To correct the lightness or brightness in your images, you can reach for a Levels adjustment. In this video you'll learn how to use Levels non-destructively, plus you'll learn how to use the Levels histogram and sliders to visually adjust the dark and light areas of your image to create greater contrast. Happily, this technique works exactly the same way in Photoshop Elements. Click this link to watch the video on the Layers magazine web site: http://planetphotoshop.com/levels-adjustments-in-photoshop-cs6.html
I hope you enjoy it!