Lightroom - How To Set The Correct Exposure

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People tend to think of Exposure as a global image adjustment. In reality, adjusting the Exposure Slider in Lightroom only targets the pixels in the center band of the histogram, i.e. it doesn't affect the brightest or darkest areas of your image. What the exposure slider does though is brighten or darken that middle range, and there are two methods you can use to correctly set the exposure.  The exposure slider sits in the Basic panel of the Develop Module.

METHOD 1 - Press and hold the SHIFT key, then double click anywhere on the Exposure Slider. Lightroom then automatically adjusts the exposure for you and adjusts the slider to what it thinks is the optimum setting. Lightroom actually does a pretty good job of it most of the time!

METHOD 2 - Adjust the slider by hand to get the tonal range you think looks best. Often, I start with Method 1 and then fine-tune the slider myself using Method 2.

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