How to darken the exposure of only the lightest areas of a photo
Here’s an Advanced Photoshop trick that might help you out one day. The trick allows you to target only the most over exposed sections of the picture. This will ensure the rest of the tone and quality in the rest of the picture remain intact.
Once you have the picture in question open click on the Channels tab (normally bottom right hand side in Photoshop).
Holding the Control key down double click the “RGB” layer. I’ve marked with the screenshot with a red “X” where you should click. This will allow you to select ONLY the lightest areas of the picture.
Hit “Ctrl+J” to take the selection you just made and make a copy of it to another layer.
If you click back to the “layers” tab select “Multiply” to darken these areas. If the effect is a bit much you can adjust the “opacity” to your liking. In this example I pulled the effect back by setting the opacity of “86%”.
If this doesn’t bring back enough detail and you want to darken things a bit more just make a copy of the top most layer. Keep copying the layer until you get the image exposure where you want. Hope this helps!