Photoshop Friday: Quick Fix!

Sometimes photos need extensive editing.. and sometimes this quick and dirty method is all you need:

SOOC (straight out of camera)

a little dull, dark and boring don’t you think?

A super quick way to brighten up any image is to duplicate the background layer and change the layer mode from “normal” to “screen”. Then we have:

Much better! My photo was pretty dark so I left the screen layer at 100% opacity. If it makes your image too bright, change the layer opacity to taste.

Now, it’s bright but lacks contrast. So duplicate the background (or the screen) layer again, but this time change the layer mode to “overlay”. The results will be way too contrasy, so bring the opacity back quite a bit, I used 24% here:

And finally, all digital images need some sharpening.. particularly these ones that were a little out of focus to begin with! These settings wouldn’t work for printing a photo, but for viewing on line they worked fine. Flatten your image and go to filter, unsharp mask and set the amount to 150, the radius to 1pixel and the threshold to 10.  That might be too much, so if you want to pull it back, hit control shift F which brings up the fade dialog. Use the opacity slider to dial the sharpening back if it starts to look too “crunchy!” (BTW, the fade dialog can be used on any filter or action.)

So, here is my final, before:

and after:

Have a great weekend!

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ariana says:

Hi Brittney, what I meant is that much sharpening would only work on screen.. I don’t use any sharpening for prints, but for viewing online or screen you definitely need some :)

Brittney says:

hi. I LOVE all your tutorials! my hubby is a photographer but doesn’t have the time/patience to teach me all I want to know- so thanks for teaching me all the tricks I have wanted to know for a long time now.
One question, when you say “These settings wouldn’t work for printing a photo, but for viewing on line they worked fine.” Are you talking about the camera settings you used or are you talking about the third step of the tutorial? I want to print my pictures so I want to make sure to do the right thing.
Thanks so much!

Debbie Smith says:

This is the BEST and EASIEST photoshop tutorial that I have found!!! It has made my editing much faster!! Thank you so much! Love y

cindy h says:

Hi, I wanted to tell you thanks for the quick fix lesson, you took me to a place I had never been before… layer mode. I had no idea that it was there let alone how to use it.

ashley h says:

Hi, wonderful tutorials!!

What makes this tip any different than adjusting the exposure and contrast (and/or blacks)? It seems to have the similiar effect..


ariana says:

Ahsley, I’m not really sure LOL. I don’t use this method much anymore, even though sometimes when I do I’m pleasantly surprised at the instant OOMPH! Photoshop always presents us with a million ways to achieve similar effects, though in this case increasing blacks would definitely have a different effect on a photo with lots of blacks KWIM?

Ashley says:

ooohhh i can’t wait to try it!

Alicia says:

about 80% of your photoshop tips go over my head, but it used to be 99%… so i think that means i’m learning? :o) keep the tips coming!!

thanks for the comment, btw..

Anna says:

i’m so glad you’ve decided to continue giving photoshop tips. they’re so useful! and your photos are wonderful.

ariana says:

Hmmm lia, I don’t see it!

Thanks Alana, you’re too kind :)

Alana Powers says:

Let me just say, I LOVE your photos and if you became a professional photographer and happened to be in Atlanta I would hire you in a second!!

lia dominique says:

I actually think you have more contrast in the original print…

ariana says:

LOL jbhat, no, I just didn’t have much time and remembered that those few things were all I did to those shots! :)

jbhat says:

Are you pregnant again?! Just kidding. Those are great shots.

ariana says:

Thanks Sophia. Funny, I never noticed how it appears to be missing in these photos! Unlike some people who’s navels pop out during pregnancy, mine just flattened out so as to appear like just a dark blotch of skin. Ick, I’m glad I have it back now!

Sophia says:

hi! love your blog and your tips!
But… where is your navel?