Page 1

5 EASY PHOTOSHOP TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR PHOTOS

1

5 EASY PHOTOSHOP TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR PHOTOS Text and layout © www.discoverdigitalphotography.com All photos used are copyright David Kennard Photography

1


5 EASY PHOTOSHOP TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR PHOTOS

2

Although you can spend hours in the digital darkroom tweaking your photos to perfection, there are some techniques that are quick and easy, and make an immediately noticeable improvement.

In this document I discuss five of these techniques, all of these can be applied in both Photoshop

Elements as well as the full Photoshop CS versions. Most other image editing programs such as Paint Shop Pro also have similar tools available to achieve the same effects.

The Keyboard shortcuts mentioned in this document are based on the Windows version of

Photoshop. If you using a Mac, where a keyboard shortcut uses the Ctrl key, use the Cmd key instead.

Text and layout Š www.discoverdigitalphotography.com All photos used are copyright David Kennard Photography

2


5 EASY PHOTOSHOP TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR PHOTOS

3

Local Contrast Enhancement Local Contrast Enhancement (LCE) works by darkening or brightening areas where a transition

between a dark and light tone occurs. It is a good way to add contrast to an image without darkening larger dark areas or brightening larger light areas too much.

Image before applying Local Contrast Enhancement

Image after applying Local Contrast Enhancement

Text and layout Š www.discoverdigitalphotography.com All photos used are copyright David Kennard Photography

3


5 EASY PHOTOSHOP TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR PHOTOS

4

To apply LCE to an image, start by duplicating the current image - there are a few different ways you can do this: •

Select the current image layer and press Ctrl + J, or

Click the layer and drag it down to the 'New layer' icon, or

Press Ctrl + A to select all. Press Ctrl + Shift + C to copy merged. Now press Ctrl + V to

paste, you may need to adjust the positioning of the pasted image slightly using the move tool to ensure it is exactly aligned with the original image (or you can use Ctrl + Shift + V to

paste in the same position if you are using Photoshop CS5). Use this option if you want to apply the effect to a document made from multiple layers.

Now with your new layer selected, on the menu go to Filter > Other > High Pass. Choose a radius of 100 pixels for the High pass filter, then click OK.

Highpass filter dialog in Photoshop Elements Change the blending mode for the Highpass layer to Overlay, and reduce the effect by lowering the layer's opacity. Typically an opacity of 15-30 percent works well, though you can of course use a higher opacity for a stronger effect.

Blend mode and opacity options in Photoshop Element Text and layout © www.discoverdigitalphotography.com All photos used are copyright David Kennard Photography

4


5 EASY PHOTOSHOP TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR PHOTOS

5

Curves adjustment A curves adjustment is an easy way to change specific tones in an image. Although it can be used to darken or brighten a whole image, usually we will use it to increase the contrast by darkening the dark tones, and brightening the light tones.

Image before applying curves adjustment

Image after applying curves adjustment

Text and layout Š www.discoverdigitalphotography.com All photos used are copyright David Kennard Photography

5


5 EASY PHOTOSHOP TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR PHOTOS

6

Photoshop Elements doesn't include a real curves adjustment ability, so doing a curves adjustment

isn't as easy as it is in Photoshop CS. Still, it is possible to perform curves adjustments in Photoshop Elements, you will need to start by downloading and installing the Smart Curve Curves Adjustment for Photoshop Elements.

Although Photoshop Elements does include a rudimentary curves adjustment that can be accessed

via Enhance > Adjust Color > Adjust Color Curves, I would recommend installing the curves plugin for the greater control that it gives you.

The Smart Curve doesn't work as an adjustment layer, so you will first need to make a copy your image to apply the adjustment to (see the section above for how to create a copy layer). For this image I used the copy merged method as I have more than 1 layer making up the image.

With the copied layer selected, go to Filter > easy.Filter > SmartCurve. The SmartCurve

window opens, and on the left you can see a box with a diagonal line going from the bottom left to

top right. This represents the tones in the image, from black in the bottom left corner, to white in the top right corner.

For my image, I want to keep the bright tones roughly the same, so I click on the curve around one

third in from the left edge. I want to darken the dark tones, so I click on the curve around one third in from the left edge, and then drag this point down a bit.

Smart Curves adjustment window in Photoshop Elements You can add as many points to the curve as you want, and move each point up or down, usually though you will only want to add one or two points.

Text and layout Š www.discoverdigitalphotography.com All photos used are copyright David Kennard Photography

6


5 EASY PHOTOSHOP TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR PHOTOS

7

In Photoshop CS, to access curves you click the adjustment layer icon, and

then choose 'Curves'. In the adjustment panel you can then adjust the curve.

Curves adjustment in Photoshop CS5

Text and layout Š www.discoverdigitalphotography.com All photos used are copyright David Kennard Photography

7


5 EASY PHOTOSHOP TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR PHOTOS

8

Color temperature adjustment Adjusting the color temperature of an image can make a big difference to the feel of the image.

