Photo Editing: Photoshop Levels

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Photo Editing: Photoshop Levels

Here is a quick trick that will make your photos look 100 times better.

1. Bring up the Levels information (Image -> Adjustment -> Levels)
2. Adjust the small triangle markers to slice off any space that has no information.

3. The triangles represent the black and white points of the image. The black triangle represents where the image is completely black and the white triangle where the image is completely white. By cutting out the part of the image where there is no information, you will heighten the brightness and contrast of the image. The middle triangle represents the mid-tones. You can slide this one too to see how it affects your image. Take some time to move the triangles and see how your picture is affected.
4. I generally run all the pictures we plan on keeping through Auto Levels (or Auto Tone in newer versions of Photoshop). This just does the steps we went through automatically. Keep in mind that some information from the original image is lost during this process.

Thank you for this! Levels definately helped the example you showed!!!

Thank you for share the information, I had to learn it alone some time ago...kkkkk

I love using levels when retouching images. I can always achieve something I like.

This is one of the things I do to pretty much every photo I take! (My poor little point-and-shoot camera, while it does an amazing job at close-ups, doesn't always get light levels right.)

Another similar technique I do for fixing flat lighting:
- In the layers window, Create a New Fill/Adjustment Layer (half-moon shape).
- Gradient Map.
- In the Properties window, click on the gradient shown, and change it to one that goes from pure black to pure white.
- Set layer mode to Luminosity.

Basically, this is re-mapping your image's darkest areas to true black, and lightest areas to white - similar to what Level adjustment does, but I find the results are often a bit different. Playing around with different colors in that gradient works well for making soft-light looks (using colors closer together)...or seriously psychedelic looks if you pick crazy colors. smiley

On most images, I use both this and Level adjustment, though sometimes one or the other works better, depending on the photo. I think Levels makes it more prone to "glowiness", while Gradient Map does more contrast..if that makes any sense lol.

want to know more photo edit tricks smiley

Thank you for your great tutorials!

Awesome! I tried the Auto Tone, but it didn't necessarily come out how I liked it, sometimes too red on the pics I was working on, so adjusting them individually worked great. Thanks!

Great tips - thank you!

This was really helpful as I am not so good at lighting my pictures.

Thanks for the tutorial smiley

I didn't know this!! thanks

Wow The pic looks so much better after the adjustments. I am going to try this on some of my snaps. Thank you

I love using levels, I do it on every photo!!

Thank you for this great tip!

Awesome! Thanks for sharing!

Thanks for sharing

Thank you for this! smiley