the edges. Copy your selection and paste it into a new layer.
- Use Levels, Curves, or a lighting adjustment tool of your choice to boost the midtones. Doing this may wash out the color of the image a little bit, so if you can you should also boost the red channel’s midtones in the selection.
- Select the eraser tool and use a soft brush to erase the edges around the part of the image you brightened up so only the part you want remains.
- Adjust the opacity of the brightened selection until the brightness is exactly where you want it.
This is very easy to do and takes just a few seconds. While there are many other ways to do it, this is one of the fastest and can be accomplished in virtually any image editor.
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