Photoshop Tutorial: How to Enhance Black and White Photos

Enhance Black and White

What many people do not know is that there is a huge difference when it comes to retouching black and whites photos and colored photos. In this tutorial, you will learn how to retouch black and white photos like professionals do. The tools we will be focusing on in the Photoshop tutorial are the Dodge Tool and the Burn tool. Both are located on the free floating, vertical menu bar, normally located on the right side of the Photoshop program. The dodge tool and the burn tool are located on the right column on the seventh row down. The main use of the dodge tool is to lighten areas while the burn tools are to darken areas.
To start with, you will need to choose a black and white image to work with. You can choose your image to work with or one from If you are going to use one of your own images, you can use a black and white one or a color one. If you choose to work with a color one, you will need to convert it to black and white. To do this you will need to open up the picture in a Photoshop canvas and go to Image > Adjustments > Desaturate. The contrast might be off, but you will learn how to fix this later in the tutorial.

Now that you have an image to work with, open it up in Photoshop if you have not already. Make sure the picture is saved as is and that the layers are all flattened (Layer > Flatten).

1) When you use the burn tool, use the Shadows Range with an exposure of somewhere between 10% and 20%. Try different exposures to see what fits your photo. If you are a beginning Photoshop user, you will not be able to tell what kind of exposure to use just yet.

2) Now drag an appropriately sized brush which can be found on the brush drop-down menu on the top horizontal menu bar. Choose a size that will be easy to work with, but will not take forever to go over the area of the photo you want to work on. Once you have chosen your brush, go over the areas you want to make darker. You can change the exposure when ever you like to see different darkening effects that the burn tool provides.

3) Next, click on the Dodge tool and use the Highlights Range and choose a similar exposure like you did with the Dodge Tool, between 10% and 20%. Use the same technique to go over areas of your photo that you would like to lighten. Also, try creative ways to enhance the photo by changing the exposure or even the range.

Then you are done and you now know how to enhance your black and white photos using these two easy tools in Adobe Photoshop.

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Photoshop Tutorial: How to Apply the Invert Feature on Your Photos

photoshop invert feature

A really neat feature in Adobe Photoshop is the Invert feature which turns images into something that looks like a photo negative. This is also a very popular technique. You see it used everywhere from editorial magazines to Myspace photos. What many people don’t know is that this technique is extremely easy to achieve in Adobe Photoshop.
In this tutorial, you will learn how to apply the Invert feature to any photo or image of your choosing. In addition, you will learn some other cool and interesting effects you can use with the Invert feature, including desaturation (black and white), contrast, and color tones.

First, select any image. For my image, I chose more of an object (see the article image). You can use portraits, landscapes, sports scenes, macro shots, etc. With this effect, the possibilities are endless. Open up the image as a flattened document in Photoshop. To make sure it is flattened, go to Layer gt; Flatten. Also be sure to save the original document to go back to if you decide that you do not like the finished image.

Now there are two ways to invert the image. There is the long way by going to Image > Adjustments > Invert, or you can use the quick hot key Ctrl+I, both will automatically invert the photo or image to look like a photo negative. This basically means the colors are opposite.

Invert Color 2

If you chose a colored image, the inverted image will also be colored. If you want to achieve a cool black and white negative effect, go to Image > Adjustments > Desaturate. This will turn the entire image black and white. Also, go to Image > Adjustments > Auto Contrast. This will automatically adjust the contrast based on the colors or tones of your image. It will also make it bolder.

One other way you can spice up the image is by playing around with the Hue/Saturation slider bars. You can also go to Image > Adjustments > Variations and gradually add more tones of any color to your image. In addition to this, you can try numerous filters that Photoshop has to offer by going to Filter > Any Filter. Try out any of these different features in any combination to create something unique and interesting. Save your new image once you are done too!

That is all there is to it! Now you’ve learned a new way to touch up photos in Adobe Photoshop.

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