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  • Writer's pictureNorthPoint

Pixels To Print: 3 Easy Steps to Make Your Photos Brighter & Better

Designer or not, we have most likely all come across an instance where we have been provided with an image that is too dark, the colors are off, and the quality is low.  Instead of risking your brand image and reputation of quality, whether it’s on your social media, website, or other marketing materials, we are here to give you 3 simple steps on how to turn these dreadful photos into something much more exciting to share with your audience.  And the best part…good photos means more followers, more engagement, and more clients! It’s a win, win, win!

1)  Use “Curves” In Photoshop to fix lighting issues

The brightness of a photo can be adjusted in a few ways, but the “curves” panel is a great place to start.  To access curves, go to Image>> >>Adjustments>>Curves, and the panel will pop up.  To brighten your photo, drag the curve up (Tip: to increase highlights, drag the top most point up; to increase mid tones, drag the middle of the line up; to increase shadows, drag the lower most point of the line up), and to decrease the brightness… you got it! Drag the curve down from the top to decrease highlights, the middle to decrease mid tones, and the bottom to decrease shadows.  Take a look at this photo below before and after the curves were adjusted:

2) Adjust the Brightness

Similar but different to the curve tool, adjusting the brightness of an image will simply adjust the overall brightness of a photo, rather than focusing on the mid, low, and high tones.  Some may say that this is the easiest solution to a photo that is too dark.  In Photoshop, go to Image>>Adjustments>>Brightness/Contrast to open the brightness panel, and then drag the slider to the right to reach your desired amount of brightness (You can also adjust the contrast if need be in this panel!). Below is a simple example of a photo before and after the brightness was adjusted.

3) Fix the colors!

Depending on what your light source is when taking your photo, the color of your image may appear unnatural.  For instance, images taken inside or in artificial light tend to have a warmer tone to them, leaving the photo looking worn out.  In contrast, photos taken outside on a dreary day or in the late afternoon tend to have a cooler tone, resulting from the light source that was apparent at the time.  The simplest way to correct these color issues is to use the color balance adjustment tool in Photoshop.  Go to Image>>Adjustments>>Color Balance to open the panel, and drag the sliders as needed to increase or decrease the warm and cool tones!

Try out these 3 tips in your next project, on social media, or on your website to avoid any photo ops gone wrong! 

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