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Automatically Matching Exposures

If you’ve run into a situation where you have some images where the exposure or overall tone is off, Lightroom can usually fix it for you, pretty much automatically. This is great if you’re shooting landscapes and the exposure changes on you as the light changes, or if you’re shooting a portrait and your exposure changes as you’re taking the shots, or about any time where you want a consistent tone and exposure across a set of images.

Step One:

Take a look at this set of images, taken with window light. The first one is too bright, the second one’s too dark, the third looks about right (well, to me anyway), and the fourth and fifth look underexposed. So the exposure for these images is kind of all over the place. One brighter, three darker, and one looks okay.

Step Two:

Click on the image that has overall exposure you want (to make it the “most selected” image), then press-and-hold the Command (PC: Ctrl) key and click on the other images to select them, as well. Now, press D to jump to the Develop module.

Go under the Settings menu and choose Match Total Exposures (as shown here). That’s it. There are no settings. There’s no dialog. No window. It just does its thing.

Press G to jump back to the Grid view, and now compare these images to the ones in Step One, and you can see that they all have a consistent exposure now. This works pretty darn well in most cases, which makes it pretty darn handy.

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