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A Simple Way to Fix Bad Lighting That Works Every Time

In today’s video I’m gonna show you guys how in affinity photo to fix bad or poopy lighting so here we are a photo that I’ve already edited this is a shot taking with my creative team

 suffice to say the images already loaded up and we’re gonna show you how to fix bad lighting so and it just kind of clear the toolbars and you can kind of see where we’re going to start doing alright so I’m using affinity photo the latest version and this is the iPad pro the first generation iPad pro from 2010 we’re using that so today we’re gonna be doing this in curves I kind of showed in a previous video how to do dodging and burning which is sort of similar to this technique to basically accentuate highlights

and do contouring but in today’s video we’re gonna we’re gonna kind of step back a little bit and we’re gonna fix really just inadequate lighting on my part right so and that happens you don’t snot perfect it’s all good right so we’re gonna be using curves so I’m gonna show you guys a before and after so you can kind of see what we’re gonna do here so before and after before and after before and after let me zoom in a little bit so you can see that a little better there we are okay so we will delete this group or

I’m actually just gonna hide that group so what you’re gonna do like I said before we’re gonna be using the curves adjustment layer so what we’re gonna do is go over here into adjustments we’re gonna slow scroll on down and we’re gonna hit curves and here on the spline you’re going to select the midpoint and we’re gonna move that to about halfway between that square right there what that’s gonna do is gonna push up the entire adjustment the curves it basically exposure pushes up the entire the entire exposure of

the entire image by that amount and then what we’re gonna do is go back to our layers panel and we’re gonna go to the add button and MT mask layer next thing we’re gonna go we’re gonna do that exact same process again scroll down to our filters I’m sorry our adjustment layers and then we’re gonna hit curves and go back to the spline and we’re gonna do select the midpoint and we’re gonna go down to the middle of the opposite square so what’s this gonna do this is going to basically darken down the image by that

amount and selected on the curves and then we’re gonna go the layers and we are going to do add button and empty mask layer next thing I’m going to do just for ease of use to make it easier for you guys to follow along with what we’re doing here we’re gonna group these layers and by hitting our group button okay so I don’t know I don’t really believe that so we’re gonna do alright so we’re gonna start with for me my practice is always fixing like the shadows first and then I dial down the highlights just so I can

get everything kind of even and then I go back and forth and then I adjust the opacity so first things first we’re gonna go down to here to the mask we’re gonna go to our paint brush and we’re gonna hit the paintbrush change the color to gray sliders a hundred percent opacity on white and then we’re gonna leave our opacity at fifty percent flow at a hundred hardness at zero so it’s nice and soft and then we’re just going to basically adjust our size I’m using my finger right now which is kind of an awful idea should

on an Apple pencil but you know hey it’s all good I’m not tripping about it so first things first I always start with the face and from there I kind of just I kind of just go to the rest of the image so I’m going to open up that shadow right there with this technique it’s not super important that you be very specific on where you’re applying this effect you don’t need to make the mass perfect or anything like that it’s just very it’s very simple and straightforward to basically just throw it wherever you need to

throw it and then just drop down the opacity after the fact I want this cheek to kind of open up a little bit so we’re gonna do that I think over here’s a little bit darker in and even out of that we’re gonna open up the shadows underneath the neck a little bit even out that area I’m gonna make that a little bigger and just do one little swipe there okay now I’m gonna look at the face versus of the shoulders this area right here is a little bit dark so I’m going to make that a little bit bigger and just do a

single swipe I’m gonna do a little bit of that shoulder blade right there and then the in-between area even that out and we’re gonna come over onto the her left shoulder and we’re gonna open up this shadow that right there and right there maybe hit that in the middle as well okay so obviously you can see that I went kind of ham and it looks a little bit too over overexposed and but that’s have no fear about that well we’re just gonna adjust the opacity of the mask or not the mask the actual curves layered itself and

then we’re gonna drop that back so from there now that I’ve gotten the her skin kind of evenly explode exposed and illuminated across the entire frame from there now I start going into specific areas that I want to accentuate which in this case is gonna be some of these flowers up here we’re gonna hit those flowers we’re gonna accentuate the highlights in the here so we can pop out and add some more contrast in here and now this is kind of functioning similar to this is kind of functioning similar to dodging and

burning which is a tutorial that we’ve done previously I’m gonna also do that in this tutorial right now just just so we can also accentuate that while we’re here I already working on this may as well okay so we got that to a pretty reasonable level where we induce hit that curves adjustment and we’re gonna go up here and we’re gonna drop that opacity back until basically the entire frame looks pretty consistent to rest I guess relative to the rest of the image because you can see the areas that I’ve changed I

