There is a quick solution to bring back under/overexposed photos to life in PS CS. If your subject is underexposed you can select Image/Adjustment/Shadow/Highlight to lighten up only the dark areas of your image.
In fact you can use the same command with different settings to darken images where the flash has overexposed the image.
The controls of this tool are quite obvious. If you want to lighten up your dark areas, keep the Highlights slide on 0% and move the Shadows slide from 0-100% and see what effect it gives you. If you want to darken light areas, do the opposite. Naturally, this tool will ultimately will stretch the range of colors in those specific dark or light areas resulting in significant drop in image quality. Therefore, if you’re lucky enough to have a 16 bit image to start with, use this tool before converting the image to 8 bit.
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