PowerPoint Photo Tip: Brightness and Contrast

PowerPoint Photo Tip brightness and contrast examples
Left to right: Original photo, more brightness with less contrast, less brightness with more contrast

Welcome to another quick tutorial in my PowerPoint Photo Tip series. We’ll be looking at adjusting brightness and contrast of photos.

Have you ever thought ‘oh this photo is too dark?’ How about ‘oh no my ancestors have faded into the background?’. But you weren’t sure how to fix the problems. Then this is the photo tip for you. I’ll explain what brightness and contrast is, then how to apply it to images in PowerPoint.

Brightness & Contrast – what does it mean?

Brightness is the level of lightness (or darkness) in each image. Adding lightness can increase the visibility of the objects in a dark photo. While decreasing lightness can increase the visibility of images in a light photo.

Contrast is the difference between the brightness level and the objects. You know those faded photos where people are becoming a part of the background? That is low contrast.

Ready to give this a shot?

PowerPoint is not photo editing software but does let you add filters to a photo. Therefore this is a great tool for photo-based invitations or other templates. It helps you create something unique and add your own artistic touch to the design.

If you do save the adjusted photo, always keep the original photo. Work with a copy. When you save, use a version number or new name.

PowerPoint is not photo editing software but lets you add filters to a photo. There is the option to export the image with filter applied or without. We’ll look at this in an upcoming PowerPoint Photo Tips.

Remember to always work with a copy of your digital photo and save as a new version or name.

What you will need

  • Any of my PowerPoint templates or your own photo
  • Microsoft PowerPoint installed on your computer

This will work with any of my photo templates but also work with any image inserted in PowerPoint. Use these are the steps to make brightness and contrast corrections to your photos.


Select the image that you want to adjust. This will activate the Picture Tools/Format tab on the ribbon.


On the Picture tools/Format tab, in the Adjust group, select Corrections.


Choose from the preset options by clicking any thumbnail under Brightness/Contrast. The center one is the default image. The grid of thumbnails shows the brightness from less to more going left to right. The contrast is less to more going top to bottom. To preview how your image will appear, let your mouse pointer hover over any of the thumbnails.

PowerPoint Photo Tip brightness and contrast presets
Brightness and contrast presets
PowerPoint Photo Tip brightness and contrast
PowerPoint color Brightness/Contrast presets

Maybe none of the presets are hitting the mark? Then click Picture Corrections Options to open the Format Picture pane.


Use the slider for Brightness or Contrast to adjust the levels. Or enter a number (positive or negative) to be more precise.

Experiment with different levels to find the best look for your image. It is easy to return to the original photo in the Format Picture pane by selecting Reset. Or choose the middle option from the presets.

PowerPoint Photo Tip format picture pane
Format Picture pane showing Brightness/Contrast slider

How did you go?

So that’s it, the basics of adjusting the brightness and contrast in PowerPoint. Because it makes quite the difference, right? Therefore it’s now time for you to get creative. After all, there is no right or wrong way. So don’t forget that your imagination your only limit!

Share your creativity

Because the tutorial over, now the creativity can begin. When you have added your touch to your file, head over to the Facebook Group and share a photo. Also, drop a comment below and let me know how you are enjoying this tutorial series. I’d love to hear from you.


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