Blending Layers

Be in Control 

as you correct/enhance your photos

This 'tutorial' describes all the basic methods of correcting your images that I have used and learnt in my quest to be able to produce images that reflect what I want to convey to the viewer.  I have read a fair amount and have taken what I consider are the best and easiest to learn tools.  I do not pretend to be an expert and have ignored such tools as Color Balance, Brightness/Contrast, Hue/Saturation, Selective Color and Channel Mixer as they are deemed not to produce the best and cleanest results.

The following sections (sub-pages) are ordered from the simplest methods upwards - so that you can dive in depending on your level of experience - starting with the Auto features of Photoshop through to using the Curve dialog and being able to change the colour of individual items.

I am only going to describe the first steps in processing an image, after which I tend to use Actions to add the final touches.

Before you even start altering the out-of-camera image, you should really inspect and decide if you are going to crop it.  Why?  Because sometimes the pieces you remove may have an effect on your processing actions and it would be daft to have to tweak the changes at the end instead of the start.  Dark, light or single colour areas will impact how some tools work, especially the automatic ones.  Also you should spend some time thinking about how you want to present your photo, in order that you know in which way you want to alter it.

Click on any of the links below to see the step by step guide - each subject assumes you have read, or know about, the previous one!  None of the techniques are difficult to learn even though some of them may be regarded as 'advanced'!

This is rather an ambitious list which I shall fill in piece by piece - but then you are one of the very few people to stumble upon this page, so please be patient.

Crop notes
composition lines, colour, shading, rule of 3rds
mechanics +perspective cropping
Auto Levels + other autos + lab if problems
basic understanding elastic band analogy, useless histogram
alt key setting s/h points + screen settings

Image & Adjustment Layers - can't do it without them

Layer Masks sometimes necessary

Blending Layers for extra power - ignore at your peril 

Dodge & Burn - 2 non-destructive methods

basic mechanics cntrl&alt

Curving is an absolute must for post-processing

Shadow/Highlights colourwatcher
BlendIF skin mask?
basic understanding bricks & examples
Colour Colour changing lab + clock
Colour casts rgb + clock
skin clock

The ultimate challenge - changing colour to B&W