How to Fix Overexposed Photos in Adobe Lightroom

Adobe Lightroom is an innovative image-altering software and a must-have regardless of the type of photography you do. Have you ever been so excited to take a look at the images you took, only to be disappointed once you see the results? Were your images overexposed, and you are struggling to make them perfect? How can you fix overexposed photos in Lightroom? 

To lower exposure in Lightroom, you should adjust the highlights, exposure, and whites of the photograph. While busy adjusting the photograph, make sure to monitor the histogram. Use different adjustments to make up for the loss of contrast or dark areas that resulted. 

Fixing images on Lightroom does not have to be complicated. With loads of practice, you will master it in no time. Follow this article to learn how to fix overexposed photos and overexposed faces in Lightroom. 

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How To Fix Overexposed Photos In Lightroom

Adobe Lightroom is a professional photo altering software, and many new photographers struggle to get the knack of it. If you are just starting to take on photography and wish to grow your client base and make a business out of it, you must have an excellent portfolio to attract business. 

overexposed photo


Let us take a look at the basic skills you need to master to improve the quality of your images. Here are tips on how to fix overexposed photos in Adobe Lightroom: 

  1. Monitor The Clipping Indicator And The Histogram

Clipping Indicators will reveal when and where an image is overexposed and how faulty the exposure is. To activate the Clipping Indicators, press ‘J’ on your keyboard. This will allow you to see the overexposed areas on the image by overlaying them in red. 

You must observe the histogram as well. The histogram is a graph that depicts the number of pixels in a photo and the level of luminosity. You will find this graph at the upper right of the Development module. 

Brighter pixels are represented closer to the right of the histogram graph. The higher it is on the right side of the graph, the brighter pixels are in the image, and when the graph is flatter on the right side, it means areas of the image are overexposed. 

histogram adobe lightroom


clipping indicators


  1. Make Use Of Luminosity Sliders 

basic with illuminary sliders

  • Option 1: Exposure


This slider will adjust the entire exposure of the image, so it is perfect to use if the whole image is overexposed. Move the slider to the left to fix the overexposure. 

However, the snag of using the exposure slider is that it will influence the brightness of the entire image. The exposure slider will make dark areas of the image even darker.

  • Option 2: Highlights

Use the highlights slider to recoup the overexposed areas of the image. Move the slider to the left, and the brighter areas of the image will reduce in brightness. 

Even though the histogram displays the pixels to the far right side of the graph, the highlights slider can retrieve many overexposed parts.

  • Option 3: Whites

Another option is using the whites slider, but it will only alter the brightest areas of the image. Lowering the whites decreases the contrast better than the highlights slider. 

  • Option 4: Shadows

Use the shadows slider to retrieve areas that got too dark. Usually, this happens when you adjust the exposure slider. 

  • Option 5: Contrast

Sometimes your image will still look monotonous after adjusting the exposure, highlights, whites, and shadows. You might have to enhance the contrast. 

This is easy to fix by only moving the contrast slider to the right until the image looks livelier and you are satisfied with the results. 

  • Option 6: Clarity

The clarity tool adjusts the contrasts in the mid-tones instead of the entire image. You can increase the clarity of the image if you think it will look better. By sliding the clarity slider to the right, the image will become sharper. 

Although it is a useful adjustment, make sure that you do not apply too much clarity to the image as this will result in an unnatural appearance in the photos. 

Use a combination of these editing sliders to achieve the best results. Sometimes it is not necessary to use all of the options outlined above. Maybe you just need to adjust the whites or the shadows. 

Please pay attention to the histogram because it will help you determine the level of luminosity and the number of pixels on an image. The graph will be quite puzzling initially, but you will soon learn how to read it.  

  1. Targeted Adjustment Tool 

range mask luminan


  • Graduated Filter With Luminosity Mask

The luminosity mask allows you to select the brightness values that must be targeted by the adjustments you make. The best way to apply these adjustments to the whole image is by overlaying the image with the graduated filter across the whole image. 

Once you have applied the graduated filter, pick ‘Luminance’ from the drop-down list next to ‘Range Mask’. Range masks help you be more precise about where you want to make adjustments and how it appears. 

Choose what luminosity values you want to target by using the Range slider. The Range slider uses a scale of 0-100 (0 being the darkest and 100 being the brightest).

When using the graduate filter, you can be more precise if you want to target a certain area of the image, e.g., trees that are overexposed. 

There is no need for you to get frustrated. Amazing software like Lightroom can assist you with improving the outcome of your images. Although adjustments and editing can take a lot of time, it is well worth it, especially if you aspire to expand your business. 


The most important part is to pay close attention to details so your image can turn out beautiful. Make sure that you use the adjustment tools correctly while also keeping an eye on the histogram. 

Another great feature of Adobe Lightroom is that it is non-destructive, which means that Lightroom makes adjustments to the images, but without applying changes to the original file. So, you can easily delete your current adjustments and start all over again without having to worry that your images are ruined or cannot be recovered. 

Want to watch the process step-by-step? Check out the video below.