Photoshop 101: How To Brighten an Image

Adobe photoshop how to brighten an image - Amanda Speroni


Hello everyone! Today's post is a little different, I have a couple of requests from some blogging friends to create some photoshop how to's. I am by no means a technology expert, but through my studies I have been fortunate enough to learn about this program. 

This tutorial is a basic step by step guide on how to take a photo that is dark and brighten it up to your likings. There are other ways of doing this, but this is the easiest and more quick technique that I have come across. That being said, let's get started!

Step 1: Open up your image in photoshop. Simple enough. 


Adobe photoshop guide step 1

Step 2: We're going to apply something that is called an adjustment layer to the image. Under the 'Layer' drop down we are going to select 'New Adjustment Layer' and select the 'Levels' version. Once you click this a little dialogue box will pop up.  


Adobe photoshop guide new levels layer step two

Step 3: This is your layer dialogue box. It pops up every time you decide to create a new layer, whether its a regular layer or an adjustment layer. You can rename this layer if you'd like, but I am just going to keep the generic 'Levels 1' name. Click OK

Adobe photoshop guide new levels layer press okay step three

Step 4: On your layers panel you will see this adjustment layer pop up. This is a good thing. Now be sure that it is the layer you have selected. When it is selected it will be blue tinted like seen in the picture. 

Adobe photoshop guide select levels layer step four

Step 5: Alright let's get to brightening this image up. We are going to go under the layer styles drop menu. Your layer will always begin being set as 'Normal' we are going to set it at 'Screen'.  Over on the properties panel you can keep all the settings at their default settings.

Adobe photoshop guide layer options screen step five

Step 6: This is what is going to lighten up the image. Now you may like the way the image looks right off the bat. Or you may find it too bright. Based on your preference you can change the Opacity of this layer option. I will set mine at 80%. This is also a beneficial feature to ensure all your images for a post are the same brightness.  

Adobe photoshop guide opacity settings for brightness step six

Final product: Here is what you should get as a finished product. 

Adobe photoshop guide before and after image on how to brighten


I hope this step by step guide helped some of you learn a new thing on photoshop! I know it can be an overwhelming program, my best advice is to take your time, practice and try new things! You can always click undo ;) I will be posting similar content to this one, if you have any requests for step by step guides for photoshop leave them in the comments or tweet me @AmandaSperoni.

Thanks for reading! xo

25 comments

  1. I've never used photoshop :p

    I really should

    Pam xo/ Pam Scalfi♥

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    Replies
    1. It is a complex, but really amazing program! :)

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  2. Great post! Thanks for sharing your tips, very helpful! :)

    I would love for us to connect on social media Amanda!

    xx Arwa
    http://cremerose.blogspot.com

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    1. thank you so much! and absolutely! i'll check your blog for your social media! thanks for reading!

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  3. This is such a useful post!
    Thanks so much for sending me your link via twitter, you have a lovely blog.
    RavishingRoses

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    1. thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed! xo

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  4. Thanks Alot im definitely going to do this with my photos i've been tryin so much different ways to lighten my pics :/ endin up filtering them too much :(

    Nique || 2nbeauty.blogspot.com

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    1. This is an easy way to avoid using those types of filters! Hope it works for you :)

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  5. This is really helpful (and a lot more straightforward than I might have imagined) - I tend to click around and hope for the best. I'll definitely be giving this a go on my newer pics! Thanks for the guide.

    Sammy xo.

    www.littlefickle.com

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    1. Glad you liked it Sammy! Photoshop can sound so intimidating but there is a lot of easy useful things you can do :)

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  6. Levels are great! Love to use for colouring as well!

    ×××

    F U R O R E MAGAZINE

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    1. Absolutely! :) Thinking about doing some more How To's with them!

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  7. Found this post really helpful, thanks!

    Hey, I've nominated you for the Liebster Awards because I think your blog is awesome and that other people should check it out!
    You can read more about it on my blog (it's my latest post right now but if I post something else it should be pretty easy to find!)
    I definitely recommend getting involved because it's a great way to get involved in the blogging community and make friends :) x

    www.aninterestingkarrachter.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Thank you so much Grace! and I'm glad you enjoyed the post! :)

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  8. I love adobe photoshop. You can do so much to a pic once you start shooting in RAW!

    xx Izzy | xx Izzy | Qthee

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    1. absolutely! :) its a really great program to have!

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  9. I find photoshop quite complex but this one is so helpful
    Thanks for sharing

    The Bandwagon Chic | Instagram | Bloglovin | Snapchat: bandwagonchic

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  10. Sadly I don't have Photoshop but I always adjust curves and increase highlights over using a straight brightening tool too :) xx

    Jasmine Talks Beauty

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    1. Your photos are always on point! :) Thanks for reading!

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  11. great step by step! i use adobe products for work (mostly illustrator) but for my blog I'm too lazy, i know it would improve my photos though.

    writingwhimsy.com

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    1. I feel ya! It can be such a hassle to go through all your pictures to edit them, but sometimes it helps so much if your shooting at night! Thanks for reading :)

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  12. Thanks for the post! I'd love to learn to use photoshop, the last time I used it it took me 3 hours to do a collage! hahaha I really need to improve! :)

    www.thecovetbeauty.com

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    1. oh my! takes time and some practice! you'll get the hang of it and once you do you'll be sooooo happy! its an awesome program!

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  13. Hi! We have almost the same procedure except I didn't know about the adding of adjustment layer. :) I'm still very interested about learning new things especially in Photoshop as I don't think of myself as an expert as well.

    I have a post of my own tutorial here: http://keepcalmandbeautify.blogspot.com/2015/03/how-to-brighten-images.html Just thought of sharing. :)

    Dawn

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