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In certain situations, what we are going to need to do is to make an adjustment and then paint that adjustment into specific areas of the photograph, and that's definitely true with this image, as well as a number of other images that you work on. In this particular case, while I like the photograph composition and the lighting and all that natural light, one of the problems with it, is it's just kind of be kind of tricky to reproduce or print because the right side, or at least our right side of the image, is a little bit too dark. Now, I would really like to brighten that up a bit. Well, here is how we could do that.
Let's go and navigate over to our Adjustment panel and click on the Curves icon. Next, we're going to click on the Target Adjustment tool, then click on one of these dark areas and click and drag up. Now as we do that, we are going to see that this is then affecting the entirety of the photograph. So that's a little bit problematic, right? And again, as I click and drag this, you can see how it's affecting the entire image, either way, however I click and drag that. Well, we can limit this. We can change the arc of the curve. If we go ahead and bring down the top of the curve, we now see that it's not affecting the brighter tones.
It's just affecting the darker tones. Here is our before and then after. Still though, it doesn't really look right. So we need to then paint this into specific areas. So what we need to do next is invert this mask. We can do so by pressing Command+ I on the Mac, or Ctrl+I on a PC. Next step, we need to select our Brush tool, and we want a nice probably small brush to start off, and all that we are going to do here is paint with white, make sure we have white in our foreground color there, and we just want to start to bring in some of the detail here that was lost, because this side was in the shadow.
In this case, I have started to work on the face there, and let's look at our before and after. Here is before, and then here is after. Now if that's too far, all that we need to do is modify this control here. Let's say we just want a subtle improvement. Here is our before and then after. That image will print much better. Let's click on the Adjustment layer icon, chose Curves, and then let's go ahead and just brighten up the blacks again. This time, I'm going to focus in on the shirt. I am going to look at the shirt and the pants here. Now, press Command+I on the Mac, Ctrl+I on the PC and then with your mouse, and with the Brush tool, let's go ahead and paint over this area.
Now, I am going to make a couple of mistakes here in regards to my painting. I am going to show you how you can fix this up. This can really help you out. So I am aware that these brushstrokes are little bit too harsh, but that's okay, because you'll see how we can change this in just a moment, and again, I'm just trying to paint on the area that are really dark, that might be a little bit problematic. If ever I make a mistake, press the X key and then go ahead and paint on the other side in order to fix any of those edges. Okay great. Well, so far so good.
We have some nice painting there. The next thing I can do is hit X. I am going to paint with white, but with a lower Opacity. Take it down maybe to 60% and just create a little transition here. So I am brightening up a couple other areas as well. All right. That looks pretty good. Well again, my brush strokes are much too harsh. Let's take a look. Here is our before and then our after. Well how can we fix those? All that you need to do is to navigate to the Mask panel, and then here we can go head and increase the Feather amount.
You notice, as I increase the Feather amount, it changes it to more soft transition. Let's zoom in a little bit so we can see that. Focus in on the shirt here. Here's without feather, strong brushstrokes, too strong. It looks patchy and strange. Increase the Feather amount. All right, now we are talking. Here's our before and then our after, much more smooth and natural looking addition of white. Now if there's too much light here, double-click the Curves icon, and we can go in and we can change that one way or another.
We can of course also lower the Opacity of the layer. But one of the things that you'll soon discover is that as you make these adjustments you're going to build your layers up, right? First, we worked on the face a little bit, then we worked on some of the other tones here, and we could take this even further by stacking up these different layers adjustments where we're painting in adjustments into specific areas. So as I'm sure you can start to imagine, this particular technique is incredibly useful, and it's a technique that I use on practically every single one of my images because it is so useful and powerful.
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