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How to Create an Overexposed Effect in Photoshop

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If you want to make your images look brighter or create more of a dreamy effect, overexposing your pictures can help. But while you can let more light into your camera, you should remember that you’ll lose details in crucial parts of the image.

Luckily, you can overexpose your images in the post-production phase, ensuring that all the technicalities in your photo remain correct. This article will teach you how to create an overexposed effect in Adobe Photoshop as well as Photoshop Express for tablet and smartphone users.


How to Create an Overexposed Effect in Photoshop (Computer)

You can easily overexpose your images within the Photoshop app if you purchase an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription.

You’ll first need to import the picture you want to edit, which you can do by dragging and dropping it into the project you’ve created. Alternatively, you can go to File > Import > Images from Device.

Once your picture is in Photoshop, it’ll create a layer. After expanding it to fit the size of your project, you can select that particular layer. Then, go to the half-colored-in circle icon at the bottom of the Layers panel.


Click on the icon to reveal an extensive dropdown menu. You’ll notice one option titled Exposure, and you must select this to create an overexposed effect.

A Properties tab will appear next to your image. If you don’t want to tweak things too much, you can select one of the Exposure presets—which ranges from -2 to +2.

Alternatively, you can move the Exposure slider as far to the right as you feel necessary for your desired overexposed effect. If your photo looks strange, you can balance things by altering the Offset and Gamma Correction sliders.

Once you’ve made your adjustments, you can export the edited photo to your device. Go to File > Export > Export As, choose JPG or PNG under Format, and click on the blue Export button.

How to Create an Overexposed Effect in Photoshop Express (Tablet and Smartphone)

If you don’t have access to the full Photoshop app on your computer, you can still create an overexposed effect in Adobe Photoshop Express on your tablet or smartphone.

This section will show you how to create an overexposed effect in Photoshop Express; it works the same on smartphone and tablet devices. For our tutorial, we used a tablet.

How to Create an Overexposed Effect Using the Exposure Option

To increase the exposure in your image, go to the Adjustments tab. The icon is at the bottom of your screen, close to the left. Once there, hit the Light option.

Choose Exposure on the Light tab. Use the slider to alter the exposure in your picture until you’re happy with your overexposed result. To compare how different your edit is compared to the original, you can select the mirror icon in the top right.

How to Create an Overexposed Effect Using the Luminance Option

You can also overexpose your pictures in Photoshop Express with the Luminance tool. To access this, go to the HSL option and select Luminance.


Use the slider to determine how much luminance you’d like to add to your photo.

You might, in some instances, be able to use the Subject and Background tools on the right to tweak specific parts of your image. However, this might not be ideal for all images depending on the result you want.

Once done, you can export the image by hitting the Save button at the top. Alternatively, you can export it to a specific platform by going to the Share icon instead.

Overexposing Your Images in Photoshop Is Easy

Photoshop is sometimes confusing to use if you’re a beginner. But if you’re looking to make simple edits, like overexposing your pictures, doing so is pretty straightforward.

You can still use Lightroom to make basic adjustments to colors and lighting, but Photoshop is a fantastic tool for making those finishing touches. Both are in the Adobe Photography Plan subscription, consider using them alongside one another.

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