How To Edit Pictures In Photoshop

Image Editor – Adobe Photoshop
Free Photo – Pixabay

In this tutorial I'm going to show you how to edit photos in Photoshop. This is a before picture:

before image

And this is an after picture:

after image


I got this image from Pixabay and found an image that wasn't very popular so few thumbs up. I think the reason for this one being less popular is it was very dark.

layers added

In Photoshop we can see what I did.

I first made a copy of the background so that any changes I made wouldn't affect the original. I brightened the image, added some vibrance to some parts, darkened some of the surrounding area, cropped it and sharpened the eyes.


Let's go ahead and work on the original. First, in the layers panel, I'll drag the background down to the new layer icon to make a copy.

I'm going to use adjustment layers rather than adjust the image so I'll add a brightness/contrast adjustment layer.

Let's increase the brightness and I think in this case this needs to be increased quite a long way. I like to go too far, then too little and then go in the middle.


Some parts are a little bit too light and I can adjust them by putting this mask on those areas.

I click the white mask, select black and use a soft brush. I just have an opacity of 10 and paste over the bright areas.

I'll add some contrast as well as that does make it stand out more but I don't want to go too far so it looks fake. I want to keep it natural but exciting and bright. I'll make it 23 contrast.

I'm not too worried about the outside part because I'm going to change those so I'm looking more at the cat and especially the bit that's in focus which is the face.


I'm happy with that so next I'll do the crop. The toy on the right detracts from the photo so I definitely want to get rid of that and let's then balance it up on the left.

I just I try and adjust it and get the feeling if it's balanced. I'll double-click on that.


Let's go to the eyes next and increase the sharpness so I'll double-click on the zoom button and look at the eyes.

They are fairly clear but not completely clear so I'm going to use the select tool and select the eyes and maybe the nose.

With a person, I would select the eyes, the bottom of the nose and inside the mouth part.

We select background copy as that's the bit we are working on and go to filter, sharpen and smart sharpen.


What I tend to do I is put ‘amount' to about 100 percent then work out the radius. I go to the lowest radius that actually makes it clear.

If I go too high it's sharp but doesn't look real and if I go too low it is still blurred.

For this image 1.7 looks clear and is about the lowest without it blurred.

Next, I come down to about 40% amount so it keeps the sharpness but you can't see it has been changed.

I'll click ok so now we've got the eyes in focus which are the most important things.

This photo is focused on the eyes and the eyes are the important part so they've done well to focus on the eyes.


I want a bit more excitement so let's add some vibrance.

Again I can go too far by adding too much and it'll look fake. The blue and yellow look fake but the important thing is I want to make sure the eyes are nice and vibrant.

One way of doing it is by going over the top to make the least vibrant part look vibrant and then mask the parts that are too vibrant.

So above, the face looks okay but the yellow and blue are overdone so I'll mask those parts.

I'm going to use an opacity of 40 to remove quite a lot. I think the ears and under that chin are a bit too Brown so I've removed some vibrance from those.


I still find that when I look at this picture I look at the yellow and blue a bit too much rather than looking at the cat. I'm therefore going to darken and blur the outside.


Let's select the background copy and click on the round tool and I've got a feather of 200 pixels. This is quite a big image (3-4000 pixels wide) so 200 works for me. If you have a smaller image you'd use a smaller number.

The focal point is between the eyes so I'm going to click there and hold down the shift and alt and make a big circle.

too blurred

I need to select inverse now as I'm blurring the outside then go to filter, blur, gaussian blur. By taking it a long way we can see what happens and that actually doesn't look too bad.

I quite like that because it actually looks like we're looking over something that's near the camera. We can save that so I'll save it as a jpeg.

I'm going to undo that using ctrl Z or ctrl alt Z and I'm not going to blur it that much and I'll use a lower setting like 20 that still looks natural. Now the head is standing out and the rest of it is blurred so it attracts less attention.


I'm going to make a new layer and want to fill that with black so I'll click edit > fill and choose black. To darken the outside I'm just going to change the opacity of that layer so that we are focused on the cat.

I want it to look natural but I want to make sure the eyes and the face stand out.


That's the final image then. I'm happy with that as the face is where we focus our attention so I'll save it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *