In an age where social media and the internet are at the forefront of communication and the way of modern life, there is nothing more crucial than photo aesthetics. Posting images online and to social profiles is the new norm and how we represent ourselves in the digital world. With advanced mobile and online technology being more accessible than ever, the pressure is on to enhance your photos to perfection. It’s almost unimaginable to post a photo these days without some kind of editing or filter applied!
So, what does it mean to enhance an image? There are countless ways to enhance your image using photo editor apps such as PicsArt. The most common photo editing tools allow you to customize the various lighting and color elements of your photo. With these basic tools, you can adjust the brightness, contrast, clarity, and saturation of a photo. Other more advanced tools such as photo filters, effects, and retouching tools allow you to enhance your image on another level. Depending on your original photo and your end goal, enhancing a photo can range from a simple crop and shadow adjustment to a complex makeover using cutting-edge retouching tools and filters.
Whether you’re posting a photo to your website, social media platform, or a design project, you should check the quality and aesthetic of your photo first. Chances are, you’ll want to enhance it one way or another before sharing it with the world. Wouldn’t you rather have an upgraded, beautified version of your image versus the basic (and sometimes boring) original? Take a look at these key components that make up a good photo. This checklist will help you identify whether your photo needs a light touch-up or a sophisticated transformation. Later, we’ll go into more detail about the different editing tools used to enhance your photos and how to use them.
- Lighting: Lighting is an essential component of good photo aesthetics. A dim photo can really hinder the beauty and details of your image. If you feel your photo is dull and dark, you should definitely utilize lighting tools.
- Color: Color can be just as important as lighting. If the lighting is just right, but the saturation is off, you should use the color correction tools at your disposal to deepen the hues and tones. This type of photo enhancement can really bring life to your photo.
- Position: Consider the position and orientation of the main subject in your photo. A simple crop to remove background clutter can make all the difference. A crop can place emphasis on your subject and really enhance your overall photo.
- Focus: If your image looks of poor quality or blurry, you’ll want to use editing tools to sharpen and make your photo look crisp. Contrary to that, you can also blur the background of your photo to place focus on your main subject.
Designer Projects That Require Enhanced Images
When it comes to personal or professional design projects that will be seen and shared by many, enhancing the images in those projects becomes of the utmost importance. Let’s take a look at the top five designer projects that require enhanced images.
- Website: A well-designed website can make a good impression on your audience. A good website will consist of a perfect combination of graphics with just the right color combinations, text size, and layout. A big component of this layout includes images that should always be enhanced. Remember, the details of your website design impact how your audience perceives you and your brand. Make sure your enhanced images are in line with your brand’s personality and tone. For example, if your brand’s personality is energetic, happy, and creative, you wouldn’t want a dull, dark image displayed on your website. Instead, you’ll want a bright and saturated image that evokes happiness.
- Social Media: Social media is arguably the most important medium used to show the world who you are and what you have to offer. Instagram consists of millions of images displayed in a feed with an infinite scroll. What sets your photos apart? What makes them eye-catching? What makes a viewer stop scrolling and click into your picture? The answer to all of these questions starts with enhanced images. Beautifully enhanced images for your social posts and social media templates will definitely get more views and likes!
- Moodboard: A moodboard is a visual collage of graphics used to convey a general concept or represent the mood of your project. A moodboard can be used in a personal or professional setting and allows you to express and communicate your vision to others. Thus, using enhanced images is key to putting together an excellent moodboard that accurately displays your ideas. For an in-depth look at how to create a moodboard, check out this read on how to Create Collages & Moodboards Online.
- Poster: A poster is yet another design project that requires good photo aesthetics. If you’re creating a poster for an event, for example, you’ll most likely have a few key items displayed — an image, some text, and a logo. It’s important to make sure that any images displayed are enhanced, clear, and beautifully displayed so your poster not only looks appealing but conveys the important message you want to get across. If you’re not sure where to get started, there are a ton of poster templates to work off of in PicsArt.
- Advertisement: Whether it’s a billboard, magazine, or online advertisement, chances are you’ll be displaying an image in your design. A single advertisement can get quite a wide reach and thus needs to be finessed and perfected in its design. This includes alluringly enhanced images. The better the design, the more effective your advertisement will be!
Different Ways to Enhance an Image
Now that you know what to look for in good photo aesthetics, let’s dive into the different techniques you can implement to enhance your image.
- Crop: The quickest and easiest way to enhance your image’s focus and composition is with a simple image crop. Cropping out unwanted clutter in the background allows you to emphasize the focal point of your image. Especially if you have one main subject in your photo, cropping out extra background provides a natural zoom and direct spotlight.
- Blur: Blurring the background of an image is also another technique used to place focus on another element in your image. For example, if you have a city skyline photo with some overlay text, you can simply blur the skyline to allow more emphasis on the text. You can play with the blurring tool to create a more dramatic, smoothing effect or scale it back to where it’s only slightly enhanced.
