Friday, February 1, 2013

Photoshop Tips

One of the things I'm really into is taking pictures of Logan.  Have you noticed?  Basically my phone is completely full, my computer is completely full, and all 3 of my cameras are completely full of pictures of Logan.  He's just too darn cute and I don't want to miss a thing!  Anyway, I may have a lot of pictures, but the quality definitely leaves something to be desired.  Usually I just take about 20 or so quick pictures with my phone, choose my favorite and Lo-Fi it in Instagram.  This just isn't cutting it!  If I'm going to be taking SOOO many pictures, I should at least make them look nice, right?   I have a really nice camera, and I got Photoshop for Christmas so I really have no excuse to not have beautiful photographs.  This is something I've been wanting to change for a while, so when I woke up this morning, I decided that today is the day!

I've found quite a few tutorials on Pinterest, but a lot of them seemed overwhelming and not for an uber-beginner like myself.  Then I found this pin.  4 steps, 5 minutes, easy to understand, and great results.  Basically, the perfect thing for me!

So here we go!  These are the 4 steps to take a photo from drab to fab!  In all seriousness, these edits really do make the picture brighter and look more professional.

Step 1:  Hit Command-L (or Control-L for you non-Mac Users) and adjust the levels.  Move the arrows to the very beginning and very end of the little mountain you see.

Step 2:  Make a copy of the background layer and change Layer from Normal to Screen and adjust Opacity to 30%.

Step 3:  Make another copy of the background layer and change Layer from Normal to Soft Light and adjust Opacity to 80%.

Step 4:  Flatten the Image.  Go to Layers > Flatten Image.

That's it!!  And look- the results are amazing!!  We had a little photo shoot this morning (Logan wasn't super into it) and here's what I was able to do with the photos we took- plus a bonus picture from an outing a couple weekends ago! (Before photos on left, after photos on right)

Near the beginning of our photo shoot... happy boy!
Beginning to get a tad upset 
Done with pictures!
Just toddling around DC with Dad!
Aren't the edits amazing?  I'm not lying when I say it only takes 5 minutes.  I'm so glad the quality of my pictures is improving.  Documenting memories is really important to me, and I want my photos to be as beautiful as possible.  I'm no photographer by any means, but hopefully I will be able to make the pictures I do take look a whole lot better!  I always have to remind myself that it's about quality, not quantity!


  1. Amanda--Great job starting to work with photoshop! One idea that would help even more is to add the warming filter. The icon is a little camera with a circle in it. If you ever want some help or a little tutorial, let me know--I'd be more than happy to show you some stuff. It's super overwhelming and I'm just starting to get used to it! Facebook me!

    1. Thanks Carmel! Yeah, I'm just starting to play around with it... I just figured out what layers are for, if you can believe that!! Any information you could give me would be wonderful!! Thanks!