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Adjusting brightness and contrast

From: Photoshop Elements 9: Scanning and Restoring Photos

Video: Adjusting brightness and contrast

Well, I have to admit, I hardly ever find myself adjusting the contrast of a photo using the brightness/contrast adjustment layer. It's always a good idea to know all your options and to at least try them on every photo you restore. The properties of each individual photo are just that individual and different. You may eventually have a pretty good idea what may or may not work just by looking at a damaged photograph, but you can never know for sure. So you should try everything. You're looking for the best restoration possible and sometimes an option you've hardly ever found yourself using may surprise you by giving the best result.

Adjusting brightness and contrast

Well, I have to admit, I hardly ever find myself adjusting the contrast of a photo using the brightness/contrast adjustment layer. It's always a good idea to know all your options and to at least try them on every photo you restore. The properties of each individual photo are just that individual and different. You may eventually have a pretty good idea what may or may not work just by looking at a damaged photograph, but you can never know for sure. So you should try everything. You're looking for the best restoration possible and sometimes an option you've hardly ever found yourself using may surprise you by giving the best result.

With your original photo selected, go to Create new fill or adjustment layer icon at the bottom of the layer panel and select Brightness/Contrast. The Brightness slider controls the highlights and shadows. If you move it over to the right too far, you can blow out everything, too far to the left and it gets too dark. You want to find a nice midpoint that leaves your photo looking really good and not blowing anything out. Let's try it about -60. That looks good.

The Contrast slider controls the mid tone values. Towards the left, make your photo a little grayer, and towards the right a little brighter. Again, you want to find a nice moderate place that looks good, about 75 in this case I think. Yeah, that looks good. Now let's see our before and after and see how much difference that made. That made a pretty good difference. In this case, it's usable. Even though levels and curves work better for adjusting contrast, the Brightness/Contrast adjustment shouldn't be completely discounted and should always have a chance to show you what it can do.

It can even be used to make little adjustment tweaks to a photo that's nearly perfect.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop Elements 9: Scanning and Restoring Photos
Photoshop Elements 9: Scanning and Restoring Photos

40 video lessons · 5998 viewers

Janine Smith
Author

 
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  1. 1m 40s
    1. Welcome
      1m 1s
    2. Using the exercise files
      39s
  2. 13m 20s
    1. Identifying your media
      2m 45s
    2. Determining your equipment needs
      2m 24s
    3. Setting your scanner
      3m 26s
    4. Scanning negatives, slides, and film
      1m 11s
    5. Digitizing damaged and delicate photos
      3m 34s
  3. 10m 51s
    1. Importing photos into the Organizer
      3m 34s
    2. Adding captions and notes
      2m 47s
    3. Adding keyword and smart tags
      4m 30s
  4. 25m 11s
    1. Using Levels
      4m 7s
    2. Fixing fades with Threshold
      3m 22s
    3. Adjusting contrast using Color Curves
      4m 18s
    4. Darkening images with blend modes
      2m 12s
    5. Adjusting brightness and contrast
      2m 2s
    6. Using Quick Fix for lighting
      4m 12s
    7. Fixing automatically with Guided Edit
      4m 58s
  5. 18m 59s
    1. Using Levels to fix color
      3m 29s
    2. Correcting color automatically with Enhance
      3m 39s
    3. Correcting color with complementary colors
      5m 19s
    4. Using Color Variations
      3m 28s
    5. Using Quick Fix for color
      3m 4s
  6. 22m 37s
    1. Using the Clone Stamp tool
      5m 24s
    2. Using the Healing Brush
      5m 5s
    3. Working with newspaper and magazine images
      3m 12s
    4. Softening paper texture
      4m 40s
    5. Taming fingerprints
      4m 16s
  7. 42m 52s
    1. Repairing small rips and creases
      4m 22s
    2. Repairing large tears
      8m 22s
    3. Filling in missing pieces
      5m 36s
    4. Reassembling a photo from pieces
      10m 12s
    5. Fixing and replacing backgrounds
      5m 0s
    6. Using Photomerge with panoramas
      3m 59s
    7. Repairing documents
      5m 21s
  8. 22m 48s
    1. Creating a photo book
      6m 1s
    2. Making a calendar
      3m 52s
    3. Creating a personalized greeting card
      4m 26s
    4. Making a slideshow (Windows only)
      4m 22s
    5. Creating a flyer
      4m 7s
  9. 25s
    1. Final thoughts
      25s

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