- Choose layer > new adjustment layer > levels. This will reveal a histogram.
- Move the white triangle on the right until it aligns with the first peak on the right side of the histogram.
- Move the black triangle on the left until it aligns with the first peak on the left side of the histogram.
- Then, move the middle triangle to the left until the photo has sufficient brightness.
- Digital Photography: An Introduction
- Complete Digital Photography
- Adobe Photoshop CS6 for Photographers:
- Photoshop CS6 For Dummies
- Photoshop Compositing Secrets: Unlocking the Key to Perfect Selections and Amazing Photoshop Effects for Totally Realistic Composites
- Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 - The Missing FAQ - Real Answers to Real Questions Asked by Lightroom Users
- Photoshop CS6 and Lightroom 4: A Photographer's Handbook
Digital photography is more than a camera; it also includes the digital capabilities of editing software to create “new” photos or fix those that weren’t taken correctly. Until recently, Adobe Photoshop was almost only found in the hands of professional photographers and designers. That is changing, however, as many digital photography enthusiasts and serious hobbyists are learning how to use Photoshop as well as any of the less-costly and easier-to-learn software on the market.
This PhotographyTalk.com article will focus on how the casual, family photographer can also use editing software to manipulate photos for any number of reasons. The tips and techniques included here apply to Photoshop, but many of them are also possible with many digital photo-editing software. Simple software designed for even the casual user has brought digital imaging into the mainstream.
Rescuing a Moment to Remember
Every family has photos with one or more family members or friends whose eyes aren’t open, or vacation images with some members missing or looking off camera. Instead of deleting these images or being constantly reminded that you’ve missed many of the photographs you wanted to take, you can use photo-editing software to fix them. It’s now relatively easy to arrange a pleasing family grouping using separate images, with all eyes opened and looking at the camera.
Another mistake that often occurs is an important object missing from a photo, such as a bride throwing her bouquet, but the bouquet is outside the frame. Sometimes, an object outside the frame that has the attention of the subject can be creative, but not at a wedding. The bride and her family and friends want to see the bouquet in the picture. That can be solved with Photoshop's selection tool. It allows you to use another photo of the bouquet and digitally add it to the picture of the bride, with her hands above her head and looking at the bouquet.
Use the erase tool and the featured brush to eliminate the background from the separate bouquet image.
Use the transform tool (edit > transform > scale) to give the bouquet a scale that matches the other photo.
Use the motion blur feature (filter > blur > motion blur) to create the look of the bouquet in motion.
Look Ma, No Flash!
Another common error is insufficient light on the subject, which leave photos dark. In many cases, the best solution would have been to use fill flash when taking the photo. (For more information, read the three-part PhotographyTalk.com article, starting with Digital Photography—How To Use Fill-Flash to Improve Your Pictures, Part 1.) The image can still be corrected with photo-editing software, however.
In Photoshop, the steps are rather simple:
Read Part 2 of this PhotographyTalk.com article for more tips for correcting digital photography mistakes with photo-editing software.