10 Fast Photoshop Tricks to Improve Any Photo

On this video tutorial photographer Nathaniel Dodson (from the website tutvid) demonstrates 10 quick tricks that will help make your photo better easily.

Without further ado let’s look at Dodson’s ten tricks for this video:

1. Boosting contrast the easy way – using level adjustment layer and set the blend mode to soft light
2. Sharpening power in Photoshop – use camera RAW and in the sharpening option use alt/option key and to see what the sharpening is doing while moving the sliders and use the mask to choose the areas you want to sharpen.
3. Beautify sunrises & sunsets – add a color balance adjustment layer and play with the mid tones, shadow and highlight especially in sunset and sunrise photos – the result will look amazing.
4. Cleaning up skin – create a new layer and use the (regular) healing brush (with current and below layer marked) to remove blemishes, you can also fix bags under the eyes with a larger brush but play with the opacity (do this on a separate layer of course), this will reduce them but will still look natural.
5. Change the color of anything – add a solid color layer (in the color you want, invert the color mask (cmd/ctrl I) and set the blend mode of this layer to hue or color – use a white brush to paint with the color you choose only on the area you want – simple!
6. Trendy faded effect – add a curves adjustment layer and pull up on the dark point and at the 80% brightness pull down and boost the highlights at around 40%.
7. Fast digital re-lighting a scene – set your foreground color to black and add a gradient fill layer set the gradient to 90 degrees and set it to the lower portion of your image – repeat but with a white foreground color and negative 90 degrees and place it on the upper part of the image. Set both layers to soft light blend mode and the opacity to blend everything in nicely.
8. The best black and white technique – add a gradient map adjustment layer (with white as your foreground color) and hit cmd/ctrl J and you have a really cool B&W image.
9. Realistic lens flares – add a new layer and set the blend mode to linear dodge add. Click on the layer and select transparency shapes layer. Using a white brush just paint flare whenever you think it might look cool (and natural).
10. Tone and contrast like the movies (v. cinematic) – for this you can use the site moviesincolor.com – just choose any color set you like and bring it into Photoshop. Place a redient map on your original image and set the blend mode to soft light. Click on the gradient map thumbnail and choose for the gradient map colors from the image we imported – lighter for lighter parts of the image and darker for darker parts.

This isn’t the first time that Dodson does this sort of list – in the past we published his 10 Best and Worst Things in Photoshop CC and his 31 Hidden Hotkeys in Photoshop CC and more recently 10 Things You Never Knew About Photoshop CC.

You can find many more Photoshop video tutorials on LensVid’s Photoshop section. You can also check Dodson’s previous videos here on LensVid.

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of LensVid.com. He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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