Gabriele Ferrazzi | Photography |


A lot of people ask me to know if my photos are edited with photoshop (ore other) and what I change during post production works. Photoshop is an important instrument for photographers, somethimes essential. Knowing the camera is not enough, expecially if you're shooting in hard conditions. Not all photos are made with perfect rules of light, time and position. In this article I'll try to explain how we can optimize photos with 5 simple steps.

raw photo levels curve saturation color balance

The previous images can prove how is important to know and use this instrument.

Raw files:

I usually take photos in raw modality: is something like a negative for the analogic camera. Shooting in this mode, permit to have more quality and information in the image files. With photoshop and other programs is possible to open raw files, edit and save it in others format. My suggestion is to set the camera with neutral parameters (sharpening-contrast-saturation), because is much better to set it in the post-production programs. With photoshop my raccomandation is to skip any "camera raw" modification and work directly on the program.


With the levels tool we can move and stretch the brightness levels of an image histogram. It has the power to adjust brightness, contrast, and tonal range by specifying the location of complete black, complete white, and midtones in a histogram. Since every photo's histogram is unique, there is no single way to adjust the levels for all your photos. A proper understanding of how to adjust the levels of an image histogram will help you better represent tones in the final image.


The curves tool can take input tones and selectively stretch or compress them; is one of the most powerfool tool and the key concept is that you can never add contrast in one tonal region without also decreasing it in another. In other words, the curves tool only redistributes contrast.


Hue/Saturation lets you adjust the hue, saturation, and lightness of a specific range of colors in an image or simultaneously adjust all the colors in an image. I usually increases the saturation value between 10/20 points in order to give more vitality to the image.

Color balance:

Getting the color right can be the most difficult part of photo editing, and the "color balance" tool help us. Color balance is the global adjustment of the intensities of the colors (typically red, green, and blue primary colors). In many cases the goal is to make areas that should be neutral in the image truly neutral. It is important to keep in mind that when you make a color balance adjustment to your image, you are adjusting all pixel values within the image. The key to understand is that just because you are moving a slider between cyan and red doesn't mean you will affect only those pixels within the image that are cyan or red. Rather, all pixels within the image will be shifted toward the color value you choose with the slider.


This article is a small overview about 5 steps to increase your capacity on photoshop or similar tools. Learn about these is the first thing to do to optimize your photos. The google world can help us to find tutorials, articles and videos about every single funcionality of the program. Be focused on it and the result will be incredible! Good luck...

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