Improving the light of an image is one of those things that are really useful to be able to do. More and more work involves taking product photos or creating visual content for social media, and light can sometimes be tricky to get right.
Even if you don’t work with it, you probably holiday photos or profile pictures we would love to be a little brighter.
In fact, it’s my profile picture that I will be editing today. The background is kind of dark, but I’m not in the mood to spend a ton of time on it. Here’s the fastest way to get the job done.
I’m going to crop the door frame out of my picture, but you can do what makes sense with your image in this step.
Go to the crop tool on the left side and pull the edges in to where you want them.
Now it’s time to play around with the light. The best way to do this is to make a separate layer. This allows you to play without overwriting the original background layer.
Go to layer –> adjustment layer –> exposure.
Click okay to the dialogue box.
Now you have a separate layer for the changes of light you are going to make.
When you have created your adjustment layer, a new box will appear on the right with three bars you can adjust: Exposure, Offset and Gamma Correction. Play around with them until you get the light you like.
Tip: Bringing the exposure down is also great for transforming a daytime picture into a nighttime picture.
This is the quickest way to touch up an image. If you want a better result, and want to invest a little more time in it, you can separate the background from the foreground first using the pen tool, so you can edit each on its own.
I ended up with these settings:
Gamma Correction: 0.96
But this will entirely depend on the lighting in your own image.
This is the result I ended with. There are many other ways to touch up images in Photoshop. This is just one easy technique to quickly manipulate the light. I hope you enjoyed it and found it useful.
I also did this on another image with the exact same settings: