with Courtney Slazinik
Before and After Editing: Underexposure Video

I’m so excited about this new monthly series we are going to do. If you are like me you are curious how photographers edit certain images. Each month, one of us will edit an image of ours. Some months it may be a simple edit while other months it may be more complex.

I captured this adorable image. Unfortunately, it is underexposed. Watch this short video (3:45 min) to see how I take the image from start to finish.

correcting unexposed image in lightroom

Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel so you are the first to see the videos when they are uploaded. You don’t want to miss out on any of these tips!

  • February 19, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    Fabulous! Thanks for sharing!

    • Courtney
      February 19, 2013 at 4:48 PM

      Thanks!! Glad you liked it!

  • Corey
    February 19, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    I’ve been reading your blog for a long time, but I’m not sure I’ve ever commented. I really like the videos you’ve been doing lately, this one in particular. I’ve just started using Lightroom this year (LR4) so these tips are quite helpful. I’d love it if you’d consider doing video of your editing workflow in Lightroom.

    • Courtney
      February 19, 2013 at 4:49 PM

      Hey Corey!! You should comment more often :) Glad you are enjoying all the videos! They are fun to do. I have an old post on my workflow. Several things have changed but some I still do it the same way. http://clickitupanotch.com/2010/10/lightroom-workflow/

      • Corey
        February 19, 2013 at 4:56 PM

        Oh wonderful! Thank you! :D

  • Carmen
    February 19, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    I’m soo flipping excited I just learned about the dropper and I have had LR3 for about a year! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    • Courtney
      February 25, 2013 at 2:36 PM

      Oh you will love the eye dropper! :)

  • February 19, 2013 at 6:09 PM

    Awesome Courtney! It’s just so nice to see how other people do things differently and why. Love it!

    • Courtney
      February 25, 2013 at 2:37 PM

      So glad you enjoyed it!! I think it’s going to be a fun series!

  • Kristen
    February 19, 2013 at 6:34 PM

    Hi Courtney,

    Thanks for posting this. I am new to photography and photo editing so I am always looking for tips!

    • Courtney
      February 25, 2013 at 2:38 PM

      Fantastic! Let me know if you have any questions!

  • ashlyn
    February 19, 2013 at 7:04 PM

    oooh, I like this idea! and WOW the edit was awesome…. seriously I never knew that little dropper thing existed… there’s so much to learn!!

    • Courtney
      February 25, 2013 at 2:39 PM

      Thanks! You’ll love the eye dropper! So useful!

  • February 19, 2013 at 8:46 PM

    I love this!! Thank you for sharing. I’m looking forward to more of these using lightroom!

  • February 20, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    I tried to view this on both UTube and your website and I couldn’t hear anything :( I had both my computer volume way up and the volume on the video but still nothing. Anything I’m doing wrong? Just thought you should know :)

    • Courtney
      February 25, 2013 at 2:41 PM

      Oh no! Were you able to get it fixed? I don’t know why you can’t hear it :(

  • jan
    February 20, 2013 at 7:27 PM

    Cheers to you Courtney! Great video … I’m guilty of getting a few of these in my mix from time-to-time. Made notes to the take-aways and will certainly be using your tips in my future editing. L.O.V.E. editing in LR3 {haven’t upgraded either}.

    Keep up the great work and thank you for all that you do! ~jan

    • Courtney
      February 25, 2013 at 2:41 PM

      Thanks so much!!! :)

  • Emily
    February 22, 2013 at 8:57 PM

    Hey Courtney,
    Quick question. My understanding (and correct me if I’m wrong) is that you can’t fix an underexposed image unless you shoot in RAW. Is that the case? Besides losing image quality when editing a JPEG are there any other limitations to editing JPEGs. I’m sure you shoot in RAW all of the time.

    • Courtney
      February 25, 2013 at 2:43 PM

      Hey Emily!

      Yes, I do shoot in RAW. However, you can still fix an underexposed as a JPEG. You may loose some of the image quality because a JPEG is not as easy to mess with as a RAW. But yes, you can fix it :)

  • February 25, 2013 at 7:07 PM

    I finally got to see AND hear your video…what a great tutorial on a few simple fixes to make a photo print worthy. LOVE the dropper tool and will use it every time now

    • Courtney
      March 1, 2013 at 1:33 PM

      Oh, so glad it worked for you :) The eye dropper tool is amazing :)

  • February 26, 2013 at 9:34 AM

    Pinning for future reference!

    • Courtney
      March 1, 2013 at 1:33 PM

      Thanks :)

  • March 12, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    I’ve been doing a trial period of Lightroom to decide if I want it or PSE. I think I want Lightroom. I came across this video today and it helped so much to understand the workflow! Thank you!

  • February 1, 2014 at 10:02 PM

    Hi, Courtney!

    So I’ve never used the dropper before to find white balance, but I’m still a tad confused about it. So you try and find a neutral area that most of the numbers match, correct? Do you always use go for the pupil first or can you start on the skin tones? I don’t know if this is making any sense :) I just used the Kelvin method for finding white balance today in a photo shoot and I LOVED it! Thank you for that earlier post, by the way over that :) But since I use that and I tend to brighten up the area with the Tone Curve, do you still suggest the dropper? Ha! Alright…I’ll stop now :) Thanks for all you do!

    • February 3, 2014 at 11:52 AM

      Hey Jacqueline,

      Yes, I tend to start with the pupils. The skin won’t work because it has to be white, black or gray. So glad Kelvins is working for you. The dropper is more for white balance not for whiting. I use Kelvins as well and find I sometimes just need to tweak it a little with the dropper. Play around and see what works for you.

  • Debbie
    March 29, 2014 at 10:43 PM

    Hi Courtney, if very low numbers come up or even very high whites using the eye dropper, LR tells me to pick another area. Why is that?

    • March 31, 2014 at 9:30 AM

      Mmm…I’ve never had LR tell me to pick another area. I know that if my numbers are 100,100,100 or 0,0,0 that those areas won’t work b/c they are blown out or clipped.

  • Sarah
    October 21, 2014 at 8:40 PM

    Wow this is really great to learn. I currently use Photoshop/Bridge for editing and have been considering getting LR. I’m still torn between the two since I am a graphic designer by trade. I hear LR makes processing easier to, and I love watching tutorials on it and try to mimic it in Photoshop. Thanks for all your knowledge.

  • Abbie Oleson
    July 13, 2016 at 2:46 PM

    Thanks for the video! It was super helpful! Any chance you would do videos for Photoshop Elements users at some point?

    • July 20, 2016 at 5:22 PM

      Hey Abbie, Unfortunately, I don’t use PSE so it isn’t something I can teach on. However, I’ll keep my eye out for photographers who may be able to write guest posts about it.

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