- Text: Depending on your project, adding text can really amplify your image. An image and text combination can be a beautiful, descriptive component to your design. Select a complimentary font and font color and place the text in an appropriate spot on your image that does not interfere with the photo elements. Check out 30 Best Creative Fonts for Your Design Projects for some amazing fonts!
- Saturation: Saturation is a great technique to enhance the depth of color in your image. Depending on how you use it, a saturation editing tool can either intensely deepen colors or fade them out. Be wary of oversaturating your photo as it creates an unnatural and unappealing effect. When used just right, this tool will give your image a burst of color to bring it to life.
- Contrast: Similar to the saturation tool, the contrast tool is a great way to elevate the intensity of your photo elements. Increasing the contrast intensifies the existing lighter and darker tones for a more dramatic effect. Reducing the contrast can flatten and even out the tone in your photo, which can be a great enhancing tool for certain designs. Again, be careful with scaling the contrast tool in either direction to avoid losing the details in your photo.
- Brightness: Lighting is a key component to good photography. If you can’t get the lighting right when you snap your photo, you can easily adjust it through brightness or exposure tools in photo editing apps. When it comes to using brightness tools, we suggest using the scale slowly as your photo could get too bright or too dark rather quickly. Start slow and adjust accordingly.
- Filters: Photo filters have truly changed the photo editing game forever. With just a tap of a button, a filter can transform your image in ways you could never achieve if you manually tried yourself. If you’re going for a specific look, filters are a great way to speed up your photo editing process. For a detailed rundown on photo filters, check out How Do You Use Photo Filters?
- Collage: An organized grid of images is a great way to showcase a moodboard or project that has multiple images. It provides a clean layout for your images in a complimentary way without distracting from one another. Most photo editing apps like PicsArt have an array of diverse collage templates you can choose from. This is a great technique to enhance and organize multiple photos into one.
- Frames: Whether it’s traditional or fun-shaped frames or even frame outlines, this tool can provide a creative landscape to your photo and can really be a fun decorative tool. PicsArt has a diverse collection of frame and frame outlines you can choose from that can be a perfect tool to jazz up your photo.
- Stickers: PicsArt’s Sticker tool is one of the more unique editing tools you can use to enhance your image. With a practically limitless library of diverse stickers to choose from, you can elevate your image in a really special way.
- Retouch: Retouch tools, sometimes known as makeup tools, are more complex and intricate editing tools that are used to target specific areas of the face and body. These tools are especially useful for enhancing portrait style pictures where you can individually enhance facial features, like whitening teeth for example. The PicsArt app has best in class Retouch features including editing tools like Face, Wrinkle, Smooth, Eye bag, Face Fix, Blemish Fix, Teeth Whiten, and Eye Color.
What to Look for in a Photo Enhancer Tool
Photo enhancer tools are readily available at your fingertips. It’s just a matter of knowing which photo editing app to use and which sets of tools to choose to enhance your photos. The most important thing to look for in photo enhancer tools is a wide range of features, settings, and functionality within each tool so you can scale as little or as much as you want. The PicsArt app provides cutting-edge, easy-to-use photo enhancer tools for free! If you’re looking for a free photo editor online, check out PicsArt’s Image Upscale Tool instead.
How to Enhance a Photo with PicsArt
- Open the PicsArt app and tap on the plus sign at the bottom of your screen.
- Upload the image you’d like to enhance.
- Click on Tools at the bottom of your screen.
- Tap Adjust. You’ll see the following tools: Brightness, Contrast, Clarity, Saturation, Hue, Shadows, Highlights, and Temp.
- Select each of these tools one by one and adjust the scale accordingly.
- Once you’re done with the Adjust tools, tap Apply at the top right of your screen.
- If you need to crop your photo, tap Tools again and select any of the Crop tools on the top row. Remember to tap Apply after each edit.
- For an automatic enhance image tool, click Tools then Enhance and scale accordingly.
- To add a filter, click Effects and select a filter. Click Apply to save the filter.
- Click Retouch and select any of the tools at the bottom to adjust facial features.
- To add a sticker to your image, click Sticker, type in your desired sticker in the search box, and stick it anywhere on your image! You can resize the sticker and make additional enhancements with the tools at the bottom of your screen. Tap Apply to save.
- To add text, click on the Text tool, type in your desired text, and select the orientation. You can change the font, color, opacity, and other features using the tools at the bottom of your screen.
- Add other enhancements using the Mask, Lens Flare, Shape Mask, and Frames tools.
- Done enhancing your photo? Click Next at the top right and Save or Post!
PicsArt all-in-one Photo and Video Editor, Collage, and Sticker Maker is the world’s largest creative platform with over 150 million monthly active creators and influencers. PicsArt has collaborated with major artists and brands like Taylor Swift, The Jonas Brothers, Gwen Stefani, Maroon 5, Lizzo, Meghan Trainor, One Direction, MONSTA X, Warner Bros. Entertainment, iHeartMedia, Condé Nast, and more. Download the app today to level-up your photos and videos with thousands of quick & easy editing tools, trendy filters, fun stickers, and brilliant backgrounds. Unleash your creativity with PicsArt and upgrade to Gold for awesome premium perks!