Happy Thursday! Today I thought I would share some basic Photoshop editing tips for photos.

If you’re anything like me, you spend a lot of time with your photos, whether it’s shooting, printing, blogging, or scrapbooking, so naturally you want them to look great. Thanks to college classes and trial-and-error, I’ve come up with a go-to list of editing techniques that I use everytime I drag a photo into PS. Once you get the hang of it, editing becomes a breeze (and it also becomes addictive – I can’t use a photo unless I’ve edited it even the slightest amount!). Here’s how I post-process all my pictures:

Step 1: Open your photo in Photoshop (any version). I took this photo in mid-morning light with the auto setting on my point-and-shoot camera. It’s not too bad to begin with, but it’s not quite up to my brightness and color standards.

Step 2: Auto Levels. This is always my first stop on the editing tour, as it helps to adjust the brightness and color of my photo. Occasionally I don’t like the way it looks and that’s when I will manually fix the levels myself (Image > Adjustments > Levels). To undo any of your steps, go to Edit > Undo, or if you’re using a Mac, hit “Command+Z” on your keyboard.

Step 3: Exposure. I prefer my photos to err on the side of overexposed than underexposed, so I always adjust the exposure to achieve my desired brightness.

Step 4: Curves. Curves helps to lighten up any areas of your photo that still remain dark, even after you adjust the Exposure.

To use Curves: grab the diagonal line (either in the middle or at the bottom) and pull it to the left until you are satisfied with the brightness correction. Remember that you can always view your corrections before clicking “OK” by checking the “Preview” box on the open window.

Step 5: Hue/Saturation. Each person will have their own preference when it comes to the overall color of a photo, but I prefer mine to be yellowish-reddish (or “sunny,” as I like to call it). This is one of my favorite parts of the tour, so definitely experiment with it yourself to see how “warm” or “cold” you want your photos to be!

To use Saturation: I generally just grab the Saturation bar and pull it to the right slightly to achieve a warmer look. Rarely will I go above +5 because I want my photos to maintain a natural look. I almost never touch the Hue or Lightness bars, mainly because…I have no idea? Ha!

Step 6: Save your photo and call it good! This is exactly how I like my photos to be: Bright and Sunny without looking too photoshopped.

Note: I am by no means a professional photographer or Photoshop expert, so if you have any tips or tricks that you use, I would love to hear them!

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial!


5 Responses to “photoshop tutorial: basic photo editing tips”

  1. jayessjaybee

    Awesome! Pretty much the same steps I use, but I’m going to have to remember “Exposure”… that’s one that I haven’t played around with much!


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