thinking outside the box
Brighten Up Your Day!
One of the most common exposure problems with cameras is that foreground subjects become underexposed when taken against a bright background such as the sky. Photo & Graphic Designer and Designer Pro X have two controls for brightening dark areas or shadows in photos and for reducing over- bright highlights. Note: This tutorial has been updated to cover Photo & Graphic Designer (May 2016) and Designer Pro X (July 2016) 365 versions. I recently processed a batch of photos taken with quite an expensive camera and almost every image could be improved with the use of the Shadow Enhance feature. Here’s an example.               Click to enlarge any photo A combination of photographing in bright sunlight, a bright sky and reflections from the water has produced a poor image, that you might think is un-recoverable. But using the Shadow enhance tool, along with some slight brightness adjustment, I was able to recover much of the details lost in the dark shadow areas. Here’s a reminder of the set of photo enhance controls available in from the Photo Tool


Here are step-by-step instructions on how to enhance your photo in a similar way. First open the photo. You can do this using the File > Open… menu, but it’s often quicker to just drag the  JPG file onto the title bar of Xara Designer. Both these techniques open the photo as the full size and resolution stand-alone photo. (If, instead, you dragged the photo onto the page of an existing document, this will import it often at a lower resolution.) With the photo selected, click on the Photo Tool icon  On the top InfoBar you will see the Enhance options, shown above, which include the Shadows brightness and Highlights brightness controls we’re going to cover in this tutorial. Simply click on the small down arrow and adjust the slider as required.  
1 Before After
Warm / Cold
Sharpen / Blur
Color Tint