The screenshot below is what the file looked like as shot. I did the screenshot because when I open the NEF file it reverts to the color information even though I shot it in black and white. Having you you at the color version wouldn't give you an accurate difference in the before or after.
So, as you can see my original was way over-exposed. I shoot on manual so I messed this frame up, trying to catch my moving targets - the biker and the runner - in the same frame. Looking at the screenshot now I kind of like it like this but that doesn't make this post a Photography tip.
Moving on, this is the list of what I did in Photoshop to create the above 'After' version from this 'Before' version:
- using Levels, I moved the left side arrow and slid it slightly to the right
- using Curves, I chose to click the Auto button
- using Brightness/Contrast, I also chose to click the Auto button
And that was it, easy-peasy.