Pictures from digital cameras or scanners often (if not always) have a grayish look to them. If you haven’t noticed this before you will after you start adjusting your photos with levels. You’ll be amazed how much better your pictures can look.
Before you scrapbook or print any picture adjust the levels of the picture by selecting Image>Adjustments>Levels or if you have Elements choose Enhance>Adjust Brightness/Contrast>Levels. When you get the Levels pop-up box adjust the sliders until your picture looks the best you can make it. I usually slide the sliders in the direction shown in red below:
I usually slide the far left and right sliders just past the base of the last peak closest to it. I usually slide the middle slider just a bit to the left and sometimes adjust the output level slider at the bottom. Play around with this and your pictures will look great!
Look what a major difference levels can make on your picture:
If you want to improve your pictures even more try using plug-ins and actions. Here are two of my favorites.