How to Achieve 5 Common Looks in Photoshop

How to Achieve 5 Common Looks in Photoshop

How do I achieve this look? That's the question that gets asked all the time. In this post, you'll learn 5 common effects and how to create them in easy steps. Believe me - they're incredibly easy and do not require a bunch of layers.

Matte/Faded/Raised Blacks


This simple effect with many names is used to make photos look deep and emotional. You'll see it used a lot on Instagram. It's also mistakenly called crushed blacks but that's not the proper term - in fact, crushed blacks is the opposite effect of raised blacks (See the next part).

How to Create the matte look in Photoshop:

  1. Add a Curves adjustment layer (Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves).
  2. Drag the bottom-left node upwards until you get your desired black levels. Add two nodes and create an s-curve. This will add some contrast to an otherwise flat-looking photo.

Crushed Blacks


Not to be confused with the literal meaning of crushing, crushed blacks is a technique that compresses the black tones of your photo for an emo-style look.

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9 comments on “How to Achieve 5 Common Looks in Photoshop”

  1. Sometimes I see end results and I try to get there with my "skills". Even though these are quite common, I still could not have achieved them without this tutorial.

  2. I like each of these very much. I can already think of some of the projects that I will use these for. thank you for sharing!

  3. Awesome! I really like the pastel one and plan on using that one a lot with some of my work.

  4. Oh, this looks like it could be a great, and easy, way to start trying to work with Photoshop. Very good details here.

  5. Very nice training videos. We can acually follow the tutorial in PS and see the results.

    Could you please post one or two tutorials on monochrome images post processing in Photoshop ?

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