Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Software > Editors (Photoshop, Vegas, Final Cut Pro, Kdenlive, etc.)

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Sep 21, 2005, 3:27 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 54

Working with Photoshop 6, but really don't know how it all works. Anyway, I've got a shot that's lit well on the foreground with a dark background. I want to tweak the foreground while keeping the background dark. using levels changes the whole image. What must I do. Thanks for any replies.
NNDman is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Sep 21, 2005, 4:04 PM   #2
Senior Member
Stevekin's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,611

I don't go that far back to 6, but I'll give you a suggestion from the many ways to do most things in PS.

Click on the 'Create new fill or adjustment layer' icon in the layers palette and select Levels. Now, adjust the levels to what you want your foreground to be and click ok.

The levels adjustment has affected your whole image. So we take the paintbrush, set the size as necessary, and ensure that the foreground colour is set to black and now paint over the area that you wish to remain unaffected (your background). If you go over anything you don't wish to, just press X on your keyboard to make the foreground colour white and 'paint' the effect back in. Switching to black again to carry on 'masking' the area to be untouched.

Using an adjustment layer like this creates a layer mask allowing you to 'mask' off an area you do not want affected by any adjustments, filters or effects.

If this isn't available to you, let us know and we can try another way.
Stevekin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 21, 2005, 5:22 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Indian Rocks Beach, FL
Posts: 4,036

There is a technique called contrast masking that does that. You basically make an inverted black and white layer. It is dark where the image is light and light where it is dark.

Layer>Duplicate layer>OK
In the layers palette go from Normal to Overlay
Filters>Blur>Gaussian blur. Start around 60 and move the slider until the image looks good.
If the effect is a little too much you can reduce the opacity of the mask in the layers palette.

As a first step it often helps to go Filter>Sharpen>Unsharp mask. Use an amount around 16 and a radius around 180. It isn't really a sharpening step but often brightens an image a little. Then run the contrast masking steps.

Photoshop CS and CS2 have a Shadow/Highlight control that is generally better than contrast masking. But I use the two in conjunctionon difficult shots. Through PS7, contrast masking is the only way to do it easily without resorting to a lot of selections.

Edit: I forgot to add that you have to go Layer>Flatten image if you want to do more work on the image. You also have to do that to save as a JPG or other file type that doesn't support layers.

slipe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Oct 1, 2005, 10:44 AM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 133

The easiest thing to do is use a layer mask with a Levels or Curves adjustment layer.

You make a selection of the background using something like the Magic Wand or Color Range. Feather the edges a bit. Then create a Levels adjustment layer. Go to the Layer menu item and add a Reveal Selection layer mask. Your Levels adjustment will only affect the background.


gmitchel is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:34 AM.