We all take bad photos, whether you are a photographer or just someone snapping photos on a phone for fun. What happens to those photos? Well, most of those bad photos would normally be deleted. In this blog post, I am going to show you how I made a bad photo that I took look a lot better… hopefully.
The photo I chose is way underexpose, the horizon is crooked, my hand moved when I took the photo causing some blur, and overall this photo was bad. Below you can see for yourself this bad photo:
I am using Photoshop Elements 2020 to edit this photo and hopefully make it better. I am going to show you how I edited in a step-by-step format below. 😀
I first did an auto edit on the photo. All that edit did was brighten up some dark spots.
For the next edit, I lightened up the shadows, darkened the highlights, and add some midtone contrast.
Next, I fixed one of the big flaws in the photo (in my opinion) which was the crooked horizon.
By making the horizon straight I made a new problem with the edges. To fix the black edges I did some proximity matching on the photo.
For the next bit I added some saturation and brightened the photo up.
Next I added more contrast to the photo.
Right now we have the photo below:
In my opinion, this is still not a super great photo. I think what I want to do next is to add a filter on top of this. Photoshop is certainly not the greatest with filters so I decided to open the photo up into PhotoScape X Editor (A post is coming on this editor next week 😊) I am also going to work on the color, detail, etc. in PhotoScape.
Now that the photo is in PhotoScape I am going to use the HDR to enhance the photo.
For the next edit I just worked on removing the grain in the photo. From doing all of these edits, I got some artifacts and grain in the photo which needs to be improved.
Below you can see that I decided to mess with the colors a bit more. I felt that the colors were a bit too cool and using the Auto Color, the program warmed the photo up a little.
Okay, so next I went into colors to do a bit more tweaking. Below is a screenshot of all of the changes that I did and the amount that I changed each thing.
Finally I feel that I am done with all of the color edits and it is time to move over to the filters. The filter I chose was called “Retro 1980” and added an old effect to the photo.
Why did I do this? I feel that because the original photo had some motion blur and during the edits I did add some unintentional grain, the photo would be better off with the addition of an overall “older look”.
Finally, I have decided that I will finish editing here. I have made a pretty bad photo look better. Does it look great? Well, I will let you decide that on your own.
Below, depending on what device you are reading this on, you will either have a slider to compare the original and final photo or you will have two photos. Either way, you can compare the original photo to the one that has come out of my edits.
Now, it is time for me to wrap up this blog post in saying a big thank you to you for reading this! This has been a ton of work so I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments about this post and the edit on this photo!
-Digital Wonders & Smiles