It can be extremely annoying to deal with dark areas of an image. Using Curves isn’t always the best option because the highlights of the image tend to get blown out as well. We ran into this same problem when trying to use Levels to brighten up dark areas. So with two of our most commonly used techniques rendered useless, we had to find another method that would brighten up the shadows without blowing out the Highlights.
Our best option is the Shadows/Highlights options. This allows us to only effect the shadows or only adjust our Highlights. This is an extremely powerful Tool because of the precision is gives us when working on an image. There is even a way to bring the Color back into our image which really helps tie it all together.