How do I lighten my shadows to see more detail in my photos?

We have compiled a list of the TOP50 questions that we hear on our workshops. From gear, to settings, to composition, and shooting styles, we have decided to post three questions and answers a week till we get through them all.

We hope they answer some of the questions that you may have. Here is today’s question.

Question: How do I lighten my shadows to see more detail in my photos?

Answer: The best the way to avoid that problem is to learn how to use your exposure compensation settings in your digital camera. By using Exposure Compensation, depending on your camera, you can increase your compensation in 1/3 increments up to 3 stops over.

Sometimes raising your ISO to increase your digital camera’s sensitivity to light and will also increase the darkness in your shadows.

Thanks to digital photography, however, it’s pretty easy to learn how to lighten dark photos in Photoshop or other similar photo editors.

Here are a few methods you might try…



Thanks for reading,



Kevin A Pepper

Kevin is a photographer and educator based in Waterloo, Ontario. His first love is photographing nature, regardless of the season or weather condition; the Ontario landscape and its wildlife are his inspiration. But you will also see other styles of photography in his portfolio. From street photography to urban exploration of abandoned buildings and architecture, he loves to capture it all with his camera for his corporate clients and his growing personal portfolio. Kevin’s images have been featured in Canadian Nature Photographer, PHOTONews Canada, Photo Technique Magazine, The London Free Press, The Weather Network, and National Geographic Online. His diverse client list includes the City of Cambridge, Olympus, GORE Mutual, TVO, and African Lion Safari. Kevin also operates “Northof49 Photography”, a company launched in 2012 dedicated to teaching amateur photographers through International and Canadian-based workshops. In the coming year, Kevin will be leading workshops in Iceland, Mongolia, Tanzania, Venezuela, Provence, and numerous destinations across Canada. Website: