How to create a negative image in photoshop

Updated March 23, 2017

Adobe Photoshop makes it easy for you to take an image and change it to a negative, the same image that you see when you look through a reel of camera film. The look of a negative is a weird but cool effect that can help spice up your design--for instance, you could create a collage of pictures with some regular images and some appearing as negatives. In Photoshop, you must "invert" the image to turn it into a negative.

Open your image in Adobe Photoshop. This can be just about any image file including PSD (Photoshop's layered file format), JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP and TIF. You can even open a Photoshop PDF file and turn it into a negative.

Click "Image" on the Photoshop file menu, then "Adjustments." Scroll down the list to click "Invert." You can also simply click CTRL + I as a shortcut. This will invert each colour in your canvas to the exact opposite on the colour wheel (black will turn white, yellow will turn blue).

Go to the "Adjustments" menu once more and select "Variations" this time. Here you can choose a colour variation of the negative image---you can make it look more red, yellow, blue, green, magenta, cyan, light or dark. This is optional.

Save a copy of the negative image to your computer. You can copy, paste and insert it into your other documents as you would with any other type of image.

Just as you can turn a regular (positive) image into a negative, you can also change a negative image into a regular image in Photoshop the same way. Just scan the photo negative to your computer, open the image file in Photoshop and invert it according to the same instructions.

Things You'll Need

  • Adobe Photoshop
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About the Author

Louise Balle has been writing Web articles since 2004, covering everything from business promotion to topics on beauty. Her work can be found on various websites. She has a small-business background and experience as a layout and graphics designer for Web and book projects.