How to Brighten Underexposed Photos on an Android Phone


One of the most common problems that i have encountered with photos taken from an cell phone camera is related to photos coming out underexposed or dark. Which usually happens if the subject in a photo always comes out darker if there is a light source behind.
Well this can always be avoided if you make use of the HDR mode in your camera. The HDR mode will ensure that both the subject and the background in the photograph are well exposed and the resulting photograph won’t be underexposed. Alternatively you can always use image manipulation programs such as Photoshop and dramatically improve the quality of the photograph. But this is not a piece of cake as it requires detailed knowledge of the editing software features and capabilities. Which is why the easiest way to brighten a photo would be to use a photo editing app on your android phone.
If you already have a photo on your phone in which the subject came out darker, you can make use of one of the several photo editing apps available for android phones and brighten the photo. The best one for this purpose will be Google’s own Snapseed photo editor. The reason why i am preferring Snapseed is because it has one of the easiest user interface among all the photo editing apps I’ve tried.
Here’s how you can use Snapseed to adjust the brightness of an underexposed image and make it brighter.
Download and install Snapseed on your android phone from the Play store link provided at the bottom of this page. Now here comes the main part, there are two ways by which you can brighten photos using the Snapseed app.

  1. First, you can make use of the Selective Adjustment feature to select and brighten up a portion of an photo.
  2. Secondly, you can use the Tune Image feature to adjust the shadows in order to brighten up the dark portion in a photo.

Well, both these methods have their own advantage, so i would advise you to try both and decide for yourself which provides the best results. So here’s how you can brighten photographs on your android phone using snapseed.

Using selective adjustment feature to brighten photos on Snapseed

This feature is really helpful when you want to brighten just a selective portion of an photograph, such as if you are trying to brighten a face. So here’s how you can do this.

  • Step 1: Open Snapseed and choose a photo from your phone’s gallery.


  • Step 2: Tap on selective adjustment.


  • Step 3: Tap on the plus button and then tag again on any portion of the image which you want to brighten. Now you would see a dot with B. The B is default for brightness and if you swipe your finger up or down, you can choose between other presets too such as contrast and saturation.


  • Step 4: Now swipe from left to right in order to increase the brightness, doing the reverse would decrease the brightness.


  • Step 5: Tap on the tick button to save the edited photo.

Using Tune Image feature to brighten photos on Snapseed

  • Step 1: Tap on Tune Image.


  • Step 2:  Now swipe your finger from bottom to top in order to choose the shadow preset.


  • Step 3: Swipe your finger from left to right to brighten the shadows and the opposite to increase the shadows.


  • Step 4: Tap on the tick button to save the edited photo.

That’s it, now compare both the photos and you can see for yourself which feature provided the best results.
Download: Snapseed for Android

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