Monday, March 17, 2008

Try This! Enhancing Photos

Wanna know I how transformed the photo on the top to the photo on the bottom?? Of course you do! Photoshop isn't just for scrapping, you know...

So this is the coolest trick EVER. A huge shout to Brooke for sharing it with Jill, and major thanks to Jill for sharing it with me (and the rest of the girls) on the Digital Scrapbook Memories forum.

This tutorial is for Photoshop Elements. Here goes!

1. Open your photo; here's mine:

2. The next thing I do with almost every photo is adjust the lighting levels. You can do this one of two ways. A) Click Enhance>Adjust Lighting>Levels OR B) Click Ctrl+L. Either way you'll get the same window. For more information on how to adjust lighting levels, go here. Here's my photo after adjusting the levels:

3. Okay, so now here's where we start the really cool stuff. Start by right clicking on your background in your layers palette, and click "duplicate layer" and then click "ok" when prompted.

4. With your new layer selected in your layers palette, select "screen" from you blending modes menu. (This menu is found at the top of your layers palette, and it should say "normal" unless you change it.)

5. Now change to opacity; just play around with it until you find what you think looks good. (The opacity is also found at the top of you layers palette, it will say 100% unless you change it. To change it just slide the little arrow back and forth, or type a specific number in the box.)

6. Merge the two layers (background + background copy) together. This will vary depending on what version of Elements you have. In 5.0, hold Ctrl down while clicking both layers. Then right click on the layers and select "Merge Layers".

7. Now - we'll do it all again! (With some slight differences...) So do the same thing as step 3: duplicate your background.

8. Change the blending mode. BUT this time, select "soft light" from the menu.

9. Play with the opacity again.

10. Merge your layers again, and... VOILA! Here is the lovely result:

The moral of the story? Even if you don't have the most amazing camera in the world, you can still have amazing photos! Just one more reason why I *heart* photoshop... sigh...
Here's one more example. (Did I mention I love this trick?)


Levi and Teri Family said...

Wow!... Thanks for sharing Lynnette! This really is fun. I've already played around with a couple pictures. It does make a HUGE difference. I'll post one so you can see it. Thanks again for the FUN CHALLENGE!

Kim Millard said...

That is awesome! Thanks for sharing it!

Ash, Becky and Xander said...

I have tons of pictures that turn out too dark all the time and luckily I got photoshop elements for christmas! What a cool trick! I hope one day I will be as good of a scrapbooker as you are!