Inside Photoshop

Fix high contrast photos while maintaining the lighting ratio

Inside Photoshop

by Amy Courtright

Have you ever taken a picture directly in front of a window? If so, and you didn’t use a flash or fill-flash to reduce the lighting ratios, then your final print was probably less than desirable. Because of strong lighting and very dark shadows anything located in front of the window will be silhouetted. However, with a little help from Photoshop you can fix the tonal values of your image bringing a dark foreground into the light, as shown in Figure A.

Figure A: BEFORE
Article figure image

Article figure image

Making a negative

To begin, open an image that you want to retouch in Photoshop. Then, make a separate copy of the image by choosing Image> Duplicate. In the resulting Duplicate Image dialog box name your new document Negative and click OK.

With your new document open, change its mode to Grayscale. To do so, choose Image Mode> Grayscale. If, at this point, an Adobe Photoshop dialog box displays asking to Discard Color Information click OK. Now, choose Image> Adjustments> Invert to create a negative image, as shown in Figure B. Next, choose, Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur, to soften the edges of your image. Set the Radius of your blur to 5[…]


Subscribe to Inside Photoshop

(get full access to archives and more)