How To Make Your Photos Look Professional Using Photoshop

By Subodh / August 6, 2014

Photos can capture the moment; freeze them in time for eternity. But not everybody is good enough with a camera to truly capture the scene your eyes and mind perceives. You either mess up with the brightness, contrast or sometimes an unwanted person/object creeps into the scene. These are very simple problems which can be fixed using the wonderful software by Adobe called Photoshop. Using Photoshop you can make your photos look truly professional. Here are the simple steps to be followed-

1. Crop The Image

Most of the time, the snapshots are taken without putting much thought to the composition of the scene. You end up taking a lot of images in hopes of finding the perfect one. Cropping the image will help you focus the image on the subject and make it look perfect.

Use the crop tool to crop the image. The general rule which can be followed while cropping is the ‘rule of thirds’ where the image is divided horizontally and vertically into thirds and the most important features/elements of the image should be near the lines.

photoshop photo

2. Remove Imperfections From The Scene-

Usually when you are not careful while shooting, you’ll end up with all sorts of imperfections in the final image: junk, people getting into the frame, distracting items in the background and so on.

To remove these imperfections, use the Spot Healing Brush tool with the Content Aware option checked in the control panel. Depending on the nature and corrections required in the image, you could also use the Clone Stamp tool or a combo of both to produce a better result.

3. Adding More Detail To The Subject

Sometimes, the subject in the image is either severely overexposed or underexposed. This causes some of the relevant features to be concealed or too bright.

To fix the exposure problem, use the Shadow/Highlights tool located inside the Adjustments menu. This allows you to recover details from the shadows and highlights while adjusting the contrast and tone. Move the sliders in this tool until all the details are clearly visible and acceptable and the overall image still looks as natural as possible.

4. Enhancing The Colors And Tone

If the lighting of the scene isn’t perfect, the colors appear dark or flat than they really should be. Adjusting the colors and tone of the image can add a lot of character to the picture.

Photoshop has really cool options like ‘Auto Color’ and ‘Auto Tone’ which can be found in the Image menu. These tools adjust the tone and color of the image automatically, providing you with a vivid image.

If you want to tweak the color and tone man like ‘Auto Color’ and ‘Auto Tone’ which can be found in the Image menu. These tools adjust the tone and color of the image automatically, providing you with a vivid image.

If you want to tweak the color and tone manually, you can use ‘Curves’ to make the colours more enhanced by adjusting the tones. Plus, by manipulating the three color channels through ‘Curve Points’, you can easily create different looks and completely alter the atmosphere and mood of your image.

5. Blur The Background

The really cool thing about professional photos is the treatment of the subject. The focus of the image lies on the subject while the rest is blurred, making it look more powerful. Blurring the background while retaining the focus on the subject can make the photos look more engaging.

  • First, start by duplicating the background layer and then apply a blur filter to it. You could try the Lens Blur or the Gaussian Blur and choose the one that best suits your need.
  • After the filter has been applied, select the blurred layer and click on the ‘Add Layer Mask’ icon at the bottom of the Layers palette.
  • Select the created mask and highlight the parts that should be in focus from the underneath layer by using a soft brush, leaving the other parts to be out of focus.
  • Once the result is satisfying, merge the layers together by clicking Ctrl+E.

6. Photo Filter

Photo Filters can be used to highlight or bring back the mood of the image as you remember it. It can enhance or neutralize the colors according to your need.

In the Adjustments layer, click on ‘Photo Filter’ and choose from the wide range of colors to tint and enhance your image.