photo editing tips

5 ways to give your photos a softer touch

In my last post, I’ve taught you guys what the photo editing functions on your phones do. Now that you know what they do, you’ve probably been exploring them a bit.

If you still don’t know which combo gives the best enhancement to your photos, don’t fear! The photo below is taken and edited by an iPhone 5s, and it isn’t that hard to give your photos a soft tone!

Without further ado, I will be showing you how to utilize each tool now!

beach photography
Photo of my friends on the beach

1. Increase the Saturation
If your photo includes a BLUE SKY as a background, I would recommend increasing saturation by a maximum value of 10, just because the sky is the easiest to get oversaturated and it is just WAY TOO obvious. (As you can see, the sky in this photo still looks good!)

If your photo is basically about architectures, street art or any other things that do not necessarily related to nature, I would say it is save to bump the saturation up to max 20-25.

Saturation might not always work but most of the times, it intensifies the colors a bit, giving your photo a nice tone.


2. Increase the brightness/exposure
I put these two together because I only choose to use one at a time, but not both. There are certain differences among the two, but in my opinion, doing them together would make my photos too bright.

However, I love increasing the brightness/exposure a bit (around 10-15 depending on the photos, but rarely more than that) as it makes my photos appear lighter and softer, which is basically the tone that I am looking for!

In this photo, I have utilized the brightness as opposed to the exposure tool.


3. Increase the contrast
For the contrasting tool, be very careful about using it if you want to create a softer tone to your photos like me. If the contrast is too high, the soft tone would be ruined by it. I would recommend doing a maximum increase of 6 just to make the differences between colors a LITTLE BIT more obvious.


4. Increase the value of shadows
For soft color tones, SHADOWS IS YOUR FRIEND!! Remember, a higher value here basically means that the darker colors would be lightened. If you are looking for softer tones, it is best to keep your photos of a relatively lighter color.

So, you can bump it up by around 15-20 to make the dark parts lighter and more differentiable to the eye.


5. Increase the highlights
Remember in my last post, I’ve mentioned that I use shadows and highlights together? Exactly.

Whenever I increase the shadows, I make sure to bump up the highlights a bit. However, since I’ve already used brightness and shadows, I would recommend increasing the highlights by around 10 just to make sure your photos do not get too bright!


Now that I’ve taught you about how to give your photos a softer touch, I would like to give everyone a last reminder – every photo needs a different touch up! There’s no one for all editing, so be sure you tackle each photo differently!

I hope you’ve found this article helpful, if you enjoyed this article, feel free to give it a like or a share and let me know what you feel about this so I can better answer your questions next time!

If you want to see more of my photos, feel free to follow me on to my photography instagram or shoot me a message on my facebook page, I am always active on those platforms!

If there’s anything you want to learn about or know about, leave a comment down below and I will definitely try my best to respond to your requests!



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