How to make your photos LOOK BETTER FAST! Photoshop Tutorial


– What’s up everybody? Peter McKinnon here, and today, we’re talking about how to
make your photos look better. Fast. (intense music) Okay, so you know when you
get home from somewhere, you’ve been taking photos,
maybe vacation, maybe trip, hanging out with friends,
and you load that photo onto your computer and you’re like, (gasps) this looks so good! Throw it up on the socials,
Facebook, Instagram, people are double tapping
that IG, hearts are flowing, and you’re just feeling
good about yourself, right as the sun sets and
it’s just so beautiful. And then there’s sometimes you get home, and you open that photo
up on your computer and you’re like,
(record skips) I remember this being way better
when I was there, promise. So these are some basic editing skills, basic editing skills, that you can do on your photographs at home
at any time using Photoshop. I’m using Photoshop CC, so
go ahead, head over to Adobe and download the trial of that, or sign up for their
subscription based service which is what I do, and
you pay a monthly fee to basically own all of their apps, that’s what I recommend. We can take a mundane
photo that looks like this, and turn it into something
that looks like this, in pretty much like 10 minutes maybe? Even faster if you do this thing
on a daily basis like I do. Okay, so we’ve dragged
our photo into Photoshop and here we are, we are hit
with the Camera Raw plugin that pops up and says,
hey this is a raw file, what do you wanna do? Do you wanna just open the image as is? Do you wanna tweak it a little bit here with Camera Raw and then open it? And this is where you
might say to me, Pete, well what’s the difference between editing and doing everything you’re
about to show me in Lightroom instead of using Lightroom and Photoshop, or using Camera Raw and Photoshop? Yeah, you can do everything in Lightroom. You can do everything in Photoshop. It’s all about workflow, what
programs you like better, I like using them both. Photoshop’s more of like
a photo manipulator, where you can, I don’t
like that guy’s face! I’m gonna put his face on his face. Great for that kind of thing. But I like using them both in
conjunction with one another, and I’m gonna show you
how I do it right here. Doesn’t take long, so don’t
be nervous or like, oh, this is intense, it’s intense
if you don’t pay attention. But no, we’re gonna rip
through this, so Camera Raw, I’m just gonna tweak the
exposure, bring up the contrast a little bit, highlights,
you’ll see in the mountain there at the top if I drag
them all the way to the right, they blow out, if I bring
them all the way down, it’s a little too dark, but
I’m happy kind of just, just, just a little south of the center there. Shadows, I’m fine with,
you can see it really only affects that T-shirt if we
drag ’em all the way up, but I don’t want it to be this bright. It’s just a little bit weird, little bit awkward if you will. I’ll drag ’em up to like 25,
we’ll meet in the middle. The whites, I’m happy with the whites, the blacks, that’s good, the
clarity I always like to tweak a little bit because it
just defines all those edges and really sharpens the image nicely straight into Photoshop. The vibrance we’re gonna up a little bit, little bit more saturation. And then, because of those
clarity adjustments we just did, that sometimes darkens the image, so you might wanna go back
and just bring that exposure up slightly, and then
we’re gonna hit Open Image. Okay, here we are, the first
thing I usually do with a photo is clean up any dust on someone’s shirt or if they have bad skin I
usually go over their skin with a brush tool like
this spot healing brush, that kinda thing. And if you watched my tutorial
on how to float things in your photos, this is the
same brush that I’m using, and I’m just clicking
to get rid of any dust or specks, that’s this brush
over here on the left side right below the color picker. And it just like, look,
you click, it’s gone, so you can kinda clean up any spots that you want to smooth
over with this brush. Now sometimes if you were
to click something too big, like let’s say I made this
brush size huge and clicked, you can actually see the
