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Using The Exposure Tool

 Adjust brightness with Exposure.

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What is Exposure?

Exposure generally refers to image brightness. The term “exposure” is rooted in traditional photography, where a film or digital sensor is “exposed” to light that is turned into an image.

Our eyes adjust for light levels by changing the size of the pupil, so cameras must do the same to match our vision. More exposure means more light and therefore a brighter image, while less means darker. 

Exposure is now handled automatically by our modern smartphone cameras, but they don’t always capture what we saw. The Exposure toolmceclip0.jpg allows you to brighten or darken your image both for correction and expression.

Where it is:

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Why would you use it?

We experience varying light levels every day in the cycles of day and night, and thus we have emotional connections to various light levels. One reason for this is the varying levels of melatonin and serotonin that follow our circadian rhythms. Another reason is our life experiences at various times of the day. Therefore, changing the brightness of an image can alter the feeling it conveys. For example:


Dark: Moody, dramatic, quiet, tired, fearful, cold

Bright: Energetic, happy, focused, hot

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Notice what dramatic shifts in mood occur in this shot with exposure changes. The darkened version feels like it must be later in the day, and feels calmer, where the brightened version feels like it must be the middle of the day and has more energy.

Exposure can also be used practically to emphasize or de-emphasize elements of a scene.

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Here, we can choose to make the subjects silhouettes, emphasizing the art in the background, or reveal the details of their faces. No version is right or wrong, it just depends on what you want to draw attention to.

Tips & Tricks:

1. Typically exposure is one of the first steps in an editing workflow, hence it is placed at the front of the tools tray. 

2. Decreasing exposure can emphasize textures like skin more, while increasing exposure can decrease them.

3. Double tapping the slider returns it to 0.

4. Changing exposure will also change how a preset interacts with your image. 

5. For RAW images, the exposure tool is labeled “RAW Exposure” and it does in fact alter exposure like standard desktop apps. However, the numbers do not represent EV values., they're simply for reference.