Step by step: transform a flat photo
Lighten the mood by brightening the exposure to reveal more detail
Straighten THINGS up
In the Folders window, browse to our start file exposure_ start.NEF. Click on the Straighten tool icon in the toolbar. Click and drag to draw a line that follows the shot’s tilted horizon. The tool will measure the angle of the horizon and rotate the shot to counteract the tilt.
Brighten the shadows
Click on the Edit panel’s Tone icon and boost the image’s Saturation to 40 for more vibrant landscape colours. Click on the adjacent Tone/Detail icon. Drag the Shadow Protection slider to 47. This selectively lightens the under-exposed shadows without accidentally blowing out the sky’s brighter details.
Adjust THE exposure
In the Edit panel, click on the Exposure Compensation drop-down and choose the +1/2 EV preset. This performs the same job as opening the lens’s aperture by half an f-stop. You can manually fine-tune the EV value by using the Exposure Compensation slider too.
Boost THE contras t
The under-exposed shot is now brighter, but it’s still a bit lacking on contrast. Drag the D-Lighting HS slider to the right. A value of around 13 will produce slightly darker blacks at the far left of the histogram. This creates a more striking contrast between the darkest shadows and the brightest highlights.