I happened upon this tutorial over at A Piece of Lisa that covers basic photo editing to enhance color, contrast, and light using Photoshop. First of all, I have to say that I kind of love Lisa and her ability to make manageable what seem to me like impossible feats. Am I being overly dramatic?
Truth be told, at first I thought there was no way that playing with three Photoshop adjustments (contrast levels, screen overlay, and soft light overlay) could do anything of value to a photo. So I tried out Lisa’s suggestions on a few ho-hum pics from our last couple of Europe trips (which we blogged about here and here).
*Note that all of these photos were taken with our travel-friendly pocket-sized point-and-shoot Canon.
APPLYING LISA’S PHOTOSHOP ADJUSTMENTS + A LITTLE AMATEUR CROPPING
As you can see, the brightest thing in this photo of Notre Dame was the bicycle sign on the lower right. It had to go.
Lisa’s tips enhanced the building’s architectural detail and a tiny crop eliminated the sign.
Moving around to the side of the cathedral, it becomes painfully obvious how badly I could use a few lessons in shot composition. This pic is dreary and has a weirdly angled perspective.
I applied Lisa’s tips and cropped it as a vertical so the rose window could be the main focal point (ignore the roof scaffolding, please. thanks.):
And now let’s head from France to Iceland, where the sun provides light all day and all night (rhyming, yo). Applying Lisa’s tips brightened up this photo of Chris (and isn’t he handsome!!):
The true mark of a good travel partner? He carries most of my stuff! Moving on…
HOW LISA’S TIPS CAN SAVE A PHOTO’S LIFE
And no, this time there is no chance that I am being overly dramatic. We all have a few photos that are pretty much useless because of unfortunate lighting (cough, cough, and lack of photography skilz, cough). But Lisa’s tips can save them!
Exhibit A, our good friends Elif (of Turkey) and Niina (of Finland), taken while at our Icelandic friends’ wedding. Love these sweet faces!
And exhibit B, here I am with Niina at a lunch shack on the bay in Reykjavik:
LISA’S TIPS + A MORE CREATIVE CROPPING:
And last but not least, after Lisa’s tips, cropping by the “rule of thirds” gives this weary traveler a little something more to be looking toward:
So now do you see why I’m all in love Lisa?? I may now know how to make only three PS adjustments and do a little basic cropping, but already such a difference! Please try it out—your photos will thank you!!!