By SmugMug Artist-in-Residence Marc Muench.
Quick and Beautiful!
Digital cameras always make middle of the day images too bright. I believe these images need more color and depth, requiring a personal touch.
This is a very quick method to darken your digital image and add contrast if need be, in fact once you have done this exercise more than a few times, it should only take a minute. For those who have spent years in Photoshop I still recommend the use of curves layers with layer masks, which is what I will typically use. However, saying that I find this method handy and “Quick” and especially quick to learn.
First, take a picture properly exposed in the middle of the day. Properly exposed means the histogram is not extended way past either the left of right of the graph.
Open your file after being processed through a RAW processor such as Adobe Camera Raw or take a jpeg file directly from the camera.
Open the layers palette and click (command + J) Mac or, (Control + J) PC, to create a copy of the background. You will notice a layer above your background layer called “layer 1”.