changed that cheek right there on on her left hand side I just said that so what I’m doing is I’m looking at the face and I’m adjusting the opacity so the changes that I did make they look similar to the rest of the image that wasn’t affected by this this particular technique so that’s what I’m doing and we’re gonna just put that at 50% I think that looks great and let’s see a before and after which is that one change for after they are were evening out the exposure so right now we’re focusing specifically on

lifting up shadows and you’ll see me kind of going over here I’m recording to my computer so you know apologies if you see me kind of reaching over my computer’s my computer’s kind of just turning off but it’s uh so right now we’re fixing like any area that we think is a little bit too dark and we’re we’re clarifying and we’re bringing up and increasing the exposure of the shadows and mid-tones so that overall the exposures is equal or even the next thing we’re going to do same exact technique is before we’re gonna

go over to our curves adjustment that we did that downward spline and go to our mask make sure we have our paintbrush 50% opacity 100% flow and then just vary the width and the color is gonna be a hundred cent on the white side so now the next thing we’re gonna do is just kind of be like okay what areas do we think are too bright that are gonna be a little bit distracting to the eye right now some of the areas I’m seeing or is the shoulders right over here a little bit too bright collarbones are a little bit

too bright so we’re gonna kind of tackle some of those areas I think over here is a little bit too bright so I’m gonna kind of just drop back some of these areas over here collarbones again on those shoulders I’m not really a huge fan of this highlight right here on her face so we’re gonna tackle that a little bit and drop that back as well that’s pretty much it I’m gonna drop these flowers back a little bit sweet I can have our viewers focus on her face and not the flowers the flowers were a little bit too bright

drop those back this flower over here also a little bit too bright we’re gonna drop these back and you just kind of notice I’m just like tapping sometimes I will brush but I’m not using my Apple pencil right now so I’m just kind of just tapping I think this whole flower right here is too bright so you’re gonna drop that back and I think this flower on this side is way too bright as well and drop that back so we’re gonna get rid of that focus our viewers attention on the face and not the flowers we’re gonna drop

these flowers back to alright so I think that should be good I’m gonna do a little bit of dodging and burn really really quick super fast we’re just gonna just hit these hair at the top of the hair right here just bring in some some contrast there we’re gonna just also hit the eyebrows real quick and just bring in a little bit of contrast to the eyebrows all right cool so let’s do it before and after on that one boom and boom and I’m going to do the same exact thing as before and we’re gonna just adjust the opacity

until we feel like it’s nice and even so yeah somewhere 5060 percent it’s right there and then now let’s see our before and after you see you notice those shadows on her face opened up the lighting is now more concentrated on the flowers and this area’s postal I think it’s kind of bright down here right here it’s kind of bright yeah that’s just poor lighting technique on my end I did miss some areas so yeah and that fit that evened it out so before after yeah a lot of the flowers down here were a lot brighter than

they needed to be so that’s pretty much wraps up today’s video that’s just so I’m sure showing you guys it’s a very similar to dodging and burning which is tutorial we already did on our channel on how to do this but this is now just this is the this is the first that I do before I getting the dodging and burning I know I did do a tutorial on how to do the contouring things of that nature but this is the stuff that I take before getting to that video it’s because I get right here I make sure the overall exposure

of the image is the way that I like it and then I contour so I just wanted to make sure we we tackle a video on what that step actually is at some point I won’t be doing a full retouching course and some other courses and stuff on our website so stay tuned for that and you’ll see my entire workflow from start to finish again I’m not showing you guys every single technique that I personally use I’m just showing you guys what’s out there what’s available so you can choose right you know you have some freedom to choose

whatever you think is best for you I like using curves but you may not like using curves you might want to do this with just using the paintbrush tool and putting on a different blend mode or there’s a lot of ways to do the same thing so this is just the way that I’ve found that this is super easy to fix bad lighting so just using curves it doesn’t really take very long and you can see the before and after you can see the before and after on this one as well so you know overall that’s kind of where worried would

get and that’s just fixing bad lighting they’re doing the exact same thing I just went a little bit above and beyond so as all my friends you know this wraps up today’s video if you have any comments questions concerns if you like simple CC something specific done our channel that we have the skill set to do we will do viewer request videos so absolutely hit us up in the comments reach out to us on social media hopefully you found this video helpful leave a like if you did or a thumbs down if you didn’t which you

know don’t do that but do it anyways it’s all good and you know just say to dark channel consider subscribing if you haven’t already and then check out our website if you want some more information on some of the techniques that we’re gonna be showcasing as we kind of continue moving forward but until next time my friends peace out

Photo of author

Devaun Lennox

I'm a fashion, beauty, and commercial photographer turned impromptu photojournalist. Based in Las Vegas, my images are graphic, bold, and full-on contrast.