Hiya everyone! Melissa (profiler_mar) here with some fun and EASY tricks I use to enhance my photos. Easy is always good, right?? =) These tips are for PSE 8, but I imagine they are pretty easily adaptable for other programs.
First, open your photo in PSE. On the right, above the effects bar, you have three tabs that say: Edit, Create, and Share. Click on the Edit drop down menu and select Guided. This brings up a detailed menu with several options to edit your photo. Go to the second section, that says Lighting and Exposure. Select Lighten or Darken. Your screen should look like this:
Now play around with the sliders until you get a look you want. For my image, Nik had a shadow across his face. So first, I selected Lighten Shadows and increased that to 39. Next, I always adjust the midtone contrast, because it really makes the photo pop. On this photo, I selected 39 as well. I rarely go past 40. So now my photo looks like this:
Go down to the bottom right side of the screen and click on Done. This will bring you back to the Guided Edit Menu. Now choose Brightness and Contrast. Again, since there is a shadow on this photo, I am going to Brighten it first. Using the slider I adjust to 30. Next, I adjust the Contrast to 20, to bring a nice pop to the photo as well. Now my photo looks like this:
Now go back to your Edit Menu and select Edit Full. You could be done here if you wanted, the photo looks really good right now. But I am going to show you one more trick that helps make photos shine. This trick can be used separate from, or along with the Guided Edit.
First, duplicate your photo layer to create a new layer. With the top layer selected, go to Enhance>Adjust Color>Remove Color. This will turn your top image black and white.
Next, select Filter>Other>High Pass. Your screen will now look like this:
Adjust the Radius to 250.0 pixels and click ok.Now go to the right, to your layers menu. With the top layer still selected, choose an overlay that gives you the effect you want for your photo. I chose Soft Light and adjusted the opacity to 60%.
When you are happy with the image, merge the two layers together, and you are done!
So here is my photo before:
And here it is after:
Now wasn’t that easy?? And it looks really good too! Now we will get a little more advanced. I am going to talk about adjustment layers, which are another fun way to make your photos shine.
So, here is my photo:
Here it is after using Guided Edit to bump up the contrast:
When I am using adjustment layers, I do not do the High Pass filter. So now we are ready to play!
At the bottom of your screen in PSE, beneath the layers menu, is a circle icon that is half black and half white:
Click on it and it will show a menu. Select Gradient Map. This will create a new layer with a fill color. Whatever color you have been recently using in PSE will show up, but if you click on the color drop down box, you can chose any color gradient you like. I usually use black and white.
Now, go to the layers menu on the right and select a filter for the gradient layer. I usually use Soft Light. Then, adjust the opacity until you get your desired result. And wow! Look, your photo really pops right?!
Now, let’s say you want to make your photo warmer or cooler, or you just want to play around some more to see what looks you can get. I will show you one more adjustment layer I like to use. =)
Going back to the adjustment layer icon, this time select photo filter. Your screen will look like this:
Click on the filter menu drop down box:
You will see there are three warming filters, three cooling filters, and several colors. I chose warming filter (81). There is a slider to adjust the density of the color, which you can see is a mustard yellow. I increased the density to 61% and achieved a nice, buttery look to the photo:
But let’s say you want to try a cool filter. I will play with one now to see what we get! Using cooling filter (80) and a density of 60% I get this fun, moody look for the photo:
So play around, experiment, and find which settings work for you! Your challenge is to use at least one of the tips above on a photo and scrap it!
Here is some awesome inspiration from the super-talented CT:
From Sarah, using Mulberry Fields and Mullberry Fields Family Word Art by KimB Designs and Scraps By Number: Yours Truly by Stolen Moments Designs:
From Kim, using Bits and Bots by Stolen Moments and Nikki Beaudreau; and Retro Clear Alpha and Peek-a-Boos by Stolen Moments:
From Heather, using E-I-E-I-O Combo and Double Your Fun 2-page Templates, both by Chelle’s Creations:
From Chel using Serendipity by Plum Dumpling Designs:
From Kendall using Color Me Happy by Jenn Labre:
-You have until the end of March to post your entry. Be sure to post it to the “Saturday Special” gallery and link it back to the thread in the forum.
-No double-dipping! This challenge CANNOT be combined with any other ScrapMatters challenge or Speed Scrap. Your layout must be unique to this challenge.
-You can earn an extra point for using any new ScrapMatters product during the first week of its release. Be sure to note the new product in your layout description and your post in the thread on the forum. In order to get your bonus point, it does need to be noted on your forum post.
-You don’t have to use ScrapMatters products, but we like it when you do.
I hope this tutorial showed you how easy it can be to make your photos shine, without actions or presets. I can’t wait to see what you create!!