How to Fix Washed out Sunlight Photos in Lightroom – Easy Steps

How to Fix Washed out Sunlight Photos in Lightroom

How to Fix Washed out Sunlight Photos in Lightroom – Easy Steps

Ever get the feeling that sometimes your images look a bit washed out, lacking some color or contrast?

It doesn’t happen all the time, but cameras tend to get the exposure wrong under certain lighting conditions. If you’ve captured an image that’s too bright, don’t worry because Lightroom can recover the image.

Learn how you can fix overexposed lighting in the Lightroom in this article.

How to Fix Washed out Sunlight Photos in Lightroom

Exposure slider

The exposure slider adjusts the overall brightness of the image. It’s the easiest way to adjust exposure in Lightroom, and due to its sensitivity, you have to be careful.

When you move the slider to the left, the image becomes darker. When you move the slider to the right, it gets brighter.

How to Fix Washed out Sunlight Photos in Lightroom

If this doesn’t help you, you can try the following steps.


You can apply ‘over the top’ & ‘define’ presets from the Life in Color Lightroom preset collection.

This helped set the base of the edit with just two clicks.

How to Fix Washed out Sunlight Photos in Lightroom


Next, you adjust the blacks, whites, and exposure in the Basic panel to make subtle changes to the overall look of the edit.

Lightroom Presets aren’t always a 1-click wonder, so knowing your way around Lightroom can make all the difference in your editing!

How to Fix Washed out Sunlight Photos in Lightroom


Next, you would have to open the brush tool and applied a soft dodge brush over your subjects to subtly brighten their faces without overexposing their skin.

Next, you shall enhance the color of the sunset behind the object with a colorized sunset brush; you can see the brush settings in the image below.

How to Fix Washed out Sunlight Photos in Lightroom


After applying the brushes, you would go back to the basic panel, adjusted the temperature to warm up the photo slightly, and adjust the exposure to make it perfect.

You can see how quick and easy it can be to turn a dull, washed-out image into something much more lively and fun just with presets and brushes!

How to Fix Washed out Sunlight Photos in Lightroom

You can also try the Tone Curve feature for more clarification.


The Tone Curve is typically the last place you can go when fixing an overexposed photo in Lightroom. The photo potentially looks too dark now since we’ve been bringing down all of the light to recover details.

Using the Tone Curve, you can try darkening your blacks. Please do this by creating a point at the lower-left intersection of the x and y-axis and then dragging it to the right along the x-axis. You should see the blacks become darker in the photo.

Darkening the blacks using the tone curve should have less of a harsh effect than using the Blacks slider.

How to Fix Washed out Sunlight Photos in Lightroom

Why you’re getting overexposed photos

An overexposed photo occurs when the brightest part of the image is too bright and “washed out.” Suppose you don’t know why you’re getting overexposed images.

Three things affect exposure and the brightness of an image. They are ISO, shutter speed, and aperture.


One of the most common ways that cause overexposure is an ISO that’s set too high. For example, if it’s a bright and sunny day, an ISO of 100 is perfect. If you set the ISO at 400, the photo will likely turn out too bright.


Once you’ve set your ISO to the lowest possible, adjust the aperture. The wider your aperture, which means a lower f-stop number (the number that you see on your camera or lens as you adjust the size of your aperture), the more light that’s able to hit your camera sensor. To make the image darker, increase the f-stop number.

Shutter Speed.

Shutter Speed controls the amount of time that your camera sensor is exposed to light. When it comes to shutter speed, overexposure occurs when it’s too slow.

Note: Shooting in manual mode will allow you to control the ISO, aperture, and shutter speed.

A great way to avoid overexposed images is to use the light meter in your camera to measure exposure. This is a helpful tool to use when you’re changing your settings because you’ll be able to see how it affects the exposure.

Shoot in RAW

When you shoot in RAW instead of JPEG, editing will be easier, and you’ll have more options. The chances of recovering a RAW image are much higher than a JPEG image because RAW files contain more image data than JPEG.

Although there’s no rule on what you should be using, RAW files will give you more flexibility in post-processing. On the flip side, JPEG files are smaller, so they take up less space on your memory card.


Therefore, consider which will be best for your situation before you go into a photoshoot. If you want to be able to manipulate the image easily in post-processing, shoot in RAW.


How do you know if a photo is overexposed?

You can tell if a photo is too bright if the details are lost in the highlights, which are the brightest parts of the image. You can also use the histogram graph. If it’s to the right, then it’s overexposed.

Is it better to shoot overexposed or underexposed?

Avoid overexposure, and shoot an underexposed image, if you have the choice. When it’s underexposed, you still have the details in the photo, which you can brighten to reveal clearly.

Why are my photos overexposed?

The root cause of overexposure is your settings. Try making your aperture smaller, shutter speed faster, or use a lower ISO.


Overexposure to image happens with everyone, and Lightroom is a great way to fix the problem. Upload your image to Lightroom, and then you can choose a method of fixing the exposure.

To save you time and effort, try to avoid overexposure when you’re shooting. The best way to avoid it is to keep an eye on the light meter and perfectly expose the brightest part of the image.

You can also turn on the histogram in your camera to ensure that your images are well-exposed every time.

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