Monday, May 18, 2009

Universal Contrast Correction

This is one of my favorite, high-speed fixes that has never failed to give me a better looking photograph. Never.

That is why I call it the universal correction. Try it on any photograph you have and see if you agree with me.

It is Part 1 of my 2 favorite quick-fix processes. The other was written about earlier in Better Sharpening w/ High Pass Filter. These two, easy to use processes, are my secret weapon for improving a whole bunch of photos fast, prior to adding any special effects.

So without further ado, here are the steps to Universal Contrast Correction:

1. Open your image and duplicate the background

(this should instantly make your photo look quite a bit better, because it's basically what you would do yourself if you went in to fiddle around with levels and curves adjustments separately)

3. Use keyboard shortcut Ctrl-J to duplicate the newly adjusted layer

Whoops! Now your good photo looks like a bad HDR. But not to worry, we'll fix it back to good again in step 5.

5. Change the BLEND MODE on this layer to Soft Light and drop the OPACITY down to between 30% and 50% based on your own judgment of what looks best for that particular photograph.

6. Finally, go to LAYER-MERGE VISIBLE to complete the process.

Viola! You're done.

Now you've got a secret weapon that will mindlessly improve all your photos in under 60 seconds.

Universal Contrast Correction

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