Saturday, February 13, 2010

Photo Friday: Adding Contrast In Photoshop

Hey! I guess I don't do regular updates on this blog anymore. Photo Fridays are just so much more fun.

I had a questions about which type of editing software to use (Picasa vs. Photoshop Elements vs. Photoshop Premier?) I personally have Photoshop CS3. It took me a long time to figure out how to use it and still I think I only use about 10-15% of it. I think Photoshop Elements is a great place to start with basic editing to your pictures.

That being said, I was recently at a friends house and got to play around with her Lightroom program. IT IS SO EASY! I would say if you want to quickly be able to edit your pictures without learning a bunch of Photoshop talk, give Lightroom a try. You can even download a trial at the Adobe website.

Today I'm going to show you how to add contrast to your pictures in Photoshop.

In Photoshop go to Image --> Adjustments --> Curves


Once in there, you'll see a box like this ...


See the way the line curves? That's called an S-Curve. To get that, click on the line right in the middle. Photoshop will put a dot where you click. After the first click, click again to the left of that one (there is a dot where I put mine) and pull it 'til the line makes an "S." You'll see the photo changing as you do this and after a little playing with it, you'll be a contrast adding pro.

Here's the thing. I use my contrast very sparingly on color pictures. I don't think I would have added quite this much contrast if I wasn't showing it as an example.

Black and white pictures is where I really think contrast shines. I love deep, dark black tones and bright whites. So here's what I do--I convert my pictures to black and white first, using Images --> Adjustments --> Black and White.


I know! This kind of a flat, blah black and white. Use the same method I explained above to add contrast to your black and whites. Again, for this picture just a small amount of contrast works.


See? Much better, right?


Let me know if you have any questions. I'd also love to hear anyone's experience about various editing programs!


Brandi said...

I have a very old, very bootleg copy of Paintshop Pro. It's pretty easy, and I get good results. I can do the vast majority of things that Photoshop can do.

Anonymous said...

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AMIT said...

Its really good post from you and its very good that you know photoshop.

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Kylene said...

Thank you! I am going to try out Lightroom. I have always just figured black and whites were not for me because they always are so grey-ish. Now I am going to give it a shot. You know...when I get some software...
BTW I investigated the camera swap, and I was told it was only for older digital cameras, not ancient 35 mm ones. I am still waiting for an official email verifying this though.
I have a question for you...I was just looking at old wedding photos and a lot of times the roses on the guys jackets are the right color on b/w photos. How do they do that? I have only been able to figure out how to show color on a specific area.

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