By changing a few variables in a single window you will be able to take your dreary and grey photos and turn them into photos that really *pop!*
Step 1: What You'll Need
A digital photograph
Photo editing software (in this case, Photoshop CS5)
A computer (obviously.)
A few quick minutes of your time.
Step 2: Opening the Photo in Photoshop
Or, just open photoshop and drag the file that you want to edit into the workspace.
Step 3: Tweak the Levels!
Find the "Levels" option in your photoshop workspace. Approaching this from the menu works easiest, as the icons can trick you up a bit.
Find the "Image" button at the top of your workspace, then scroll your mouse down to "Adjustments" and then over to "Levels"
You should have a view that looks like this:
This is the histogram of the photo-it graphically shows the distribution of data throughout the photograph. In layman's terms, it shows the highs and lows of the colors in your photo.
Step 4: Lose the Noise!
Switch to the "R" or "Red" channel to work on it. At the edges of your histogram you will see either spikes in the graph or depressions-these can be caused by any number of reasons, but regardless of the source-we dont need em! click the black and white sliders at the bottom to slide them just past the spike/depression in the histogram. This cleans up the noise and makes your photo's colors REALLY stand out!
Now heres the general rule of thumb:
When tweaking the levels, always work toward the middle of the histogram.
If there is a depression at the very beginning, move the slider to where the histogram data curve starts.
If there is a spike, move to the next lowest point past the spike.
If there is a slow curve, move the slider a little ways up the curve to make the colors pop!
Step 5: Clear the Noise From the Other Channels.
Step 6: Your Finished Work!
Check the results!