2 quick ways to add contrast without touching the contrast slider

Aug 4, 2016

Clinton lofthouse

Clinton Lofthouse is a Award-Winning Photographer, Creative Director, and artist based in the United Kingdom, who specialises in creative retouching and composites. Proud 80’s baby, reader of graphic novels and movie geek!

2 quick ways to add contrast without touching the contrast slider

Aug 4, 2016

Clinton lofthouse

Clinton Lofthouse is a Award-Winning Photographer, Creative Director, and artist based in the United Kingdom, who specialises in creative retouching and composites. Proud 80’s baby, reader of graphic novels and movie geek!

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contrast

By now if you have ever seen any of my images you will know I am a big fan of contrast! I Like to crank that shizzle up to 11! haha

So this weeks article is going to be short and straight to the point (hooray I hear you shout!)

I am going to show you two quick ways to add contrast to your image, that give two different results! When I say quick, I dont mean fiddling around with curves. I literally mean a couple of clicks and we are done!

So method one is the duplicated layer contrast technique.

Open your image in Photoshop. Here I have an image that is need of a contrast boost.

1 before

All you have to do is hold down CTRL + J to duplicate the layer.

Next, change your layer blend mode to soft light, and boom instant contrast. If the effect is too strong just lower the opacity a little.

This method is good for using on painterly, stylised images.

1 after

Using the same image, I will now show you method number two. The de-saturated contrast technique. Again open your image in Photoshop.

Create a black and white adjustment layer. Yes I know, your image is now black and white. All you have to do is again switch your blend mode to soft light. And once again you have contrast, only this time it is a de-saturated contrast.

This method is good for use on gritty, urban images.

2 afterAnd there you have it folks. Two extremely quick ways of adding contrast to your images.

If anyone knows any other quick contrast techniques be sure to share them in the comments. Thanks guys.

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Clinton lofthouse

Clinton lofthouse

Clinton Lofthouse is a Award-Winning Photographer, Creative Director, and artist based in the United Kingdom, who specialises in creative retouching and composites. Proud 80’s baby, reader of graphic novels and movie geek!

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6 responses to “2 quick ways to add contrast without touching the contrast slider”

  1. Shachar Weis Avatar
    Shachar Weis

    Or… you can touch the contrast slider. No laws against it last time I checked.

    1. Aray Avatar
      Aray

      Have you tried the method advised here in the article?
      If you try the B&W layer, you’ll see that you have much more control on the contrast, you can fine tune contrast per color.

    2. Clinton Lofthouse Avatar
      Clinton Lofthouse

      No there isn’t but at least now you have options ;)

    3. Shachar Weis Avatar
      Shachar Weis

      Freedom!

  2. Rocco Avatar
    Rocco

    First method is not bad, but it is not efficient. You are creating a second image. You are actually doubling the size of the image and making photoshop work slower for no reason. Yes, you can merge the layers, but in that case, if at a later time you want to tweak it, you cannot un do it.
    The best way is to make a curves, or any other apply layer that doesnt change the result if you do nothing, and use soft light. You will get the same effect and the size wont change.
    The reason for this is understanding how layers and blending mode work on photoshop.

    1. Clinton lofthouse Avatar
      Clinton lofthouse

      The point of this tutorial was showing how to add contrast quickly, without fiddling with curves or the contrast slider……helpful maybe for newbies.