Photoshop Tutorial - Make a dull image POP!

Posted at Mar 23, 2011 4:00:47 AM by Michelle Sternbauer | Share

Having recently been getting back into photography myself, I am finding that there are certain times that I believe I have all of my settings right, and have an AMAZING shot, only to come back to my computer to find a washed out image...total bummer!

If you find yourself in a similar situation...don't worry...all is not lost! Follow these simple steps in our Photoshop tutorial, and turn your image from BLAH into GORGEOUS!

  1. Open your image in Photoshop
  2. Duplicate the layer (trust me...you'll see why later) [Ctrl/Cmd + J]
  3. Convert to LAB Color (do NOT flatten image) [Image > Mode > Lab Color]
  4. Confirm that Layer 1 (duplicate layer) is selected and go to the Channels Tab
  5. Select Channel "a"
  6. Open Curves [Ctrl/Cmd + M or Image > Adjustments > Curves]
  7. Select the handle in the upper right and drag it to the left, along the top to the first square (reference screenshot below)
  8. Now select the handle in the lower left and drag it to the right, along the bottom to the first square (reference screenshot below)
  9. Click "OK"
  10. Switch to Channel "b", and repeat steps 6 - 9
  11. Select Lab Channel and convert back to RGB (do NOT flatten image) [Image > Mode > RGB Color]
  12. Go back to your Layers Tab and look at your image. Probably looks like you went a little overboard, huh? Good thing you made your edits on a new layer! Play with the opacity, until you are satisfied, and your image is just as gorgeous as you thought it should be.

Hope it helped!  For more photoshop fun, check out our newest tutorial on how to make a double exposure effect

If you followed our Photoshop tutorial and found it helpful, give us a call; we'd love to hear from you! Our expert graphic designers can make any image truly POP, so come to THAT Agency, a leading web design firm in West Palm Beach, for any needed web design services.

Here are a couple of my new and improved images for you to look over:


Original Image


Corrected Image


Original Image


Corrected Image

Looking for even more tips on how to make your photos stand out? Check out this post on how to take great product photos for social media. And, if social media is your thing, be sure to download our nifty social media ROI calculator, so you can clearly see how your social media marketing efforts pay off.

Free Social Media ROI Calculator | Microsoft Excel File | THAT Agency

Tags: Web Design, General

Best Practices for Digital Marketing in 2022: FREE GUIDE