A quickie, as it’s Boxing Day.
If you could do one thing in Photoshop to make your pictures look better, this is it.
Try doing this before you do any other edits. If you are worried about the effect, make a copy of the image layer and apply the effect to that. But I believe this works so well that I would apply it to every picture, whether I then make any further edits or not.
“So what is this magic?” I hear you ask. It’s using an unsharp mask to make the picture pop.
There will be a similar menu sequence in other good image editing programs, but in Photoshop (Elements, in my case), it’s Enhance, Unsharp Mask.
Make the settings Amount 20%, Radius 60, Threshold 0.
Photoshop has a preview tick box. Before you commit the effect, click this on and off to see what it is doing to your picture.
I hope you like it. I do. It’s a simple way to make the mid-range tones and detail stand out.