March 28, 2010

An Easy Way to Lighten Dark Photos


A lot of product photographs on Etsy are too dark, with a grey, dim look to them. It's a shame, because this problem is really easy to fix in Photoshop. I use Adobe Photoshop Elements, but any version of Photoshop will do. Even if you feel really Photoshop-illiterate, don't worry! Here's a simple step-by-step tutorial for fixing your dark pictures fast.

NOTE: Photoshop is no substitute for good photography. It's always best to try and take good pictures in the first place. I'm using a photo of a ninja attacking my drawing of Dr. McCoy. Furthermore, this isn't the only way or even necessarily the best way of lightening photographs. But it's easy and quick, and I use it.

1. First, I load my photo into Adobe Photoshop.

2. Next, I go to the layers menu on the right, and right-click on the layer named "Background." (This is the default layer.) From the pop-up menu, choose "duplicate layer." Now we have two copies of the same image lying on top of each other.

3.Now select the new layer, "Background copy." Then go directly above to the layer properties tab, and click the button to bring down the menu. Choose "Screen."

4. This is the result: a brighter picture!

5. Depending on your photograph, it's possible that it may now look a little too bright. If so, go to the Opacity tab just to the right, and bring down the opacity until the photo looks right.

6. And you're done!

Let me know if you found this helpful!


  1. This works well, as does Levels. I need to see which one works the best. Thanks for doing this instructional!

  2. Thanks for the photoshop tip! Your art is beautiful!

  3. That is a nice and simple tutorial that I needed. Thank you so much. TF

  4. Do you have any way to lighten face?


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