Thanks for everyone's help in the 4FQT comments on fixing the light levels on our pictures from Gavin's 4th Fake Question Time townhall meeting! As readers suggested, we downloaded the Gimp (we're too cheap to shell out for Photoshop) and tried to figure out what exactly fixing a "logarithmic color curve" entails.
We still don't know, so we basically just played around with a bunch of features and retouched the pictures as seen here. These definitely look less dark than the ones we took, but we still think our technique needs a little more refinement (especially for the picture of Fiona Ma's dog).
As always, comments and advice on photo finishing tips helpfully accepted in the comments! You can check out our befores and afters in the original post, or after the jump.