I have a quick tidbit of information today to help you out if you are having trouble with darkness in a particular spot on a photo.

A lot of people are working on PL layouts and a lot of those photos (in my case anyway) come from cell phones. Most of the time cell phones have great quality these days but in certain conditions, like low light, they can give us a less than stellar photo.

Let me share with you the offending photo of my daughter picking out new glasses last week.


After adjusting the level of brightness in Photoshop I got it to a level where I was happy with everything else but the face was still a smidge to dark to really see. Now if I lightened it anymore it would wash out the background and I did not want to do that. So what I needed to do was lighten the face alone. Here it is lightened.


Much better, right? But that darkness around the eyes is no bueno! Here is what you can do…again, this is not a 16mp perfect pic, but it will definitely become usable and that is what we want, right? Those quick, cute everyday moments to be usable in PL.


You are going to use your elliptical marquee tool to select the area that you want to lighten. At the top I have added a feather of 100 pixels. That just means it will gradually fade out instead of having a hard line and depending on how big or small your circle you will want to adjust that amount. You will have to play with it a little and see what works best for your photo. This is a fairly small area so I only added 100. That will give you the marching ants where you have made your selection.


Then you are going to click on the create new fill or adjustment layer icon at the bottom of your layers palette. That’s the one that looks like a half colored in circle. You are going to click curves.


Now you will see you have an adjustment layer and the little curves window will pop up. If you are adding light to a picture you will look at the top portion of that little graph (where the square is in the pic) and slightly pull it up until you get to the amount of light you prefer. It will always differ depending on the photo. Do not be afraid to play here… if you mess up just erase it and try again. Ctrl+Alt+Z is your friend!

step4And in this case the before and after:


Once you have it down it honestly takes only a minute or two and is so completely worth the effort of adding these every day moments (like new eyeglass shopping) in to your albums! Also here is my layout from week 2, using Shawna’s products and this photo!


Layout made using 6 Simple Rules and Life Basics – Hello Life Starter Set both by Shawna.

Now, good luck with your photos! Do not be afraid to play with them and see what you can really do!