Tiny Changes, Big Results

iD Tech in action

The temptation is great. Filters are awesome. Everyone has their own artistic vision, but after the shiny-newness of all those cool Alien Skin filters we all love to use wears off a bit, you may want to take your photos to the next level, and the way to do that is by subtle changes.

Here is a before-and-after. The original is a film photograph I took in my photo studio, and had printed by my high-end local photo shop. Because they have color chemistry, their black-and-white prints always come out as sepia. (CLick on image to see it larger.)

The modified photo has gone through the subtle set of changes that I feel makes for a stronger photo. In this case, the subject matter is neutral, and therefore could be considered a bit boring, but I chose it because there is nothing to take away your interest from the pure processing differences between the two images.

You want the nitty-gritty on the changes I made, don't you! Well, I'll give you the basics here, and stay tuned for the video version, with the walkthrough of the changes I've made.

First, I scanned the image with all presets off - no in-scanner-sharpening or anything like that. I cranked up the brightness in the brightness/contrast adjustment until the histogram shows the brightest part of the photo nearly at the right edge. Contrast is also increased to give more drama. Adjustments/Black and White is next, bringing it back from sepia to true greyscale. Some people prefer sepia, but I'm showing you what I personally chose, so there you are. A little bit of vignetting is added through the filter/distort/lens correction selection, and there you have it. I didn't do anything drastic. Practice with these few adjustments and see how much better your own photos start to look!

A photo of iD Tech

iD Tech is the world's #1 summer technology camp for kids and teens. We're in the business of providing unforgettable summer tech experiences and inspiring the next generation of coders, app developers, engineers, and innovators.

Featured Posts

Authors

About iD Tech

iD Tech is the #1 tech camp on the planet, with 150+ global locations. Kids and teens learn to code, design video games, produce videosengineer robots, and more!

We've bet our reputation on recruiting the top instructors in the country. Our guaranteed small classes ensure customized learning, leading to "a-ha moments" and awesome outcomes.

View all locations

View all courses