A LOT of my photos are dark and/or have an orange tint to them, thanks to the lighting and the fact that it’s always.dark.in.here. Here’s a really good (crappy? lol) example:
Before I scrap this, I need to lighten it up and take some of the gawd awful orange tint out of it. To start, duplicate the photo
Then change the blend mode to “screen”
Sometimes, that’s enough… in this case it isn’t
It’s light enough, but it’s still so… orange. SO click on the background layer
Hit Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Gradient Map
A box pops up, just hit OK
Now you should have a properties box showing a gradient of some sort. We want a black to white gradient, so if that’s what you have, you can skip the next few steps. Mine is showing a white to black gradient. If that’s what YOU have, you can check the box for “Reverse” to make it black to white.. or follow along to find out how to do it “the long way” “The Long Way” ……. Click on the gradient
Hey there it is… click it!
The “even longer way”, manually change the ‘stops’. Change the white stop on the bottom of the gradient to white by clicking the stop then click the color box
Slide your color picker to black
Click OK to apply, then do the same for the bottom right stop
Only changing it to white instead
Then click ok. There’s a little bitty slider marker in the center that you can play with too.
Sliding it to the right puts more black into the photo
Sliding it to the left puts more white in the photo
I prefer it in the middle where it was with this photo, so I’m leaving it there
Here’s a side by side look at the original photo (left) and the altered photo (right)
Big difference, right? Before you go all “but that gradient stuff was just redundant uselessness, why did you show me that?” NOPE. There’s a whole world of different things you can do to the gradient… watch this…. (watch this mom!) If you have closed the properties box for your gradient, you can open it again by double clicking on the gradient in the layer palette… and you can use any ole color combo you want – AND – you can play with blend modes! Here I’ve changed the black-white gradient to a blue-pink gradient, checked the “reversed” box and set the blend mode of the Gradient Map 1 layer to soft light:
See the difference? The possibilities are literally end.less. So give it a go and see what you can come up with! Love the gradient that you used and want to use it later on something else? Just hit the “New” button to save it
If you’re using PSE, you can save it by clicking the “Add to presets” button
I hope you found this little tip useful, and I would love to see your results if you decide to try it out!