The question I hear most often regarding the Basic Panel’s develop settings is, “What is the difference between Exposure vs Brightness, don’t they do the same thing?”

While in general, both the Exposure and Brightness settings act to brighten or darken the exposure of an image, they both do it in a different manner.

In short, exposure has a heavier bias to highlight tones, while Brightness has no bias and affects all tones equally. This means that adjusting Exposure will affect highlights more in brightening or darkening an image than Brightness.

In this Lightroom video tutorial, we are going to discuss the differences between Exposure and Brightness in detail, as well as show you visual examples so that you can see the precise differences between the two settings. In addition, we will help you understand which situations you should be using Exposure over Brightness and vice-versa.

You can see the exported example files that we show in this tutorial by visiting our photo album on the SLR Lounge Facebook Page