picture editing 101 (photoshop tutorial)

Monday, May 20, 2013

I am by no means a pro when it comes to picture taking or editing, but I've picked up a few tips and tricks along the way! There is nothing better than getting an almost perfect shot SOOC (straight out of the camera) but let's be real, everyone could use a little photoshop sorcery ever once in a while ;) I love being able to turn to other bloggers/photographers when I am questioning how to do something in particular, so if you have have any questions don't hesitate to ask. You need any version of Photoshop for this tutorial. It is totally worth the expense in my opinion. If you're not ready to fork over the dough then get the 30 day trial here.
Here's what I do:
 Step One: Adjust the curves (command M on a mac or Image>Adjustment>Curves) We want to create a slight curve. Change the output to 77 and Input to 60. The numbers will change depending on the initial image quality. Play around with it if the change isn't something you like. Brightness is key!
Step Two: Adjust the levels. (Command L on a mac or Image>Adjustments>Levels) We want to increase the blacks and white a little. Move the far left box to 5 and the far right to 238. Again, if the change is too harsh, move the sliders less (or more if you'd like). 
Step Three: Run a sharpening action. I used "Pure Photoshop Action Set 1: 'It's All About the Bling Baby' (found here) but occasionally use The Pioneer Woman's "Define and Sharpen" action (found here and FREE). This action adds a pop that helps the photo look better for the web. Your image may become too sharp, so adjust the opacity till you're satisfied (shown by the arrow). The opacity allows you to adjust how much of a certain element is applied to an image (whether it be an action or text). The closer the opacity is to 100% the more the action shows through. The further away from 100% the less, or more transparent...

And viola! We aren't going for a crazy difference. Subtly is key! 

Here's a before and after:

Here are a few more before and afters following the exact same steps.
Hope you enjoyed! Let me know if you have any other Photoshop or photography questions :)



  1. Love this!! I did photography back in high school and then left it for a bit while I was in college and I'm definitely rusty!! I'm totally looking to get a DSLR and figuring out what I want!!

  2. Love your blog and the editing tips. Check me out at beautyinformer.wordpress.com

    I am currently doing a blogger in focus that you may find interesting and may want to participate in - http://beautyinformer.wordpress.com/2013/05/16/get-noticed-blogger-in-focus/


  3. thanks for the little tips! now if only i had photo shop :( haha
    anyway, super cute blog.
    happy to follow along :)

    The DayLee Journal


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