Dramatic Image Effects in Photoshop

It happens to every photographer. You set out to take great shots, which in most cases you do, but there are a couple of shots that just miss the mark. The images are in an amazing location, but the lighting just didn’t turn out right. Parts of the image may be blown out, or the image itself is washed out. Well, don’t worry, because all is not lost. You have a chance to save those images. All you need is just a little help from Photoshop. In the video below, I will show you how to create dramatic image effects in Photoshop.

A Bland Image

Dramatic Image Effects in Photoshop: Before

In the video I start out with a washed out image that could be better. The colors are dim and the overall image is fairly bland. In Photoshop, I bring it in and bring up the HDR Toning menu via Image>Adjustments> HDR Toning. This brings up the HDR Toning dialong box where you have a lot of different settings to choose from. The tough part is determining what to adjust and what to leave alone in order to get the best results.

The Results

dramatic image effects in Photoshop af

With a little help from Photoshop, you can bring in more details and make your image more dramatic and powerful. This is especially important for wedding Photos. You don’t want any client to regret hiring you. As you can see from the image above, there are more details and the highlights and shadows are more dramatic. The only thing that you really need to watch out for with HDR Toning is setting the adjustments too high, which can cause a haloing effect.

Did You Try HDR Toning?

How did things turn out for you? Were you able to save your image and make it more dramatic using HDR Toning? Did you run into any trouble? If you have any questions, be sure to leave them in the comments section below.


I am a professional graphic designer and web designer with years of experience. I am also an illustrator and Wordpress theme creator and author of this design blog. I write tutorials and build custom websites. I do what I love, and I love what I do! You can:

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