With Shutterstock Create, you can elevate your licensed or uploaded images by adjusting the brightness, saturation, and more. To begin, simply open Create and go to Images > Upload to find an image of your choosing, or search through our endless stock photo library by typing keywords into the search bar.
As the term indicates, brightness literally brightens the general image.
Too much brightness can dilute an image with white overload, so use this slider sparingly. Negative brightness can also dull an image by adding dark tones to the overall photo.
Here, you can see how changing the brightness can impact an image’s appearance.
To find these basic edits, you’ll simply want to highlight the cactus image, then click Adjust.
From here, click the Exposure tab to unlock customization options for Saturation, Brightness, Highlights, Mid Tones, Shadow, and Contrast.
Pro Tip: If you’re editing an image of a person, Create’s Touch-Up tools will also come in handy for you. They live further below this section if you scroll down.
Saturation refers to the intensity of color in an image. An increase in saturation on a colored image intensifies the tone of each color, while desaturation decreases the value of each color.
Use saturation moderately, as over-saturation can crank colors to an extreme, making your image unsightly.
Saturation also lives in the Adjust tab.
Contrast consists of the range of darks and lights in a photograph. An image with high contrast has vibrant colors that are rich in value, while an image with low contrast might appear flat and dull.
Contrast is essential to a successful image, but too much can override the quality of the photograph. Use your judgment and find that happy medium where the colors in the image stand out without fighting for attention.
Contrast lives in the Adjust tab too!
This refers to the darkening of image corners in order to shift focus to the center of the photo. Again, you want to stray from being excessive with this slider, as the vignette can start to look unnatural and out of place, like in the image below.
When applied to a careful extent, a vignette can give your image that professional touch.
Vignette lives in the Effects tab under the Basic category.
As the name indicates, Blur will obscure your image by blurring it. The blur effect is useful if you’re adding text or other elements on top of the image.
There are multiple ways to blur an image in Create. From the Effects tab, toy with Soften, Spotlight, Focal Soften, and Fancy Focus.
Exposure is an essential photography term that encompasses the overall lightness and darkness of an image. Just like any other effect, there are extremes to exposure.
Underexposure occurs when an image is too dark, which shows little detail throughout.
Overexposure—the opposite of underexposure—happens when an image is too light, which renders an image unpleasant.
Be tasteful when applying exposure and use your judgment to achieve that perfect look.
As mentioned, Exposure lives in the Adjust tab!
7. Colors and Color Changer
Both Colors and Color Changer (from the Adjust tab) will literally change the color of the image. When applied, these effects can make your design super detailed with layered impact.
To start, we used the Color Changer, then adjusted Colors.
The result? Funky cacti.
Pro Tip: Know that you can layer multiple effects onto each other, or layer the same effect a few extra times for potency.
8. Hue Rotation
Hues encompass the main properties of color. This effect will alter the color entirely, encouraging you to experiment with fun color combinations.
To do this in Create, go to Effects > Tint for a whole new feel.
Color temperature is another essential to creating impactful images. The warm and cool tones of a photograph change its general mood.
Subtle changes in color truly go a long way.
The temperature customization options live in Adjust > Colors.
Hey! How color savvy are you? Take this quiz and find out:
Once you’re finished customizing your image, name your file from the top toolbar and click the red Download button. Select your preferred file format in High quality.
Or, click Publish to share straight to social media. You’ll just want to follow the prompts to cross-link those accounts.
Lookin’ good, cacti creators!
Get the most out of Shutterstock Create with these additional tips and tutorials:
License this cover image via LightField Studios.