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How to Restore Underexposed Wedding Photos

Weddings are always a blur of activity. As a wedding photographer, it’s your job to capture as much of the atmosphere, and emotions of the day as possible. Much of that emotion comes from the faces of those involved – the happy couple, plus their family and friends.

Capturing these emotions, expressions, and moments (especially during the ceremony & reception) are the real challenge of wedding photography. All too often, though, we as photographers also get caught up in the excitement and activity of the day. We take many shots, only to later find that close-ups, or portraits, are underexposed.

In this tutorial we will be using CyberLink PhotoDirector to restore these shots to their original, natural, colorful, vibrant state.  If you’d like to work through these steps with us, then you can download a free trial of CyberLink PhotoDirector here.

The most important thing to remember is that you should always been shooting in RAW. This way, even if a photo is underexposed, you still have complete control to adjust it as much as you wish.

For this guide we’ll be using the photo below. As you can see, the faces of the bride and groom are slightly underexposed, and while the rest of the shot is okay, there is a little spark missing. To bring this out, we’ll some minor touch-up work in PhotoDirector.  You can follow the steps below using your own image, and try out different parameter settings until you get the result you are looking for.


In PhotoDirector there are 6 sliders to adjust exposure: Adjusting the global exposure slider or the Darkest, Dark, Midtone, Bright or Brightest will only partially adjust your picture in different ways. To fix underexposure specifically we start by adjusting Global Exposure, Darkest and Dark sliders until the image restores its natural colors.


Next step is to make the colors more true-to-life by adjusting the Temperature slider in White Balance settings. We also tune-up the clarity of the image, giving the image more warmth and increases the clarity of the shot.


The final step is just a small fine-tuning of the image to make it even clearer.  By adjusting the sharpness and removing noise from the shot we can really bring out the faces of those in the picture. In PhotoDirector, you can use the Noise Reduction wizard to do this quickly.


So after that is all done, we have our final, radiant image.


Make sure that you download your free trial of PhotoDirector to help make your photos like the pros.


For more PhotoDirector tips & tricks you can visit CyberLink’s PhotoDirector Learning page.

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