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How to Remove Bright Light in Photoshop

Published: 15/06/2023

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Among the challenges of real estate photography is dealing with bright spots due to flash glare and shiny surfaces. This can obscure details, downgrading the quality of your shots. In this article, I'm listing ways how to remove bright light in Photoshop. 

How to Remove Bright Light in Photoshop Using Multiple Ways

The easiest way to remove bright lights in Photoshop is to enable the Multiple Blend Mode or use the Camera RAW filter. Another option is to use the Levels Adjustment Layer or the Content-Aware Fill command. Lastly, you may use the Color Blending Mode and the Brush tool to brush over the bright areas.

You can use Photoshop's several intuitive and manual features to eliminate overexposure, flash glare, and vivid lights in your images.

Method 1: Multiply Blend Mode

First comes one of the quickest ways to restore images that have a bright spot. This method is your best friend and will work on images that don't have specific bright spot areas or flash glare but are completely overexposed. 

  1. Initiate the process by opening your image in Adobe Photoshop CC.
  2. The image still has a locked single background layer.
  3. Grab the layer from the Layers panel, and drop it on the Create a New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. This action will duplicate the background layer and place it above the background layer.
  4. Click on the Blending options and select Multiply.
Removing bright light in an image using the Multipy Blend Mode

Method 2: Camera RAW Filter

The basic adjustments from the Camera RAW Filter in Photoshop are great for tackling the effect of overexposure. The filter alone is a powerful tool that will give you several options to enhance your images.

  1. Begin the editing process by importing your image in Photoshop.
Spacious modern kitchen
  1. Duplicate the background layer by selecting it in the Layers panel and pressing CTRL + J (Windows) or CMD + J (Mac).
  2. Convert the duplicate layer and turn it into a Smart Object. Select it, right-click on it, and choose Convert Into a Smart Object.
  3. Go to the Filter menu, and click Camera RAW Filter from the drop-down. Alternatively, press CTRL/CMD + SHIFT + A.
  4. On the left of the dialog box, you will see the Basic sliders.
  5. Reduce the Exposure and Highlight sliders gradually. Continue until you can see that the gleaming light is gone.
  6. Next, bring up the Contrast, Whites, and Clarity sliders.
Adjusting an image using the Contrast, Whites, and Clarity sliders
  1. You can also use the Tone Curve to adjust the highlights and shadows further.
  2. Click on OK

You can now spot the details otherwise obscured due to the bright spot of this interior view.

Method 3: Levels Adjustment Layer

One of the most instrumental features in Photoshop to adjust the brightness and exposure is the Levels Adjustment Layer. You can use it to fix images with a bright spot. This can also enhance too bright or dark pictures to achieve the perfect balance and remove flash glare.

  1. Import the bright spot image into Photoshop.
Kitchen with bright ceiling lights
  1. Repeat the initial steps above to duplicate a background layer and convert it into a Smart Object.
  2. Click on the Create a New Fill or Adjustment Layer icon (the half-filled circle) at the bottom of the Layers panel.
  3. Click on Levels from the drop-down.
  4. Adjust the sliders given under the Levels graph from the Levels adjustment dialogue box. Decrease the Whites and slightly increase the Blacks to achieve the desired results.
Adjusting an image using the Levels Adjustment Layer

Method 4: Content-Aware Tool

Sometimes, the whole image doesn’t need complete alteration as it only has specific blown-out, bright spots. In such situations, you can use any Selection tool from the toolbar to make a selection of that image area.

The Content-Aware Fill is a highly intuitive Photoshop feature to remove the bright spot. What this does is replace your selection with the surrounding matching pixels. 

In this case, I will remove flash glare or lens flare areas to eliminate the unsightly glare.

  1. After opening your image in Photoshop, make a duplicate layer.
  2. Modify your duplicate by turning it into a Smart Object.
  3. Select the Lasso tool from the toolbar. 
  4. Make a selection of the image area with the flash glare.
  5. Go to the Edit menu (Windows) or Photoshop (Mac), then select Fill.
  6. When the Fill dialog opens, choose Content-Aware Fill from the drop-down.
  7. Click on OK.
  8. Keep on selecting the problem areas one by one, and correct them using the command.
  9. Press CTRL/CMD + D to deselect one selection before moving on to the next one.

Method 5: Brush Tool and Color Blending Mode

The Brush tool method is also handy for spot-fixing and removing flash glare in images. This technique can quickly restore photos with multiple bright spots or lens flares.

  1. Create a background duplicate and convert it into a Smart Object.
  2. Click on the Blending Mode for layers, and select Color from the drop-down.
  3. Press the B button to launch the Brush tool.
  4. Set the Blend Mode to Normal and the Opacity to at least 50%.
  5. Choose the Soft Round Brush
  6. Press the Alt/Option key to change the brush into an Eyedropper tool.
  7. Select an image area near the bright spots or lens flare and release the Alt/Option key.
  8. Brush over the areas you need to fix. Choose suitable colors to replace these areas. Otherwise, you will get an unnatural resulting photo.

Why Do You Need to Fix Bright Spots in Real Estate Images?

Light sources can sometimes make real estate photos vulnerable to unwanted flash glare, glossy patches, and even reduced contrast in interior views. This may happen due to sunlight, background lights, and a wide-angle camera lens. 

For example, the exterior views are mostly shot during broad daylight, inviting glare from the sun’s rays into your images. Meanwhile, wide-angle lenses with a variable focal length make real estate pictures susceptible to flare because they can capture more light.

The issue of bright spot areas camouflages essential details, resulting in a diminished appeal of a property. Fortunately, Adobe Photoshop has fantastic tools and features to help you fix brightly lit photos effectively.


Photoshop's functionality has made taking pictures and enhancing them to perfection easier. You can choose the Blend Mode, Camera RAW Filter, Levels Adjustment Layer, Content-Aware Fill, or the Brush tool. I hope these methods mentioned above will give you a helping hand in fixing overexposed photos in Photoshop.


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