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Brightness vs Exposure vs Fill Light in Lightroom

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Hi this is Elizabeth Halford from on behalf of pretty presets for Lightroom and adobe camera raw and today we are going to be talking about the difference between exposure, brightness and fill light.

Now this part of your basic adjustment panel which is in the develop module of Lightroom. And the first thing we’re going to talk about is exposure. Now you can see on the right there is an exposure slider. Two sliders below that is fill light and two sliders below that is brightness. It’s really important to know the difference between these three different ways of brightening and lighting you photo so that you can make an educated decision about which one you’re going to employ.

Shifting your exposure is kind like changing the in camera settings but you’re doing it in post-production. To be a bit more technical, it scales the settings up and down by  constant multiplying factors. Moving this slider either increases or decreases all of the elements that go into obtaining the correct exposure but it moves them all at once together.

Let’s talk about brightness. Brightness is commonly known as the slider that adjusts your mid-tones. And although many think that this is all the brightness slider does there’s a little bit more to it than that. Because all of the settings still change whilst utilizing the brightness slider, but it preserves the highlights better than simply dialling up the exposure. And it affects the mid-tones more nicely than pumping the exposure up.

And lastly fill light. The fill light slider brightens the dark bits and pretty much leaves everything else alone, unlike the brightness and exposure sliders which lighten everything at once. Adjusting the fill lights can be a good way to lighten your photo without clipping the highlights.

So now you know the difference between exposure, brightness and fill light so you can make an educated decision about which one you are going to employ when editing your photos.

Again this has been Elizabeth Halford from pretty presets for Lightroom and adobe camera raw. You can find them online at Thank you so much for watching.

Elizabeth Halford is a professional photographer and blogger. She gives real photography advice in real.plain.english. Visit her on Facebook and join a community of photographers just like you!

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