TUTORIAL: How to Enhance a Sunset Photograph in Photoshop

This past St. Patrick’s Day I happened to witness a beautifully vibrant sunset in Langley, BC. What made it so great was the clarity of the sky and the contrasting blue and orange colors.

When I glanced outside while doing the dishes, my instincts kicked in and I grabbed my Canon Rebel T3 to try to capture what I saw. The original photographs were, to me, absolutely fine and didn’t need enhancement to begin with. But because I love to play around in Photoshop, I tried to best mother nature using Levels and Curves.

Enhancing the sunset photographs in Photoshop was pretty easy – recommended for beginners and anyone with an eye for color. It’s all about trial and error! Again, this is just from my experience as a Photoshop and photography amateur, so don’t blame me when it all goes south! Always keep a backup… I’ve learned the hard way.

  1. Open the landscape/sunset photograph in Photoshop
  2. Crop image if need be
  3. Go to Image -> Adjustments -> Curves
  4. Using trial and error, move the point on the histogram to brighten and enhance the photo’s colors
  5. Go to Image -> Adjustments -> Levels
  6. Move the black arrow to where most of the black starts on the left
  7. Move the white arrow to where most of the white part starts on the right
  8. Save!