outline of the circle. So you don’t wanna do that. If you wanted to get rid of
this little red mark here, you’d be better off hitting S, which gives you the clone stamp, you hold down Option, select
the area you wanna clone, and then you click to
clone that area over. And I’m happy with pretty
much just that right there. He’s got good skin as it
is, so, I am ready to go. Now with Photoshop, you
never wanna just edit the bottom layer and just
start caking on your layers and layers, an hour goes by,
you crushed an entire pizza. And then you realize to yourself, oh, his eyes are a little bit too dark, I’m gonna go back and change that. And you’re like, woops, sorry,
you flattened that image and baked those edits into
that photo like 38 minutes ago. There’s no going back. But if you do everything on layers, you can always delete a layer,
go back, delete what you did, tweak that layer’s
adjustments, change the colors, so you always wanna work in layers. Now, I don’t just
duplicate the background, I Shift + Option + Command + N is gonna give you a new layer. And then what I do is stamp
visible layer on top of that. This sounds crazy already, right? But hang on, Shift + Option + Command + E pastes that image into
the new layer we just made instead of just duplicating a layer. If I’ve made a bunch of edits to a layer then I duplicate it, it’s
gonna duplicate those edits with it, I don’t want that,
I just want a clean start so I can manipulate that and
then blend everything together. If that doesn’t make
sense, rewind, watch it, if you still rewound and watch
and it doesn’t make sense, do a shot, come back, it’ll make sense. Okay, I’m gonna start
by sharpening the image, and by doing that, I start
by blurring the image first. Sounds counterintuitive,
yes, but this is why. You’re gonna go over to
Filter, Blur, Gaussian Blur, I have it preset to five,
so set your radius to five, hit OK, change the blending mode down here in your layers panel to Soft Light. Woo! Look at that, it looks
warm, it looks more punchy, it already looks cooler,
but, I know, it’s blurry. You’re like, why would
I just wreck an image to try and make it better? Sometimes you gotta set something free to, what’s the saying? You gotta let it go to make it come back? Or if you love it set it free? You know what, doesn’t matter, change the opacity to
50%, hit Enter, okay? Now, if we use that little eyeball there, visible and invisible, you can see how it’s warmed his skin up,
it’s kind of added this glow, this nice, smooth aspect to it. Soothing, comforting, if you will. And we can see that by just
clicking the eyeball on and off. Now is where we’re going to sharpen it. So again, I’m gonna Shift
+ Option + Command + N for a new layer, Shift
+ Option + Command + E to stamp that layer on top. And I’m gonna desaturate this, because I don’t want to affect the colors when I’m sharpening it,
I just want to affect the lightness and the darkness
while I’m sharpening it. So Shift + Command + U is
gonna take all that color away, gone, change that
blending mode to Overlay, you’re gonna go, oh my
goodness, Pete, what? This looks like a scene from The Crow. What is this nonsense? Hang on with me here,
go up to Filter, Other, we’re gonna run a High Pass
on it, what just happened? I know, it’s magic, you’ll see
that weird crow-like filter just vanished, and now we
have something that looks a little sharper, you’re gonna hit OK. Now let’s zoom in to his face here and take a look at what’s happened. If we hide that, it’s blurry,
we unhide it, it’s sharp. Now if we unhide that, and unhide this, you’ll see the colors have not only been pumped up a little bit in saturation, but that skin’s nice and
smooth, and now it’s sharp. And we zoom out, and it’s
looking pretty good gosh darn it. If you want to double those effects, if you want to say, you know what? I could use a little bit more
of that sharpening, Pete. Or, I’d like the skin to
look even more dreamy, hold down Command,
select both those layers, drag them down to this New Layers tab, and that’s gonna duplicate the layers with all of the effects. Now that’s too strong for me, so while those two layers are still, while they’re still selected, I couldn’t even think
of what to say there, change your opacity to
