Let the Sun Shine In
Here's an example of how you can
I took this picture of several dancers at a festival in Bhutan ( Figure 2.14 ). Due to the overcast sky, the picture is flat. But let's see what happens with a little Photoshop magic.
I first went to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Hue/Saturation and boosted the Saturation to +30 ( Figure 2.15 ).
Next, I chose Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Brightness/Contrast and boosted the Contrast to +10 ( Figure 2.16 ).
Now the picture looks as though it were taken on a sunny day ( Figure 2.17 ). That was easy!
Draw Attention to a Subject
You can simulate that effect in your photographs with Photoshopand you don't have to be Rembrandt.
Here's how I used the edge-darkening technique to enhance a picture of a leopard I took in Botswana (
). I could have used the Burn tool (press O: Mac or Win) to
I first selected the Elliptical Marquee tool (press M: Mac or Win) ( Figure 2.19 ), clicked inside the image, and created an oval around the main subject ( Figure 2.20 ).
Next, I chose Select > Inverse to select the area outside the oval. That's the area that will eventually be darkened.
I chose Select > Feather to bring up the Feather Selection dialog box. For my 300 ppi, 5x7-inch picture, I selected a Feather Radius of 250 because I wanted a very, very gradual transition between the darkened area and the untouched area ( Figure 2.21 ).
Now it was time to evenly darken the edges of the picture. I went to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves and pulled down the curve from the center of the grid until I was pleased with the effect ( Figure 2.22 ). (If you're in CMYK mode rather than RGB mode, you need to pull the curve up .)
Here's how my leopard photograph was enhanced using this techniquewith a little extra help from the Burn tool, which I used to darken the out-of-focus twigs in the foreground ( Figure 2.23 ).