Photography tips – the basics

I thought I would go through the basic edits I make to every photo (since I can’t think of anything better at 11 pm on Friday night).


1.  Defog (Filter->Sharpen->Unsharpen Mask-> 20/60/0).  The reason why you need to do this to your photos is because this removes the digital haze that is in most photos.  The defog filter is a local contrast enhancement that defines the edges.

2.  Levels or Curves – adjust the midtones.  I usually lighten it a bit.

3. Brightness/ Contrast – adjust the contrast up and sometimes if that moves it too much, then I move the brightness down.  Erase any areas where it appears that the whites are glowing/blown.

4. Flatten the layers.

5.  One last sharpen (Filter->Sharpen->Unsharpen Mask-> 80/1/4)

6.  Use the burn tool around the edges.

Here is a SOOC image (f4.5, ISO 200, SS 1/2000):


Here it is with my processing (elapsed time: 3 minutes):


So there you have it…the best I could come up with!

I post photography and Photoshop tips (nearly) every Saturday, so check back for more or browse my archives under Photography Tips.  I’m open to content suggestions, so if there is an area you are interested in, just leave a comment.

8 Replies to “Photography tips – the basics”

  1. That defog thing…it really makes a difference? I’ve seen alot of references to it but never tried it myself. Now that I know the settings, though, I guess I could. Thanks!

  2. Alissa, yes the defog thing really works well. You may not notice the haze much when you don’t use it, but once you do it is more noticeable.

    Melody, I will address that next week. Thanks for giving me a subject!

Comments are closed.