whatever suits your fancy. I’m gonna go down to like 20, I don’t want to really over exaggerate duplicating those effects, but just enough that it gives
me a little, little more. Okay, what do we do now Pete? Well, it could use some warmth, it’s not winter time
right now in this photo, but it’s looking a little too cold. So we’re gonna warm the photo up, and we’re gonna do that
by, you guessed it, Shift + Option + Command + N, new layer, and then we are going to Shift + Delete, that’s gonna bring up
the Content Aware box. And you’re gonna hit Color under Contents, which then opens up the Color Picker. I have orange selected,
there’s the hexadecimal code if you want to see that, F57900, you can plug that into the same spot and you’ll end up with the same
color orange that I’m using. But, it all depends on
the photo you’re editing, so kinda doesn’t matter. Hit OK, hit OK again, and now
you have it, looks beautiful. A nice, solid, pumpkin looking
photo, completely orange. Change that blending mode
down here to Soft Light. And now it looks a little better, it still looks like he has jaundice, and things are going bad, but we’re gonna change that
opacity to like, I don’t know, maybe like 15, I’d say
15 is like a good spot. Maybe 13, I wanted to go 10, but then 15, so 13 in the middle sounds
like, I’m happy with that. So now that looks warmer, so let’s hide all of these
and see what we’ve done, see how it’s looking better already? Let’s, boop, not bad. Now, what if I wanted to
make his eyes brighter, or make the mountains in
the background darker? Because they’re a little too washed out, or his eyes now look a little too dark because of all the
sharpening and the saturation that we’ve added with the gaussian blur. Well this is how you’re gonna do that. You’re gonna make a new layer, Shift + Option + Command + N, you’re gonna stamp that visible on there, and you’re gonna grab the
lasso tool, hold Command down, hit plus on your keyboard,
that’s gonna zoom in. If you hold spacebar, you’ll
see this little hand pop up, and you can use that hand
to move the image around. Command + Plus again to zoom in, and we’re just gonna select the iris, I don’t wanna make the
whites of his eyes too bright because then he’ll look like
someone from The Walking Dead. So once we’ve selected that, you’ll see that little selection of what’s called marching ants, that means this area is selected. You hold Shift, you’ll
see a little plus pop up beside the lasso, lasso, lasso, lasso? Whatever. Select the other eye, be very
careful not to go too much into the skin, but it’s okay, and now we’ve got both eyes selected. Now you’re gonna come down here and make a new adjustment layer with brightness and contrast. Click on that, now if
we up that brightness you’ll see just the eyeballs
are getting brighter. Now that’s terrifying, that
straight up looks like a zombie, if we zoom out there, unless, if that’s what you’re
going for, you’re done. But not here, we’re just gonna
up that just a little bit, I don’t want it to be too obvious. If you brighten someone’s
eyes up way too much, people know and it
looks bad and it’s like, oh that guy had some fun in Photoshop. We don’t want that, we
want it to be subtle. The more subtle edits
that we apply to this, just the more pleasing it’s
gonna end up in the end. So I’m just bumping that a
little, right there is fine, 24 for me, I am good to go with that. Now we’re gonna make another layer again, and what I’m gonna do with this layer is darken those mounds in the background. Same thing, Shift + Option + Command + N, Shift + Option + Command + E, I feel like I have to keep saying that in case people are tuning
in or zoning in and out, so I’m sorry, and I just apologized, half because I’m Canadian,
and half because I am sorry. But anyway, let’s get back to this. What you’re gonna do, is
again, with that lasso tool, you’re just gonna draw a
line along the water line, over his head, over the
trees, just like this, up that border of the
photo, across the top, and across the left side,
back down, right there. Happy with that, now we’ve
got our selection here. Same thing, adjustment
layer, Curves this time. Now we’re gonna use this curve, and we’re going to bring
down that brightness. And we’re gonna crush
it here even more too. We’ve talked about making that