Usually people prefer a slightly warm color temperature rather than neutral, though if you want your image to have a cold look, you may want to adjust the color temperature to be cooler.

Photo before adjusting color temperature

Photo after correcting color temperature

Text and layout Š www.discoverdigitalphotography.com All photos used are copyright David Kennard Photography

8


5 EASY PHOTOSHOP TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR PHOTOS

9

There are quite a few different ways to adjust the color temperature of a photo. Probably the easiest way is using the White Balance tool and color temperature slider in Adobe Camera Raw (ACR). If you are working with a RAW file, you can just open the file in Photoshop and it should

automatically open up Camera Raw. If you want to adjust a JPEG or TIFF file, then in Photoshop go to File > Open As... In the Open As dialog, select the file you want to open, then change the 'Open As' option to Camera Raw (followed by a long list of RAW filetypes). Then click 'Open' to open the file in Camera Raw.

You can also open JPEG and TIFF files in Adobe Camera Raw

Text and layout Š www.discoverdigitalphotography.com All photos used are copyright David Kennard Photography

9


5 EASY PHOTOSHOP TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR PHOTOS

10

In ACR click the White Balance dropper tool (at the top of the window), and click on an area of the image that should be a neutral color (somewhere between dark gray and very light gray). Camera

Raw will automatically select the correct color temperature and tint settings to make the area that you clicked neutral.

Click the white balance dropper tool on an area that should be neutral Probably you will want the image looking slightly warm rather than the more clinical neutral color balance, so adjust the temperature slider, and move it to the right slightly.

You can adjust the temperature slider to the right slightly to give a warmer color temperature than neutral

Text and layout Š www.discoverdigitalphotography.com All photos used are copyright David Kennard Photography

10


5 EASY PHOTOSHOP TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR PHOTOS

11

Straighten An image with buildings or anything else that obviously should be straight will look best if the

buildings aren't tilting slightly to one side. While you can take creative tilted photos, the tilt in that case should be enough so that is obvious the photo is meant to be tilted rather than a mistake.

Image before straightening

Image after straightening

Text and layout Š www.discoverdigitalphotography.com All photos used are copyright David Kennard Photography

11


5 EASY PHOTOSHOP TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR PHOTOS

12

To correct a slightly tilted photo, we'll use the straighten tool in Adobe Camera Raw. Open the image

in Camera Raw, then choose the Straighten tool at the top of the ACR window. Find an area that has a clear straight line near the center of the image, then click at the top of the line and drag down to the bottom of the line. Ensure that the line you're dragging runs along or parallel to the line that should be straight.

Using the straighten tool in Adobe Camera Raw Let go of the mouse button and a rotated cropping box will appear. Double click inside the box to apply the crop and straighten the image.

Double-click to accept the crop determined by the straighten tool Text and layout Š www.discoverdigitalphotography.com All photos used are copyright David Kennard Photography

12


5 EASY PHOTOSHOP TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR PHOTOS

13

Perspective correction When we take photographs of buildings they can often look like they are leaning over backwards or to one side. If this effect is extreme, the converging lines it creates can be used to great creative effect. But if the effect is only minor the image will probably look better with the perspective corrected.

Image before perspective correction

Image with perspective correction applied

Text and layout Š www.discoverdigitalphotography.com All photos used are copyright David Kennard Photography

13


5 EASY PHOTOSHOP TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR PHOTOS

14

To correct the perspective of an image, open your image in Photoshop, then go to Image > Transform > Perspective. In Photoshop CS you will need to go to Edit > Transform >

Perspective. A bounding box will appear around your image. In my image, I want to correct the

lines converging horizontally to the left, so I grab the bottom left corner and drag it down. I could also have grabbed the top left corner and moved it up.

Correcting the horizontal perspective

Text and layout Š www.discoverdigitalphotography.com All photos used are copyright David Kennard Photography

14


5 EASY PHOTOSHOP TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR PHOTOS

15

Next I correct the vertical perspective by grabbing the top right corner, and dragging it out to the right (or I could have moved the top left corner out to the left).

Correcting the vertical perspective When the image looks correct, click the green tickbox to OK the changes. In Photoshop CS there isn't a green tickbox - just press Enter to accept the changes you've made or Esc to cancel the changes.

Hopefully these tips have been helpful, and will help you correct and improve your digital photos.

For more photography advice and tips, updated with new tips on a regular basis, make sure you check out

www.discoverdigitalphotography.com

Text and layout Š www.discoverdigitalphotography.com All photos used are copyright David Kennard Photography

15

5 Easy Photoshop Tips To Improve Your Photos  

Although you can spend hours in the digital darkroom tweaking your photos to perfection, there are some techniques that are quick and easy,...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you