How to Make Pictures Look Glossy

Updated February 21, 2017

When you have your pictures printed at a photography lab or studio, you are given the option to choose glossy or matt prints. While glossy prints have a slick and shiny finish that many people find visually appealing, others choose matt prints because they do not show fingerprints as easily. If you love the look of glossy photos but are concerned about fingerprints showing, use a PC graphics program such as Adobe Photoshop to give your pictures the illusion of glossy prints, even if the pictures are on matt paper.

Open Photoshop and select "File" and then "Open." Browse for the picture you want to make glossy and open it in Photoshop. It will automatically become the "Background" layer in your new document.

Press the "D" key on your keyboard to reset your colours palette -- this will automatically set the foreground colour back to white and the background colour to black.

Create a new gradient fill layer above "Layer 1." Select "Layer" then "New Fill Layer" followed by "Gradient Fill Layer." Set the foreground to "Transparent," and change the style to "Radial" using the drop-down menu. Also, set the scale to "150" by entering this number in the box. Press "OK" when you are finished -- this will create a new masked layer on top of your photograph.

Zoom out on your image by pressing the "CTRL" and "-" keys simultaneously. Then, create a curved selection on one-half of the gradient fill layer using the elliptical marquee tool.

Move the marquee so it covers just over half the image. Press the "Delete" key to delete part of the gradient fill layer. This will leave you with a slightly transparent "glossy finish" in one corner of the photograph. Experiment with the placement of your marquee to create a glossed finish on a certain area of the picture, as desired.

Things You'll Need

  • Adobe Photoshop
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About the Author

Elyse James began writing professionally in 2006 after deciding to pursue a career in journalism. She has written for "The Algonquin Times" as a general assignment reporter and published blogs and articles on Webcitybeat. James holds a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Ottawa.