Daylight can be harsh. Very harsh. Photographers will tell you never to shoot during the middle of the day, but to wait for sundown or sunrise, because the light is much softer.
But sometimes you can't help it or don't have a choice. And this is where this short tutorial comes in. If you are shooting in JPEG mode then there are two simple steps on how to make daylight images work. (RAW mode images will be covered in another tutorial).
This is what we are creating (click on the image and screenshots for a bigger view):
As you can see the shadows and highlights are much softer and the image works much better. There are only two easy filters to achieve this in Adobe Photoshop.
Step 1: Open your image
Go to File > Open and find your image and open it up in Photoshop
Step 2: Open Image > Adjustments > Shadows/Highlights...
Step 3: Adjust the filter
You can adjust the two sliders to make fit to your image. Make sure not to overdo it. Especially the highlights slider.
Step 4: Apply the Curves filter Image > Adjustments > Curves
Since the Shadows/Highlighs filter greys out the image, you can apply the Curves filter and play with the RGB curve that opens up first. Just like in the image below. (You can click on the screen grab to see a bigger version). This step is optional.
Step 5: Save your image
That's it. Save your image and use it to your liking!
Please tell me below how you liked this tutorial and if you have any further questions. Would you like to see more tutorials like this one? Did you have a hard time following?