Aug 21, 2012

Fixing photos with Adjustment Layers

Hello and welcome to another Photoshop Tutorial !

Today we will talk about fixing pictures that turn out overexposed by using Adjustment Layers in Photoshop.
Working with Adjustment Layers is really easy and the best part is that you don't have to worry about making mistakes because you work non-destructively, that means you can always change something in the process if you don't like it without ruining the photo. This tutorial is just an overview of the adjustment layers and the values that I used worked best only for my picture, you could get strange results if you just copy the parameters that I used. Make sure you play with the values until you achieve the result you're looking after. So let's get started...

Step 1: Open your picture in Photoshop. I chose an outside picture that I made with my camera that turned out bright and unnatural (see the ground light).

Step 2: Add a Brightness/Contrast Adjustment Layer by clicking "Create new fill or adjustment layer" button inside the layers tab.

Step 3: Bump up the Contrast and lower the Brightness to get rid of the highlighted areas.

Step 4: Next add a Color Balance Adjustment Layer on top.

Step 5: Modify the Midtones values and the Highlights values that fit best in your picture. I always insist on Red and Yellow inside Highlights and the Midtones depend on what color you can see more in your photo, for example I have green and yellow. If you have a picture of the ocean use more blue in the midtones and so on.



Step 6: Add a Vibrance Adjustment Layer on top. Vibrance controls the Saturation and brings more color into your photo.

Step 7: Increase the Vibrance and the Saturation to bring more color into your picture:

Step 8: Add a Levels Adjustment Layer on top. Levels control the brightness, contrast and tones:

Step 9:  Bring the middle slider to the right to make the image darker:

Final result:

If you have any question about this tutorial please use the comment section below. Thanks for watching, I hope you learned something new and I'll see you next time!

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