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Hi and welcome back.

Since I did one post on Photoshop the other day, why not add another?

I think I may do a series, maybe once a week on a PS tip.

For this tip, I’ll show you a really quick way to add contrast to your images in Photoshop using blending modes.

All of my keystrokes are for a Mac, so you Windows users will have to use the applicable keys.

Here is the image I want to add a bit of contrast.  This is a great and simple commercial shot that needs a boost.  I got this back from my retoucher like this, and I think it needs a bit of help.


After opening your image in PS, you need to duplicate the background layer so you work above the original in layers.  This is a bit like building a sandwich.  The background is your bread or roll, the layers above all are like the mustard, ham, cheese, lettuce, tomato, etc…

A Screen Shot 2016-03-25 at 8.41.52 AM

Use Command-J to duplicate the layer.  The other reason to do this is that the blending modes are not available to you on the background layer:

B Screen Shot 2016-03-25 at 8.41.39 AM

Now we head right on to the Blending Mode.  This is the dropdown box that says Normal above Layer 1 or the layer you just created:

C Screen Shot 2016-03-25 at 8.41.39 AM

Click on the dropdown and head down to Soft Light.  This is a simple and effective way to add contrast and also have the ability to adjust contrast on the image:

D Screen Shot 2016-03-25 at 8.42.55 AM

After clicking on this adjustment, you can adjust the amount of contrast you’ve added by using the slider on the right.  Some images need more that others.  In this image, I’m leaving it at 100% to show you how you can really fine tune the image for color, tone, and of course contrast:

E Screen Shot 2016-03-25 at 8.43.27 AM

Here is my final set to 100%:

_DSC1278 contrast_

I really pushed contrast here.  Normally, I set my slider to around 20-30% so as not to push too much and make the image too contrast-y.

Here is a side-by-side comparison:


You can really see the difference here.  I love how her skin glows and the blue of her dress really pops.

Adding contrast is super simple in PS.  This is one of those adjustments I love because it is quick and easy.  And if you don’t want to waste time in PS, this one’s for you!

That’s it for today.  Till next time, Happy Easter and happy Photoshopping!