Easy Way to Fix a Dark Photo for Online Dating

Divorced men and women seldom have a good photograph to use for match.com or other online dating sites. Here is an easy way to touch up a dark picture using Adobe Photoshop Elements software.

Online Photo

When people get divorced, they may not have many pictures to use for an online dating profile. Why is this?

  • Married people would rather take photos of kids or grandkids, instead of having photos taken of themselves.
  • Married people are older and don’t like to have their pictures taken.
  • Married people don’t get out and have fun like they did when they were young and single, so they have fewer vacation-style photos.

If a man or woman can dig up a halfway decent photo where he or she has a dark face due to shadows or underexposure, it is easy to retouch the image so it’s good enough for an upload.

Adobe Photoshop Elements

Adobe Photoshop Elements software can be used to lighten a dark face fairly quickly. It is very easy to do.

People who don’t have access to Adobe photo software can download Adobe Photoshop Elements (or another type of photo editing software) for a free 30-day trial. Another way to fix a photo is to go to a FedEx Office store (formerly Kinko’s) and rent a computer workstation with Photoshop.

Photo Retouching

Put the dark photo on the computer desktop. (If using FedEx or a friend’s computer, just email the picture to one’s own email account, so it can be downloaded on the other computer.)

The very first step is to make a copy of the photo. Right click on the photo icon (on the desktop) and choose copy. Go to an empty space on the computer desktop and right click, again, then choose paste. Now there is a copy of the dark photo for backup.

Open Photoshop Elements

The easiest way to get the dark photo into Photoshop Elements software is to:

  • Double click on one of the photo icons. This will bring up the photo in Windows Photo Gallery (or another photo program if on Mac).
  • Right click on this large picture and choose: Open With > Adobe Photoshop Elements (Editor).

(The author is using Photoshop Elements 7, but other versions should use the same sequence.)

Lighten Photo

There are many ways to lighten a photo in Photoshop, but here is one of the quickest ways.

  • At the top taskbar choose Enhance > Adjust Lighting > Brightness/Contrast. A pop-up box will appear.
  • Slide “Brightness” to the right. (The blue hat example below needed +72, but all shots will vary.)
  • Slide “Contrast” to the right. (The blue hat example only needed +30.)
  • Click OK.
  • Every photo will require different numbers for enhancement.

Sometimes this is all a person needs to do. However, it is possible to get better results by using a few more steps. Go to the top taskbar again.

  • Click on Enhance > Adjust Color > Adjust Color for Skin Tone.
  • The cursor will turn into an eyedropper.
  • Click the eyedropper on a neutral area of skin and the face in the photo will (usually) change to a healthier-looking color.

It sometimes takes a few tries (clicking on different parts of the face or arm) to get a color that is neither too gray nor too yellow. If the “skin” changes to a weird color, click “Reset” and click the eyedropper on a different area.

Save the photo when satisfied.

Sharpen Photo

To get a sharper photo, try these steps:

  • Click on Enhance > Adjust Lighting > Shadows/Highlights.
  • To sharpen the detail a bit, slide “Midtone Contrast” to the right. (The blue hat example needed +19.)

Now, save it as a JPEG file and that’s it. The photograph will never be as good as a photo taken with proper lighting, and would be terribly grainy in an album. However, the photo will be good enough to use for an online dating site.

Dating Tips for Single Women

The time of praising women’s virtues is long gone. If you are a nice, understanding and compassionate woman who is willing to compromise her well-being for the sake of pleasing others, this is the time to change. The present dating scene requires new rules and outlook on what really means to be a single woman. In her book, Why Men Love Bitches (Adams Media), Sherry Argov exposes the limitations of being nice and gives women practical tips for empowering themselves.

Men are visual creatures

When women dress for a night out, they often wonder what to wear. Despite the season or the occasion, single women’s primary focus is on how to look sexy and appealing for men. However, the seductive dress that you will wear does not guarantee attracting potential date candidates.

There are apparently two types of men – the ones that like to stare at the upper body of the woman, namely at her breasts, and those who like the shape of a woman’s bum. Therefore, when dressing up, try to emphasize the areas which you are proud of regardless of the current trends and fashion. Wear something that makes you feel sexy.

Single women’s top-secret weapon

Men’s primal stimulus is their sexual drive. However, men often share that they are attracted to a woman who is resisting their courtship. The higher the mystery aura around a woman, the better chance she has for men to want to get to know her better. Furthermore, the top-secret weapon of woman is to give misleading signals about her availability. When going on a date, try not to share all your secrets. The more a man wonders if he will get lucky, the harder he tries.

You might be single, but not desperate

Being single is a gift. Until you see the singleness as a burden and reason for desperation, you will not be able to enjoy its benefits. Instead of focusing on the negatives of being alone, try to use the time to have fun, work harder at your dream career goals or your favorite hobby. Being single defines you as an independent woman who can take care of herself. You should be proud of what you have achieved and reward yourself for all the energy and time you have spent on others. Start seeing singleness as a “me” time and you will attract men who appreciate you for who you are.

When dating, do not give all your energy to the potential partner. No one is worth having you all for himself. Remember to keep your distance in the beginning until you get to know that person better.

While single, try to use your time to define what you really want in a man. If you are in your 20s, there is a chance that you might just want to have fun, which is just the way it should be. However, if you have passed your 30s, your expectations are much higher. Even though it is good to know what you want, setting up high expectation might prevent you from enjoying the moment and dismiss potential candidates. In a survey conducted by Cosmopolitan magazine, which results are outlined in the article “Cosmo’s Men Summit: What Do Men Want?”, 60% of men agree that women’s expectations are unrealistic. Looking for the perfect man is an illusion that only leads to disappointments.