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Best way to brighten image with Lightroom or photoshop
Old 02-24-2017   #1
Captain Kidd
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Best way to brighten image with Lightroom or photoshop

Recently, knowing that an image would appear darker when printed, I used Lightroom and increased the exposure setting by +.5, the picture when printed came out quite well, still a little darker but I know matching a print to what you see on a bright backlit screen is next to impossible.

My question is, did I go about brightening the image the correct way, is using the exposure setting the right way to go about it? Or should I b using a different setting in Lightroom.

I'm sending the pictures to a printing shop so not printing at home.

Thanks for any advice
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Old 02-24-2017   #2
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You know this is a tricky situation...
My advice would be to lower the brightness of you screen by the 0.5 stops...
Otherwise, in LR, exposure is the one you're after. Always double check the histogram to see what the dark/light extremes of the image fall, as they're set irrespective of screen brightness and should map well to the print.
Good luck!
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Old 02-24-2017   #3
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This is quite a complex question to answer. Some more information would help:
- is the original a digital RAW file or a scan from a negative? Negative scans can have greater headroom and flexibility for adjusting tones close to white when you are boosting dark tones, in my experience.
- do you understand how to use the histogram in Lightroom? This will help you to avoid blown highlights and loss of shadow detail.

I don't know your experience level so I'll stick to the basic workflow I use:
- remember prints have much lower contrast than screen
- I find it useful to anchor a black point and a white point when post processing for prints. Dark tones on screen can translate to pure black in prints, so boosting shadows in LR or CS is often necessary to avoid loss of shadow detail in prints
- I usually start by using the tone controls in LR then the Tone Curve sliders to fine tune, most frequently by boosting shadows, darks and lights.
- Use proofing view in LR to get a better estimate of where to adjust the tone curve

Edit: what I'm saying is that just boosting the exposure is often not the only step needed - you usually also need to adjust the tone curve to make sure highlights and shadow detail are retained, and the tones look natural.
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Old 02-24-2017   #4
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Originally Posted by michaelwj View Post
You know this is a tricky situation...
My advice would be to lower the brightness of you screen by the 0.5 stops...

Proper monitor calibration is important. Using consistent room lighting is important. Gamma parameter consistency is important.
“To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.” George Orwell

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Old 02-24-2017   #5
Captain Kidd
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Im working on an imac and used the calibration tool in preferences, my monitor is set to 3 in brightness so its not hugely bright. The result, I got by finding the right look on screen in Lightroom and then added +.5 to exposure, with the print is quite good. Im just curious really if using exposure like that removes a little detail, if i would be better using something else.

I think its trial and error, knowing when to reduce highlights after increasing exposure.

Im beginning to get a better grasp of histograms but am i right to say there is no perfect histogram, obviously you dont want to blow out the whites but sometimes a picture does include maybe a very bright sky with white clouds which might lead to the histogram being heavy to the right, or sometimes heavy in the shadows if there are alot of shadows.

Thanks for the help, its a bit of a nightmare really, the brightness of the room im sitting in affects the screen!
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