Photo Tip – Lightening Shadows and Darkening Highlights Can Improve a Photo

When you are out photographing a home usually one side of the home has more sunlight on it than does another side. We try to take the front photos when the sun is on them, but sometimes it doesn’t work out. Here in Colorado the clouds tend to move in sometime in the afternoon. So, I usually schedule to photograph in the mornings.

You can easily use Photoshop Elements (I currently use version 7) to lighten the shadow areas and darken some of the highlight areas. Which helps me go from this:

needs to be lightened 3 to this: mls front 3

To do this, open your file/photo in Photoshop Elements – use Full Edit

click on “Enhance” ♦  click on “Adjust Lighting” ♦ click on “Shadows/Highlights”

A window will pop up with “Lighten Shadows” • “Darken Highlight” • “Midtone Contrast”

Place the box on the screen so that you can see the whole photograph. Starting at the top slide the markers to adjust the shadows, highlights and sometimes the midtone areas.

Below is another example – this also works for inside shots. I will cover inside shots another day.

needs to be lightened 

You will notice in this shot that it allows us to see more of what is going on in the inset area of the patio.

mls Back of Home

2 comments on “Photo Tip – Lightening Shadows and Darkening Highlights Can Improve a Photo

  1. leaannbrown says:

    Great pictures! Question: If I want to take a picture of the front range, from a Highlands Ranch vantage point, what time of day is best, and what about clouds?

    Lea Ann

  2. cgrape says:

    I find that mid to late morning is great looking West at this time of year. The sky will come out really blue on a clear day. I do like it if there are some puffy white clouds in the distance and if the air is very clear. The crisp air usually happens the morning after we have had some really good breezes the night before.

    Right now the front range is really green and will look pretty great. Though my favorite is when the foothills have turned green before the snow melts on Mt Evans and Longs Peak.

    I suggest you have your camera with you everyday until you get the shot you are looking to capture.

    Oh, and you can do stitching in Photoshop Elements to create a cool panoramic. If you would like, I can do a step by step blog post. Just make sure you stand in one spot and overlap your frames about 20% to get started.

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