This tutorial will show you how to fix those overexposed / washed out photographs with a little bit of Adobe Photoshop CS5 know how.
As always we need some photos, I always assume you already have a photo you wish to edit that’s why your here ( isn’t it? ). Either way you can follow along with the images I’ve used.
And this is the beautiful sky.
So now you should have both of these images open in photoshop.
With the Sky image open, you need to “Select All”
Select –> All or “Ctrl+A”
Now select the overexposed sky image and then paste the Beautiful blue sky onto it.
Edit–> Paste or “Ctrl+V”
The step above number 4, will automatically create a new layer called “Layer 2″. You need to make this invisible by clicking on the little eye icon next to it, like you can see in the image below.
Make sure you are still on layer 1. Now you need to select the overexposed sky. The easiest way is using the magic wand tool. Another way is using the Colour Range tool but that will be another tutorial.
Now you need to inverse that selection, this is because we don’t actually want the sky, its the other parts we are actually after. This will soon become clear.
Select –> Inverse or “Shift+Ctrl+I”
So with Layer 1 still selected and your inverted selection still selected, we need to click on the “Add Layer Mask” icon as seen below.
So far if all has gone well, this is what you should be seeing.
Now drag Layer 2 to the bottom, below or under Layer 1 with the mask and make it visible again. Remember you do this by clicking on where the eye icon was. All should be as below.
And this is the finished image. So much better than the original image.
As you can see from the Before And After image below, this has significantly improved this image. You may have even deleted this from your digital camera and wasted what could be such a great photo. With a few minutes in photoshop you can end up with a cracker! The great thing too is you can choose and sunset, sunrise, night time shot, star trails, anything you want!