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Photoshop tutorials 

Improve your digital photo in 1 second

I take a lot of digital photos, but I'm not professional photographer, and my photos often need improving. The most common problem for me  is that a photo is too light. There are probably advanced techniques of configuring photo camera and adjusting the photo in Photoshop, but I dont really have time to study them. So  I found an easy trick to make such photos better very fast. Lets take a photo shown on the right. It need to  be a bit darker. You can adjust its levels (Ctrl-L) or simply apply Auto levels (Ctrl-Shift-L), but it doesnt always produces good results.


Here is  my trick: * duplicate layer with photo * set blend mode of the new layer to multiply * adjust layer opacity (usually 50% is enough). I have setup shortcuts for all 3 actions, so  it really takes less than a second to apply! And the result usually has richer colors than it would have after levels adjusting.


... just another example...


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Comments {38}

shay long ago
Great trick! It works so well and its so easy to do. Do you have a similar tip for brightening up dark photos? Keep up the good work!

hamid long ago
it is not good but if you work hard you will be ok in it

cory long ago
Actually, the reason most photos are too light is to compensate for what the camera companies feel is a lack of photographic skill on the part of the general public. So the exposures that are "automatic" are really about 1 or two stops too light. So you can set the exposure to compensate for THEIR compensation, setting it back to normal. That way you don't have to do all this photoshop crap, you can just take it right the first time.

sonal long ago
hi...i was trying the trick here..on wht application does this generally work....

carolifen long ago
thx God (really really thanks!!!) i've found this site (actually I found it accidentally when i was searching some images :) ) Thank u sooo much Vlad, you're so generous to share your artworks -and the tutorial,of course- to us.. keep the GREAT work!! GBU..

Pentagrama long ago
Yes! I love your work...It's my favourite site for desktop pictures ;-)

Vlad Gerasimov long ago
shay - well I guess you can simply set blend mode to "screen" instead of "multiply" (didnt try it though).

shay long ago
Thanks for the tips. They both work equally well :)

Emily long ago
Nice trick! I think I will be using that in the future. Great site also! I love your work!

vicky long ago
to get a dark phot lighter try creating a copy of the original. Paste the copy as a separate layer, turn to black and white, then copy it again and paste once more onto the original colour photograph. Using the layers toolbar, just play around with the different levels of opacity etc...

X3mSpeedy 4 January 2008
Well this is a pretty long and complex tute :( Everyone writes here how amazing is it...

Ammi 22 January 2008
Man u really ease my work, txk a lot! :D

Vern 2 June 2008
Thanks for the tip. A modifiied method to achive the same result would be to not duplicate the background layer but create any adjustment layer above the background layer. Just create it but make no adjustments and select OK. The change the blend mode of the adjustment layer to 'Multiply' and its opacity to 50%. Using this method you will get exactly the same result but the overall file size will be much smaller as the adjustment layer is tiny while a duplicated background almost doubles file size. Vern

alannaa 25 March 2009
"soft light" works well also!

MR 21 May 2009
This works like a charm! Thanks!

Ivan 25 May 2009
Thank you. Now I know how simple to make a photo more color rich.

Kailash 21 June 2010
Really amazing

Viktor 14 December 2010

Michael long ago
Love your work, a TRUE breath of fresh air!

madhav long ago
Really Nice I like your suggestion

eduard long ago
Hi! really nice your site, i found it some minutes ago and im very glad, and i have a question i tried with this tip, but i dont know what happend coz when i set the opacity to 50% appears vertical lines into the picture, i saved the picture and i open it, but the problem follows, some of u know what could be the problem? thanks very much

Red long ago
Not bad

Alx long ago
Wow! awesome and simple!

Domjan long ago
I am not really an expert but isn't that _exactly_ the same as applying a gamma curve? If you left the multiplication layer at 100% then it would be exactly the same as gamma=2. At 50% it's still a gamma function but smaller then 2 (1.5?). PS: Great wallpapers!

kenneth Murray long ago
very good keep up the good work (y)

Linda long ago
Great tip. I'll use it as well. (I love your website and I refer my friends often. Your art has depth to it, and I find myself getting lost in it at times. Thank you for your generosity in both displaying your work and sharing it with all of us so freely.)

Ben long ago
Shay, When you press ctrl + L to get the levels, move the middle arrow to the left or right. This may help you get a brighter or darker image ;-)

Nam long ago
great!! great!! very clever, thanks!!!!!!!!!

ioBuddha long ago

g0 long ago

bd long ago
DURDAANTO!! [awesome..]

gherhn long ago
napintas nga idea dayta. Very good

marcel.pajda 21 January 2008
Simply amazing. Thanks!

Rita Krivova 8 February 2008
Все гениальное просто!!! Конечно не всегда помогает, но в большинстве случаев - экономит массу времени)))

lenaswan 2 October 2008
Well, I started with drops on the web and now got absorbed in your site with all tutorials and tricks! Super-thanx for this one also. Just tried it - it works! I wonder how many will come to you from my blog on Livejournal ;-)))

MKT 25 March 2009
The only problem with your method is that it tends to darken the shadows too a point where you loose detail. I would use a 2nd step to then bring up the shadow density. So maybe 10 seconds instead of just 1.

kofi 9 June 2009
wow nice

Kasper 16 September 2009
Ah brillaint, very nice tip indeed and SO fast! Keep up the incredible work with the site and images :D I Liek!

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