How to Create a Negative Image in Photoshop

In film-camera days, a camera produced negatives that were used to create photographs, which were printed on light-sensitive photographic paper. Negatives are inverted images of the photographs that are produced from them. Using Photoshop, you can create the look of a negative by using the Invert command or the adjustment layer. You might want to create images with this negative look for a project you are working on or simply as a fun exercise.

Old film
A negative is the inverted image on film of a photograph.
credit: Ig0rZh/iStock/Getty Images

Using the Invert Command

Step

Open an image in Photoshop and press "Control-I" on a Windows computer or "Command-I" on a Mac to invert the image.

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Mute the colors in the inverted image by selecting Saturation in the Adjustment panel and lowering the saturation.

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Select "Soft Light" in the Layers panel to complete the effect.

Using the Adjustment Panel

Step

Open a photograph in Photoshop and navigate to the Adjustment panel.

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Click the "Invert" button in the Adjustment panel to create a negative image of your photo.

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Mute the colors in the negative by lowering the saturation in the Adjustment panel and then choose "Soft Light" in the Layers panel.