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Editing Low-Light Photos

By Nikki | Inspiration

Let me set the scene: you’re out with a friend whom you haven’t seen in months, having a drink and catching up. When your drink arrives, you marvel at its beauty and quickly pull out your phone to snap a shot to help you remember the great night (and delicious drink) you’re having. But, the bar, like many bars, is super dark. With only the light of the candles to help you capture the shot, you photo is basically unreadable. Fret not! Before you hit “delete,” use BeFunky’s Photo Editor to salvage that low-light photo!

Step 1: Getting the Shot

If you know that your photo is going to have very little light, it’s important to make sure that it isn’t blurry and that there’s at least some light in it, which will help when editing. The photo I have chosen is from a night out with my sister. We stopped by a cute little Tiki bar in Oakland, CA for a couple of tropical cocktails.

kona low light

The drink I ordered is one of their specialties, and it’s called a Macadamia Nut Chi Chi. Not only is it delicious, but it's also pretty. To commemorate how pretty it is, I took a very dark picture, and now it’s Befunky to the rescue!

Step 2: Editing

In the “edit” section of the BeFunky Photo Editor, there are several tools that can help you bring out the light in your darker photos. The main categories I'm going to use for this edit are Beautify, Exposure: Brightness, Highlight, and Fill Light, and Sharpen.

step 1

First I use beautify, which I apply at 75%, then I go to exposure and I apply brightness at 5%, highlight at 25%, and fill light at 50%.

step 2
step 3

The combination of these tools lightens up the picture enough were I can see the facets of my subject, as well as the bar behind it. I also apply the sharpen tool at 10% just to give a little definition to my picture.

Step 3: Cleaning up the Shot

When editing any dark photo, you are going to see a certain amount of graininess, and instead of adding a filter, which might darken the photo again and detract from the focus of it, I go to textures and add in Light Leaks 3 and apply it at 80% to shift the focus from the graininess of the photo to the subject itself.

step 4
step 5

This helps to hide the graininess of the photo and add some more light to it to liven it up.

Step 4: Saving and Sharing

When I’m happy with my edit, I first save it to my computer:

step 6

And then to my BeFunky profile to share it with fellow tropical drink enthusiasts:

step 7

Now, I have a gorgeous photo of my lovely drink to remember my night out with my sister at our favorite Tiki bar!

konalowlight final edit

Want to turn your drab low-light photos into fab photos?

Photo Editing, Simplified.

Photo Editing. Simplified