© 2012 Darcy

Fixing photos with bad lighting

I tried this in GIMP and it seems to work okay:

Open up the photo and duplicate the layer containing it.
Invert the duplicated layer. (The shortcut is Control/Command+I in Photoshop and is likely the same in other image editors.)
Set the duplicated layer’s blending mode to Overlay.
Optional: Reduce the opacity of the duplicated layer if the effects are too much.
Optional: Merge the two layers and adjust the levels or curves to suit your taste. (If you’re in Photoshop, you can just make a new adjustment layer to do this.)

An alternative method I found in the comments:

1. duplicate the layer
2. desaturated it
3. invert the colors
4. add a gaussian blur, say about 10 pixels
5. make the layer overlay
optional mentioned in the article also applies.


  1. Guy
    Posted March 1, 2012 at 6:11 pm | #

    It looks like just increasing the gamma would do the trick

  2. Posted February 29, 2012 at 12:29 pm | #

    That is clever, I’ll be using that in the future…

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