Thursday, July 05, 2012

Better Photos: Photoshop Levels and Layers

I set a goal this summer to learn Photoshop. I had to start with taking better photos, and I'm thrilled that this tutorial includes some basic tips on Photoshop.  In the past few lessons, I have learned about levels (using the histogram to adjust shadows and highlights) and about how to use layers to adjust those same shadows and highlights in particular spots in the photo.

I have a great photo of my son, husband and father-in-law, but it's overexposed (it has highlights that are too bright).

Here's the photo as it started:

Next, I played with the levels to bring down the highlights:

The window in the background and the ceiling above are still really blown out, but the colors on the guys are much richer. I started with cropping out the ceiling, as it's not a necessary part of the photo.

Now, about that window....I tried, and I didn't like what happened when I put a layer on the window.  It made it look, well, photoshopped.  Still, I'm pleased with the improvement from photo 1 to photo 3.  I'll keep learning!

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