S curve when using curves, but right now, I just
wanna make it darker. But in doing so, it just
made it really blue. And like I said, we’re
trying to get rid of it feeling like it’s winter, ’cause it’s the middle
of summer in this photo, so we can change from RGB to red channel, and then we can push more reds onto that. Now we don’t want it to look like Mars. So we’re just gonna tweak that
slightly, just a little bit. I’m happy with that,
it’s a little too purple, it’s good right about there. Again, I’m trying to be subtle with this, and then we’re gonna close that. Now because it’s an adjustment layer, we can hit B for our brush tool, closed bracket to make
that a little bit smaller, and then we can paint away
that harsh line right there. So we’re just gonna paint over that edge, and get rid of that harsh line because that does not look good. And then I’m gonna drop the opacity of this whole thing to like, 60. Now if we hide that layer,
you’ll see what’s happened, it just basically dropped the
brightness and the contrast in the top of the mountains,
and just kind of defined them a little more, they got lost, and I wanted to bring
them back into focus, and that’s basically
accomplished by doing that. Now the last thing you can do is Shift + Option + Command + N, Shift + Option + Command + E, and then you can desaturate this again, and this is just if you
want a little more contrast and mood in this photo, which
I like to do in my shots. But, we’ll desaturate it
with Shift + Command + U, and then I’m gonna change
that blending mode to Overlay, like we did right before we
added the high pass filter, but now I’m just gonna drop that opacity to like, I don’t know,
15, I’m gonna preview, see what that does for me. It just adds a little more
attitude, I’m happy with this. It could just use a slight
overall bump in brightness. So the last thing, this is the last layer we’re gonna add here, I’m
gonna add an adjustment layer for Curves, and I’m just
gonna take the bottom here, and bump those curves
up just a little bit. Just ever so slightly, not making a big deal of it, that’s it. I’m gonna select that top layer, I’m gonna hold down Shift, and I’m gonna click the bottom layer right above the background, and then I’m gonna hit Command + G, that’s gonna group all
of our edits together, and we can double click
on that and name it edits. And now when we look at this photo, if we just hide this layer,
that’s what we started with after we adjusted it in
the Camera Raw plugin at the beginning, now it looks like this. So I’m gonna flatten this
image just for example’s sake, and then I’m gonna bring
in this camera edit again so you can see it, but I’m gonna reset, we’re gonna go back to defaults, to what it looked like, and
I’m gonna open that image. I’m going to copy it, close that window, and I’m gonna paste it onto this. And that is a pretty
accurate representation of what the photo looked like
coming out of the camera, and what it looks like now
after we’ve applied our edits. Again, this is all personal preference. You might not like your
photos as contrasty and as punchy, or to pop as much as this, and that’s the beauty
of being photographers and artists and editing is
that you can make it look however you want it to look. And the more that you stay
consistent with that style, the more it becomes your style, and people start to pick
up on shots that you take without even knowing you took them because they say, hey, that looks a lot like how Pete’s photos look. That’s very Peter McKinnon. And it’s really cool to start
seeing your own style develop, so, if this isn’t your cup of tea, there’s no worries with that, you can play around
with all those settings, kind of follow the same basic steps, and come up with something yourself that looks pretty similar or
looks completely different. Everything’s okay. But we went from this,
to this, and I’d say that’s a pretty nifty little
edit in not much time. So that’s it guys, thank
you so much for watching, I really appreciate it. If you like this video,
hit that like button, drop me a comment below, let
me know what you thought. I love hearing from you
guys and interacting. And I’ll see you in the next
tutorial, or the next vlog, whichever comes first. (upbeat music)

