Powerful Photography: Clever Photoshop Tricks to Improve Your Photographs

I love to take photographs in my spare time – of the children, beautiful things around me and some of the things that inspire me. Now I am no professional, and I’d be a little loathe to photograph products for an ecommerce website, I certainly wouldn’t take important team headshots, nor would I take photos for a client website. BUT, I do love to share my photography on this blog, and I know a lot of you do on your blogs too. So I want to let you into a little secret.

There are things that Photoshop can do that will improve your photographs. And they really are quite clever!

You don’t need to buy a full copy of Photoshop – Photoshop Elements is about £50 and is fab – ideal for editing photos for your blog, and it really will improve the end result.

Let me show you a picture of part of our Royal Wedding street party tea…

This is quite subtle. The light is pretty good in this shot, so it was about subtle tweaks to make the image “pop”. I’m more than certain that if I was a professional photographer my post production work would be much more precise. See how I lose a bit of the definition in the teacup handle as I take the image brighter? You don’t tend to get this when you work with professionals because they take more than 5 minutes over this sort of stuff. But I hope that if you are blogging images that you can use these quick tricks to help you improve how your blog looks…

Step One: Fiddle with the curves

Go to Image> Adjustments> Curves

Matt Pereira showed me how to do this and got very technical, looking at the histogram and making adjustments until the image was just right. I just tend to drag up the middle and fiddle about until it looks nice and bright without losing definition.

Step Two: Brightness and Contrast

Image> Adjustments> Brightness Contrast

Again, it’s a case of fiddling about. I’m sorry I can’t be more specific than that ;-)

Step 3: Crop and adjust where necessary

I have a nasty habit of taking my photographs at a slight angle – so much so that you end up feeling a little seasick when you look at them. So I rotate my image until I get the lines straight.

I’m getting better at just shooting things in the right light in the first place, so I’m using less Photoshop trickery now than I was a couple of months ago, but I hope that the image below shows just what a difference 5 minutes of fiddling can make.


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