Learn How to Adjust Your Photo's Brightness for the Best Print

For the past two weeks, we have discussed lighting and photography – discussing the different sources of light and how to manipulate them to get just the right photo. However, even when we try our best, sometimes the photo still needs some tweaking. Lucky for us, the Mixbook editor has a tool to help you make these minor adjustments. We’ve talked about the brightness toolbar in our past Editor 101 entry, but today we’re going to take a closer look at what this tool can do. How to Use It To increase the brightness of a photo, move the slider to the right. The number to the right of the bar should increase. To decrease the brightness, move the slider to the left. You should now see a negative number. Brightness Slider

When to Use It The brightness on your photo should be adjusted if it is over or under exposed. This means that your photo is slightly darker or brighter than you had anticipated and usually results in a loss of detail. If your photo was taken in low lighting, bright sunlight or used the flash, you may want to adjust the brightness.

The following photo was taken at night with a flash. Unfortunately, the photo still came out dark. Dark PhotoBy brightening the photo in the editor, the overall photo improves, showing us more details in the face. Instead of looking dark and gloomy, the photo has gained some warmth and life.

This next photo did not use flash, but the tape dispenser against the white cardboard caused the photo to be slightly over exposed.

Bright PhotoBy decreasing the brightness, we gain some detail in the over exposed areas. This adjustment adds contrast between the tape dispenser and the cardboard, providing a greater distinction between the two. Bright photos may also mean prominent shadows. Decreasing the brightness will soften these shadows and provide you with a better-looking photo.

A Note on Brightness Adjusting the brightness of your photo does affect it in its entirety, so be mindful of your edits. If increased too much, your photo may become over exposed, causing you to lose details in your background. If decreased too much, the photo gets too dark and you won’t be able to see anything at all! This tool should be used sparingly. Think of it as your “In Case of Emergency” tool, instead of a tool to rely on. Remember, photo editing can only do so much, so it’s always better to try and prevent common photo flaws from the get go. A great place to start is by reading our blog entries on lighting.

Got some questions on the photos you want to use in your Mixbook? Post in the comment section below or send support@mixbook.com an e-mail and our print quality specialists will be more than happy to assist you! Happy Mixbooking!

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