100 Replies to “How to make your photos LOOK BETTER FAST! Photoshop Tutorial”

  1. When he says if you don’t understand it take a shot and come back. I’m drunk now!!! He lost me at shift command E

  2. I am so about to test these tricks right now!!! _
    Sharpening the background with blur (who could think of that…)

  3. Peter McKinnon: I will teach how to edit fast!
    Me looking at how long the video is: This video is freaking 17 mins what do u mean by edit fast

  4. I feel like someone’s going to have to explain layers to me like you would to a kindergartener. Lol! What are all the layers for exactly and what all are they used for? I’ve been studying and writing down notes to every editing tutorial I can find and I still can’t get my head around it. Haha! I’m saving up to get started so I’m trying to learn as much as I can so I have a basic understanding of things.

  5. wooow your amazing haha been watching this video for the last couple hours and now its 2 in the morning haha thanks lots!!!!

  6. Thank you!! You are such an awesome teacher and had me laughing all throughout this video. This has helped me so much! I have found edits that more suit my style using this video and have become braver when editing!!

  7. Please help. When I try to remove the harsh line at 13:35 with the brush, I just straight up start removing parts of the layer mask. Why is it not just removing the harsh line like in the video for me?

  8. Hey I have now been assigned a whole bunch of photo edits for work as CRM… Thank you so much for this. Helps a lot!! You do amazing work and really are useful to us photography youtube community. Cheers

  9. You talk about the S-CURVE, Do you have another video on that? I checked through your channel and could not find it. Really like your material!

  10. What is the reason you like to use both?
    You say that it‘s a workflow thing.
    But what is lightroom better at then photoshop?
    Please tell us

  11. Looking for a quick quick photoshop on one picture. Will paypal or venmo for a simple picture. Let me know if anyone is interested.

  12. WOwowww Blown away!!! I watch so many of your videos.. Basically everyday for the past year or so… but i have not seen footage this far back until now… Awesome to see the growth I mean Empty Plug Sockets and Empty Drink bottles , and don't forget the little piece of starbucks cup hanging in the side… now im far from perfect im new to serious photography, hints the year in of Peter McKinnon,… But its very inspirational to see how far you have come. Now i have to watch the video again to actually learn the tips… LOL Thanks! I appreciate what you do!

  13. As someone who is just starting out with Photoshop (on a pc), the Shift+CtrL+Alt+N/E already makes me feel a little bit more like a pro 🙂

    Thanks for the Tutorials Peter, I have been binge-watching for a week now

  14. Pet your amazing…this video here has boosted my confidence to a level where I can now think that I can do all my editing my self by learning them and practicing more. Thank you. Please keep uploading such awesome videos. Cheers!!

  15. I know you probably wont see this but I am having trouble brushing away the adjustment layer harsh line in my photo I'm not quite sure what to do

  16. Maybe I'm wrong but this just seems like an unnecessarily complicated way of doing things. I'm quite sure you could do all of these edits in Lightroom (except for maybe the spot healing) and it would be a lot simpler

  17. -How to fake your look !
    -How to make picture of you beautiful !
    -how to delete what you dont like about your face !

  18. For photo gcse I only used a film camera. And next year I have to do digital for college.

    I don’t even know how to use a digital

    😂😂

  19. Can someone direct me to one of his videos that deals with editing monochrome photos? And if there isn't, would love to have one of those on this playlist.
    @PeterMckinnon

  20. This might be the best video of yours that I've seen. You are so entertaining and helpful, dang! Also, I feel like I know the dude in the photo now… like, we're close.

  21. WINDOWS:
    Shift+Option+Command+N: Shift+Ctrl+Alt+N
    Shift+Option+Command+E: Shift+Ctrl+Alt+E
    Content Aware Box: Shift+F5

  22. Nice , vedio , ☺️ U can also use soft brush for clone stamp a larger spot, hue adjustment can also be use for changing eyes color

  23. keep doing what your doing, just found your videos and it makes me want to get back into editing photos again.

  24. Love finding your older videos such as this one and watching you explain Ps. I'm getting more into using Ps, and these really do help. Thanks Pete!!!

  25. If anyone thinks photoshop is too expensive, they have an photography plan for $10/month, which includes a crap ton of colour storage. It’s like two Starbucks coffees a months, and it’s so worth it

  26. I'm Canadian as well and know what you mean. I find myself wanting to gear for the perfect photo right off the start because I guess I'm sort of a purist / more so perfectionist at times. So just manor edits in light room are ok but have always looked down on photoshoping an image.

  27. i guess Phlearn kinda makes the Gaussian blurring a lot easier these days but i'm glad i got to see a new way of using the lasso tool to edit selected areas… thanks again Pete, remain awesome.

  28. Cool things man. Excellent presentation. Btw since you're using mac , keep in mind that there are a lot of us using Win, so while doing shortcuts it would be really helpful if you could point out those shortcuts in Windows, also

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