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May 16, 2010

Increase Contrast in Photoshop

In the previous Photoshop tip I gave you, I showed you how to sharpen an image using Photoshop layers and blending modes. Today I want to show you how you can improve the contrast of an image using once again layers and blending mode.

Open your image in Photoshop and make a copy of the background by typing ctrl+j. Photoshop will name the new layer "Layer 1" which you can change if you wish to something like "Contrast" by double-clicking the layer name and typing the new name.  For this example I'm using a photo of a white dahlia flower that I took.

Now desaturate the image using Hue/Saturation. The easiest way to do this is to click on Layer 1 and type ctrl+u. Move the saturation slider all the way to the left and click OK. (If you are more proficient with Photoshop, you can use a "hue/saturation" layer which will include a layer mask.)

Now change the blending mode to Soft Light and you have an image with greatly enhanced contrast.

Sometimes the shadows may end up being too dark, so you can bring them back a bit by changing the opacity of the layer. In my example I changed it to 75% opacity.

That's it! You are done!

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