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Quick Adobe Photoshop® Tutorials : Alter the quality of the Photograph |Lighten, Darken, or Sharpen an Image

To get started, Start Photoshop, download this image to your hard drive, then open it in Photoshop® by choosing File/Open

Lighten an image

1. This image is very dark and can easily be fixed by adjusting the Levels. Choose Image/ Adjustments/ Levels

2. The levels property box enables you to adjust the quality of colors in the overall image.

This is an RGB image. This means there are three channels of color to make up this image, a red channel, a green channel, and a blue channel.

You can alter each color channel individually or you can alter all the colors at once. You will most likely alter all the colors at once more often than individual color channels.

The color levels are adjusted by increasing or reducing the amount of shadows, midtones, and highlights in the color channel. Below is the same picture with the levels adjusted.


The left image was adjusted using the default RGB Channel. The right image was adjusted using the default RGB channel then the blue channel.

3. Move the middle slider to the left to lighten the image then move it to the right to darken the image. You will see how the image's colors are adjusted. To lighten this image, I moved the middle slider to the left.

Adjusting Levels automatically

4. Choose File/Revert to start over with the image

5. Depending on the severity of the underexposure of the image, AutoLevels might or might not effect the contrast of the image. Choose Image/ Adjustments/AutoLevels. Notice how it did not produce the same effects as adjusting the Levels by hand.

6. Download this image below (or right click on it and save it) and open it in Photoshop®.

Before AutoLevels

7. Choose Image/ Adjustments/AutoLevels. Notice how AutoLevels made the colors a little crisper and lighter.

Use AutoLevels when the image needs to be altered slightly and manually adjust the Levels when the image is too dark or too light.

Sharpen an Image

1. With the image, outthewindow.jpg open (downloaded in previous exercise) choose Filter/ Sharpen/Sharpen. Notice how this instantly makes the edges in the photo crisper.

2. Choose Edit/Undo Sharpen. Now choose Filter/Sharpen/ Sharpen More. Notice how this made the grass much more detectable.

Image using Sharpen More filter.



Quick Adobe Photoshop® Tutorials