This is a Intermediate tutorial on how to make your pictures have a very proffesional look. In this tutorial you will learn about sharpening techniques, and some coloring techniques, to make your photos more vibrant. I personally use this on many photos and they come out great! Check back soon as there is another photo tutorial coming soon.

In this tutorial I will show you some unique effects to try on your photos. For this tutorial I am using an image from sxc.hu, you can access the photo directly by clicking this link.

First open the picture you would like to use.

Original Photo

Duplicate the layer by pressing Ctrl J or by going to layer then duplicate layer on the menu bar.

Next go to Filter > Other > High Pass . Use a setting of about 0.8 if you are using the sample photo, otherwise the golden rule is to make it so that just enough of the image is showing so that you don’t see a lot of colors, but rather different shades of gray.

High Pass

Now change the layer mode to overlay, Notice the added sharpness to the edges of the towers.

Shaprened

UnsharpenedSharpened
We are now going to adjust the color of the image by going to Image > Adjustments > Curves. Drag the two points as shown in the image below.

Curves

We are now going to adjust the color of the image by going to Image > Adjustments > Levels Drag the two points as shown in the image below.

Levels

Now we are going to select all Ctrl + A then press Shift + Ctr + C to copy the entire image. Now press Ctrl + V to paste the image as the top layer. Change this new layers mode to Overlay and opacity to 23%.

What this does is emphasize the color of the image.

Overlayed Color

Now we are going to do the same thing we did in the last step press Ctrl + A then press Shift + Ctr + C to copy the entire image. Now press Ctrl + V to paste the image as the top layer.

Next go to Image > Adjustments > Shadow/Highlight set the Shadow value to about 28% and leave the Highlights value at 0%

Shadow/Highlight

This makes the shadows not as overpowering so we can see more defined trees and we can get a bit more detail that is normally to dark to see.
Now to add some Color Balance, click on the Adjustment Layer icon below at the bottom of the layers pattlete then click on Color Balance… Add the following settings

Color Balance1

Midtones1

As you might have noticed the sky is a bit washed out, to fix this we are going to use the color balance technique again. This time however we just want the sky. So go to Select > Color Range then set the fuzziness to about 80, and while the color range window is still open click the sky, and then press ok. You should now see that you have selected the sky.

Click on the Adjustment Layer icon below at the bottom of the layers pattlete then click on Color Balance… Add the following settings

Color balance 2

Midtones2

You are now left with a great looking photo!!

Final Photo

Comparison