How to adjust the brightness, saturation, and contrast of a photo

If you are a newbie in photography, I believe the terms of photography you would hear about at first are contrast, brightness, saturation. Brightness, contrast, and saturation are crucial in making compelling photos. It is very important to understand the definition of each one so that you can use them to obtain the photo effect you want. As a novice photographer, if you are not clear about their meanings, check the explanations for each term below.


Brightness is the overall darkness or lightness of the photo. If the brightness is adjusted, the whole range of tones within the photo will be raised or lowered. Increasing the brightness will light all colors while decreasing the brightness will darken all colors.


Contrast refers to the separation between the darkest and brightest regions of the photo. Increasing the contrast will make the shadows darker and the highlights brighter. Decreasing the contrast will make the shadows and highlights closer to one another. If you want the photo to look more vivid, the contrast should be increased. If you want a duller looking photo, the contrast should be decreased.


Saturation refers to the intensity and purity of a color. It controls the vividness of the color. The more the color is saturated, the purer the color is and the more vivid the color looks. The less the color is saturated, the closer the color is to gray and the duller the color looks.

Now, you have a basic understanding of brightness, contrast, and saturation. Then, how to adjust the saturation, contrast, and brightness to enhance your photo? Please continue reading this article. In the upcoming parts of this article, I will walk you through two beginner-friendly photo editors that help you handle the task.

#1. Photo Effects by Vertexshare

Adjust the brightness, contrast, and saturation with Photo Effects

As the title implies, Photo Effects by Vertexshare is a piece of digital photo effect software. The app allows you to quickly apply a variety of parameters and decorative objects to your digital photos.

After the program is launched, you will be greeted with a clean window. This window consists of three panels. A rich collection of predefined special effects are located in the left panel. You will see the small preview thumbnail of each effect when the photo is loaded into the program. The middle panel takes up most of the window. This is a preview area where you can see the result of applying any effect. You can zoom and pan the photo, compare the differences between the original photo and the changed photo, and discard all changes. A range of adjustment functions are located in the right panel. You can use them to make basic adjustments to your photo. You can change the exposure compensation, exposure compression, contrast, lightness, and saturation. What's more, you can fine-tune the shadows/highlights, tone mapping, high dynamic range, and image sharpness. Besides, you can reduce the noise level in the photo. In addition, you can alter the local contrast, set a custom white balance, mix color channels, soften shadows, intensify the color using vibrance, and add a vignette effect.

In a word, Photo Effects is a powerful photo effect editor. With advanced algorithms, the app lets you make the regular photo look amazing without any efforts. Thanks to the straightforward GUI and options, Photo Effects is suitable for both beginners and professionals. If you are looking for a fast way to change the visual aspect of your photos, Photo Effects is definitely what you should go for.

How to adjust the brightness, contrast, and saturation with Photo Effects

Step 1.

  • Drag and drop your photo into the drop box. Or click on "File"->"Add Photo" to add your photo into the program. You can also import the photo by clicking on the "Add" button. To remove the photo, click on the "Remove" button next to the "Add button".

Step 2.

  • Go to the section "EXPOSURE" in the right panel. You will see three parameters in this section, including lightness, contrast, and saturation. Drag the slider of each parameter to adjust the brightness, contrast, saturation. Dragging the slider to the right will increase the brightness, contrast and saturation. Conversely, dragging the slider to the left will decrease the brightness, contrast and saturation.

Three parameters in the "EXPOSURE" section, including lightness, contrast, and saturation

Step 3.

When you finish making adjustments, press the "Export Photo" button to export the photo to a desired location. You can also click on "File"->"Save As" to save the photo to a destination folder.

#2. Gifgit

Adjust the brightness, contrast, and saturation with Gifgit

Gifgit is a versatile online photo editing app. It provides you with a generous assortment of tools to edit your photo. You can adjust the colors and tones to modify the mood in a photo, use filters to stylize your photo, add the text to your photo, and even draw geometric shapes. All in all, GIFGIT.COM is a handy image editing application that enables you to manipulate your photo effortlessly.

How to adjust the contrast, brightness, and saturation with Gifgit

  • Head over to the site and press the "Start Editing" button. You will be taken to a new webpage.
  • Go to the top of the webpage and click on "Colors".

Color adjustments of Giftgit

Change the brightness

  • Click on "Brightness". Click on "Choose file", select your photo, and open it.
  • Pull the slider of "Brightness" to the left or right to change the brightness of the photo. You will see the effect applied to the photo in the preview area.
  • Click on the "Download" icon. Choose the output image format and click on "Download" to download your photo.

Adjust the brightness

Change the contrast

  • Click on "Contrast". Upload your photo by clicking on "Choose file".
  • Use the slider to change the contrast of the photo.
  • Press the "Download" button. Choose JPG or PNG as the export format and click on "Download" to download the photo.

Adjust the contrast

Change the saturation

  • Click on "Saturation". Click on "Choose file" to upload your photo.
  • Drag the slider to change the saturation of the photo.
  • Click on the "Download" button. Select one image format and save your photo as a PNG or JPG to the hard drive.

Adjust the saturation


More often or not, the raw photo taken by the digital camera does not come out the way you desire. This is when you need to make color adjustments by adjusting the brightness, contrast, and saturation. With the aid of the two apps above, you can easily change the contrast, brightness, and saturation to make your photo more appealing.

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