Photoshop expert Howard Pinsky take a look at a (very) dark image, and what you can do to dramatically improve the way it looks in just a couple of minutes using Photoshop’s Camera RAW.
Simply increasing the exposure of an image in Camera RAW (always shoot in RAW!) when you have a dark image isn’t a good idea as you are going to introduce tons of noise into your image. However, as Pinsky shows in this video there are ways to handle noise (at least to a degree – it isn’t magic mind you).
So basically after you finished “playing” with the exposure,color, tint, shadows, blacks etc. – head over to the details tab where you can find the noise reduction. Setting the Luminescence and detail relatively high as well as the sharpness (on the top) can really help) and increase the lights in the tone curve tab. Remember to press the shift key when you are applying the changes to your images and moving back to Photoshop so that the image will be open as a smart object that you can always change if you want – pretty cool isn’t it?