DIY - How to Turn Snapshots Into Professional Photography

Introduction: DIY - How to Turn Snapshots Into Professional Photography

This Instructable is designed to show someone who has both Photoshop and Photo Tools 2.5 how to transform a “simple” snapshot into a professional looking photograph with vibrant colors in a few clicks with no design background required.

Creator Information

Step 1: Getting Started

Oyour picture in Photoshop
In Photoshop click File --> Automate -->Photo Tools 2.5
Photo Tools will then open giving you a before and after view along with a vast library of effects.

Step 2: The Stack

The stack below shows the order of filter effects used to transform the snapshot to a professional looking picture full of vibrant color.

Step 3: Graduated Blue Filter

Select the Graduated Blue filter with the 1/3 option selected and click Add to Stack.
Notice the additional blue in the sky now.

Step 4: Graduated Tint

Select Graduated Tint with the Top Quick Cool option and click Add to Stack.
This added a subtle tint to the image.

Step 5: Global Lighten or Darken

Select Global Lighten or Darken with the Lighten option and click Add to Stack.
This brightened the image, especially the dark areas while leaving the blue in the sky.

Step 6: Edges to Black

Select Edges to Black with the Thin option and click Add to Stack .
This added a black indented border around the image.

Step 7: Color Intensify

Select Color Intensify with the Global option and click Add to Stack .
This intensifies the colors in the picture.

Step 8: Undo

You can always click Undo if you don’t like something.
Or turn off one of the effects in your list.

Step 9: Controlled Effects

Some filters allow you to control how large the effect is, and give special edge or centered effects.

Here are some other filter effects (first single picture is the original snapshot)

And then let’s crop in…notice the smoothness of the skin and blur effects on the edge that draw your attention to the center of the image?

Step 10: When You Are Finished...

When you have finished, simply click the Apply button and that will bring you back to Photoshop.
You can then turn on or off that layer you just created.

Step 11: More Examples

Here are a few more examples of snapshots that were transformed.  The scenery pictures were shot on Mt. Washington on a beautiful fall day, but clouds around the peak of the mountain made it difficult to capture the vibrant colors.

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    11 years ago on Introduction

    This even helps me understand Gimp a little better (since I can not afford PS).


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you for subscribing! I didn't even know about that option. This is the first instructable I've made. I did this for a class I am taking for my masters degrees (going for two of them). We are having a contest to see who could get the most views, so please feel free to share with your friends.

    I love PS, it is pricey though. The only reason I have it is due to student rates.

    I will keep my account and make more instructables. What a cool site and idea.


    I saw this and thought I've been there! Also I think the picture was dull, and making it more vivid can be good,but I think it was overdone. You could have benefited from,if you shoot raw opening the picture in camera raw and raising the shadows and lowering the highlights, then adding a little exposure and saturation.