Add Contrast With Overlay Blend Mode

Add contrast to any photo that looks flat and dull. Even though we use layers and blend modes, don't be scared off. It's super-fast and easy in Photoshop Elements with the technique in this tutorial. I broke it down into a few quick steps.

Open an image that you want to add some pop to.

Add contrast with Photoshop Elements

This image is dull and flat, in other words it lacks contrast which is the difference between light and dark areas of a photo. This image is also hurt by the fact that it doesn't contain much color, adding to the dull look. Let's add a little punch to it.

Duplicate the Background layer by dragging it onto the Create a new layer icon at the top of the Layers palette or just press Control-J (Mac: Command-J) on the keyboard. At the top of the Layers palette click in the field that says Normal. The field will expand allowing you to see all the blend modes available. Slide down the list to Overlay and release the mouse button. You will see an instant boost in contrast to your photo.

In the Layers palette try some different opacity amounts to lessen the effect and get it looking just right.

The result is a nice boost in contrast.

Here's the before and after:

That wraps up this Photoshop Elements tutorial on how to add contrast with a blend mode. See more Photoshop Elements tutorials by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page.

If you have comments, questions or requests please don't hesitate to use the Contact form to let me know.

Until next time,

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