Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Bloggers How-To to Deciphering Photoshop

Today I wanted to do a little tutorial on how to mend dark photos for your blog. I am by all means no big time expert when it comes to photoshop, but I thought a bit of insight into how I edit my photos might be helpful to some ! For those of you who don't own photoshop, I purchased my CS3 version a couple years ago at a students reduction price saving me big bucks. I can't live without photoshop, because as an avid photo-taker, it really allows you to play with your imagination or fix problem photos such as the one I will show you. I use a Canon Eos 5D Mark II with a standard kit lens with a little bit of zoom to it which is most practical. So here we go ! First off, we'll examine the image, this one is obviously too dark and has a color cast of green/blue tones. During winter this is what will most likely happen to you. I have my camera's white balance on auto because Im just plain lazy, and prefer to mess around in photoshop with the image later. Most of you will have yours set on auto too if you haven't manually changed it. 

Heres the image I will work with for today :

What I want to do first is lighten it.

You'll want to select curves in this box.

Alright ! Now you're in the curves box, you'll then want to drag the line upwards to lighten the image. Downwards makes the whole image darker.

As you can see, I lightened the image just a tad.

And then brought down the end of the line to form a curve, which will give the image some contrast. For lightening in darkening, as we we're doing just before, you were in the RGB box, which controls the lights and darks. Now pull down the option box and you'll see RGB, RED, GREEN and BLUE. Heres screenshots of each dialogue box which I wrote on to help you understand the different colors. Now as you can see, if you drag the line upwards in the RED box, then you're image will get a red overcast, if you pull the line downwards, you'll get a green overcast and so on. P.S. Excuse my funky writing, its truly an art by itself to write with your laptop's mouse !

Now that you've seen the different dialogue boxes in curves, I'll go ahead and show you how to make this image's overall tone and lightness better.

I have added some red and some yellow to give a more lifelike tone to my skin and background, as the blue/green tone wasn't really making it.

For imperfections, use the patch tool and circle the imperfection, drag the selection to another patch of skin, and swap. This will swap the bad patch of skin for the good patch of skin which you have selected when dragging.

As you can see, it removed that dark spot. Now for the eyes, they're too dark. Go into curves again, in RGB and pull up the line so that the image is overexposed, but the eyes are just right.

Now that the image is blow out, go into your layers, and select the curves layer that's overexposed, you'll want to press CMD I on a Mac to inverse the layer. This means, your image goes back to being like it was before, not overexposed, but with a brush tool, you can manually brush in the areas you want to be overexposed, in this case the eyes.

When you press CMD I to inverse the layer, then the mask layer will go from white to black.

The eyes before..

And the eyes afterward.

You can make a subtle change or more drastic change, its up to you. I used the brush tool to lighten my eyes at 20% opacity and by using the layer opacity, you can adjust how light or dark you want the eyes.

 Overall ?




Hope that helped !  xo


  1. how cute!!!
    i saw your looks in lookbook
    and are the best as u :D
    love your clothes. u have a nice taste too.
    awesome photos.

  2. Great post!! I will definitely be trying this out.

    much love,
    Hybrid Hunter

  3. just found your blog.. great post i will definitely be trying this out! thanks for the insight!


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