Achieve better portraits with this tutorial for quick photo effect for outdoor portraits. You can create much better effects for portraits in Photoshop using the right adjustment layers. In this tutorial you will see a great example of how to do it.
Quick photo effects for urban portraits
You can create these kind of effects using any Photoshop version. CS6 is recommended because they introduced the new Color Lookup adjustment which opens a wide range of color grading possibilities.
One of the adjustments that will make a big difference on every image is the Shadows/Highlights Adjustment. With this adjustment you can add more light on the shadows and achieve a better contrast and balance between shadows and highlights.
Adjustments like the Color Lookup or Curves will help you change the contrast of your Photo and if you’re a more advanced photoshopper you can work with the channels on the Curves Adjustment and create color grading effects like the Split Tone Effect as you can see on the video at the 2:45min mark.
Also, it’s interesting to combine adjustments with opposite color effects like for example: Magenta-Green or Blue-Yellow. If you also use blend modes and opacities you can create nice effects as you can see on the image below on the right.
For the image above on the right I only used two Color Lookups and a Solid Color with the Exclusion blend mode at low Opacity. Using a Layer Mask and soft brushes you can keep the effect only on the areas where you need it.
For example if you want your portrait to be brighter and also have a tint of color, you can use a Color Lookup or Gradient Map and use the Screen Blend Mode to add lightness or Soft Light if you want more contrast. Then with a low Opacity brush you can paint and hide or reveal the effect only on the face or parts of the background.