Correcting Lighting with Fill Light in Adobe Camera Raw 6

This tutorial shows you how to use Camera Raw to quickly fix common lighting problems in your photographs before doing any in depth editing. You learn how to correct dark subjects due to back lighting, incorrect white balance, and midtones that are too dark.


Adobe CS5

Correcting lighting with Fill Light in Adobe Camera Raw 6

  1. Open Photoshop CS3, then go to File>Open and select a photo with poor lighting. Select Camera Raw in the Format dropdown as shown below: 

    2.  This brief tutorial uses the picture below, but you can use any image with poor lighting. (To use this image, you can drag it to your desktop or right click and choose             Save Image As to save it to your computer.)

    3.  Press the F key to work with Camera Raw in full screen mode.

        4.  First you will correct the White Balance. Choose the White Balance tool and select a white or neutral-colored highlight in the image.

        5.  Choose the Basic panel and drag the Temperature slider to the left to keep the blue color of the graduation gown.

        6.  Now, to remove the shadows, you might be tempted to adjust the Exposure settings. But notice, as you drag the slider to the left or right, this adjusts the brightness             of the entire image - not just the faces.

        7.  To adjust the mid-tones of the image, use the Fill Light slider instead. Click and drag the slider to the right (to about 33 points) to lighten up the midtones without                 blowing out the highlights as shown in the image below.


          Increasing the Fill Light amount brightens the mid-tones of the image, including the faces, without blowing out the highlights.

        8.  When you increase the Fill Light, it helps to also increase the Blacks a little. Move the slider about five points to give the shadows a bit of depth. 

        9.  Next, choose the Crop tool

     to select the male and female graduates.

        10.  Click and drag a rectangular area around the two graduates. Move your cursor over one of the corner handles until a double-sided curved arrow appears. This lets            you rotate the crop area. Click and drag the corner to align the top side of the box with the horizon. Now the image will be straight when you bring it into Photoshop            CS5 for further refining. 


        11.  Finally, click Open Image to continue editing the image with Photoshop's full features.