logo for digital-photography-tips.net
LEFT for digital-photography-tips.net

Beginners Photography -
Editing Images in Photoshop

This section of the site concentrates on beginners photography.
 Digital Photography Success This site is dedicated to helping everyone to take better photos, so what makes this section different?

Well, the information here is written with the beginner in mind.

For example, you'll find many 'tooltips' among these pages, giving you, the reader extra information about specific photographic terminology.

The tooltips are underlined with a dotted line. Simply hover your mouse over the word(s) to get some extra information.

Editing Images In Photoshop

By Amy Renfrey

If you are familiar with Photoshop you may all ready know the basic functions of the tool palette items and some of the other commands. 

If you are just beginning to use the software package and want to use it simply to clean up or lightly alter your own photographs there are a few basic functions that you should take the time to learn and explore.

Beginners Photography - Brightness:
Even a severely underexposed photograph can be salvaged when it is adjusted in the Photoshop program. 

Most cameras are set to record their photographs in the JPG format, but if you don’t mind a bit of a longer wait between photographs, setting the record format in or RAW will allow complete control of your photographic final results. Photoshop software really loves to work with RAW images as opposed to the JPG and this is the main reason to save them in that format.

If your image is underexposed simply open it in your Photoshop software, from the menu tab select Image, then Adjust, and finally Brightness/Contrast where a slider feature will allow you to manually adjust the images. 

(Beginners Photography - Photoshop Elements users: go to Enhance, Adjust Lighting and finally Brightness/Contrast… - see screenshot below:)

 Photoshop elements screenshot - brightness

Unfortunately this may affect the overall quality of the image, but the contrast feature can then be adjusted to compensate. This is modified in the same manner as the brightness.

Beginners Photography - Midtones: 
Photoshop also allows a photographer to access and adjust midtone variations of color. Because the files are saved in RGB formats and adjustment to midtones is available in those ranges as well as in a lighten or darken mode.

A user simply selects Enhance from the top menu bar, then Adjust Color, and selects the Midtones option on the dialogue screen. The image is previewed throughout the adjustment selection period (Beginners Photography - Photoshop Elements users: there are simpler, more user friendly options. See screenshot below):

Photoshop elements screenshot - adjusting midtones

Beginners Photography - From Color to Black and White:

Though Photoshop does allow a photo to be changed from color to black and white by utilizing the Image/Mode/Grayscale command sequence the end result is usually a flat image where white and gray objects are the same shade. 

A much better result can be had by using the Channel Mixer. Simply open the Layers window, and then select the Channel Mixer. This feature allows the user to apply various filters to impact red, blue and green colorations in the image. 

For example adding a blue filter to a bright outdoor scene makes the blue sky even brighter. Each image is different, but using the Channel Mixer to create a black and white picture will allow contrast and depth to remain in the image where a grayscale conversion would remove it completely.

Click to read a Photoshop CS tutorial on creating the best black and white pictures

(Beginners Photography - Photoshop Elements users: go to Enhance, then choose Convert to Black and White… - a dialog box like the one below will appear, which will allow similar adjustments to be made):

More beginners photography articles!

camera This page was written by my good friend Amy Renfrey. For a steady supply of Amy's tips, have a look at her professionally tailored ebooks and ezines, written especially for beginner photographers.

Subscribe to my monthly newsletter, "Stay Focussed". You'll get even more digital photography tips and get to know about the latest updates to the site.

Go to the Stay Focussed newsletter signup page
(opens in new window)

Return from the beginners photography section to digital-photography-tips.net home