Today I bring to you an easy peasy way to lighten images in Photoshop. I use Photoshop CS5 so this post is how I went about lightening a dull picture today. I’m on a crash course to learning how to better adjust my images. While I have had Lightroom and Photoshop for ages I essentially focused on not having to use them but for the most minor details. I felt like I was cheating as a photographer relying on technology to correct something I felt should have been right when I took the shot. Yeah…boy have I been delusional! I would look at images on the web, Pinterest and other places and wonder what the heck I was doing wrong. Then suddenly as I was browsing one morning it dawned on me, images I have been drooling over have been manipulated in one way or another. I couldn’t decide if I was mad or elated, I suppose I was both. So I decided to stop beating myself up and began this frenzy of learning how to better improve my work. Without further ado, I bring to you an easy way to lighten images.
First of all in Photoshop open the image you want to work on. Then duplicate the layer, and then turn the eye off on the original. I know others unlock it and work directly with the original, I don’t. I consider this safety insurance, no matter what you may or may not do to what you are working on, if you totally trash it and it’s beyond repair you always have your original to fall back on.
Alright so you’ve made your duplicate, now go to Image at the top, and in the drop down menu choose Adjustments then Contrast. On the contrast slider move it all the way to the left, yes remove all contrast.
Go back up to image again then go to Curves. In the center of the grid click on the line, then looking at the grid in the bottom left box click on the upper right corner and slowly drag line in the shape of an S, watch your image, stop when it is where you would like it to be.
Return to Image this time choose Levels, on the ride hand side at the bottom of the graph there is a slider, slowly move it left until your image has brightened and looks the way you’d like. That’s it, pretty simple huh?