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What you learned: How to use the controls in the Light panel to bring out hidden detail in your photos
Apply an Auto brightness correction
- To make an automatic adjustment, select your photo and click the Edit icon.
- Open the Light panel by clicking it. Then click the Auto button at the top of the Light panel. Lightroom will use machine learning technology to analyze your photo and determine the best settings for each slider.
Manual brightness adjustments
To adjust the brightness of your image manually or to fine-tune the results of the Auto button, use the six sliders in the Light panel. These sliders control different tonal ranges, but they all work in the same way. Dragging to the left reduces light and dragging to the right increases light.
- The Exposure slider controls the overall brightness of your photo.
- The Contrast slider increases or decreases contrast.
- The Highlights slider controls the brightness of the lighter areas in your photo. Drag the Highlights slider to the left to reveal the hidden detail in bright areas.
- The Shadows slider controls the brightness of the darker areas in your photo. Drag the Shadows slider to the right to reveal the hidden detail in dark areas.
- The Whites slider dictates the absolute brightest value of your image. Press the Option key (MacOS) or the Alt key (Windows) and drag the Whites slider to the right until you see spots of white or color. This sets the brightest parts of the photo to pure white.
- The Blacks slider sets the Black Point, the absolute darkest value of your image. Slide it to the left to give your photo more contrast and a bit of a punch.
After you’ve gone through all of the sliders, you may need to go back and continue to fine-tune your image. Although each slider focuses on a specific tonal range, they all affect the overall image.