Fixing a Blown Out Photo Using Lightroom Presets

Sometimes, no matter how seasoned the photographer, you end up blowing your exposure.  Regardless of the excuse, if your favorite image has blown out highlights, you may want to use this easy to follow editing fix.

Here’s how I edited this photo using MCP Enlighten Lightroom Presets on a slightly blown out photo.


The starting image:
Before Shot


The presets used from MCP Enlighten.

  1. White Balance – Outside: High Noon
  2. Darken: 2/3 stop
  3. Style: clean
  4. Turn on Lens Correction
  5. Overlay: Chamomile
  6.  Tweak Colors: Always remember to watch how skin tones are affected by your color tweaks. For this photo I am going to stay away from the color Orange as she has a natural tinted glow to her skin and I don’t want her to look like she’s out of a children’s movie about a chocolate factory, as shown below.  I used Green: Deepen and Blue: Pop to tweak the colors.Too much color

Now because we’re shooting snow, blue will affect the shadows here along with the sky, if the effect is too much for your taste and you’re looking to be a little more advanced go to your HSL/Color/BW panel on the right, make sure it’s set to show All, and slide your color back until you’ve reached your desired amount. This can be done now or later for final tweaks and works for all colors.

I slid the Blue saturation back to +40 to accommodate for this.

Lastly comes Completing your look. Still using Enlighten presets and manual tweaks.

9. Highlight Protection: Strong. I backed it down even further  to -73 as we were shooting in direct sunlight on bright white snow.

10. Shadows: Slight Darken to add some depth

I went with a Medium contrast and lastly set my edge darken to slight to draw the viewer in to my subject. Finally I cropped to an 8×10 and there you go. With just a few clicks we’ve gone from blown out to a great finished product our clients will love using MCP Enlighten Lightroom Presets. Note the richer colors and details in the white dress and snow.

After edit


Sarah Rocca Vento is a Massachusetts based wedding and portrait photographer at Sarah J Photography. When not taking photos Sarah enjoys spending time with her husband, 2 small dogs and 1 large cat. Follow her journey on her website and Facebook.

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