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Making selective contrast adjustments

From: Photo Restoration with Photoshop

Video: Making selective contrast adjustments

Sometimes images are different tones in different places. For example, if you look at the face of the man on the far left of this image and compare him to the lady on the far right, you will notice his face is much brighter. Likewise the upper left-hand corner of the room is much brighter than the upper right-hand corner. In this case it was probably caused by uneven lighting, but whatever the reason, you will sometimes want to even an image up, and I am going to show you a quick and easy way to do that. Begin by going to the bottom of your Layers panel selecting the half-black, half- white circle, the Create a new fill or adjustment layer icon, and select Curves.

Making selective contrast adjustments

Sometimes images are different tones in different places. For example, if you look at the face of the man on the far left of this image and compare him to the lady on the far right, you will notice his face is much brighter. Likewise the upper left-hand corner of the room is much brighter than the upper right-hand corner. In this case it was probably caused by uneven lighting, but whatever the reason, you will sometimes want to even an image up, and I am going to show you a quick and easy way to do that. Begin by going to the bottom of your Layers panel selecting the half-black, half- white circle, the Create a new fill or adjustment layer icon, and select Curves.

In this case we are going to lighten one end of the photo, so we are going to take our histogram in this center and drag it up towards the top left-hand corner for an overall lightening of the image. Now we'll go back down to our Curves mask. And black is set to our foreground color, so we are going to use Alt+Backspace or Option+Delete to invert our Curves mask. Now we'll go to our toolbar, select our Brush tool, and we're going to invert our colors down here so the light is the foreground and begin painting in light areas.

Adjust your brush size using your open and close bracket keys. We've got a large area, so we'll make it fairly large. We're going to paint in this darker area-- I am going to make the brush even bigger still--with the light color. Once we have that done--it's just basic. I am not being very, very careful, just to give you an overall idea. Go up to your Gaussian Blur in your Filter > Blur and then Gaussian Blur, and we'll soften that painting we just did.

You can set this pretty high. We want a very good blur. We are not looking for accuracy. We are just looking for blend and hit OK. Then lower your Opacity until your new area matches fairly well with the wider area. Let's hide that layer by clicking the eye icon. We are going to add another new fill or adjustment layer, again Curves, and lighten it. Again, invert your mask. This time your black is your background color, so hit Ctrl+Backspace or Command+Backspace to fill in your Curves mask and invert it.

You can also--I am going to adjust this with my open bracket key-- you can also do just certain areas, instead of doing big areas. If you just have a face you want a little lighter, you notice how light this face is compared to these others, so maybe we just want to lighten their faces up a bit. You have a lot of control over this. Again, this isn't very neat-- just giving you an overall idea.

Go up to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. I am going to bring it down just a little bit. I want it to be a little more precise when it's in a smaller area. Click OK and then lower your opacity, keeping an eye on that light face on the end, just to blend them in a little better. Just keep an eye on your before and after and see if it's too much or not enough, and that looks pretty good. It can probably go down to, let's say about 35, and that looks a little closer.

One more way you can lighten one part of an image is make a new blank layer and make white your foreground color, go to your Gradient tool, and go up here and make sure you have Foreground to Transparent selected, and make a gradient through just part of the image, the dark part, go up here to your Layer Blend modes and find a Blend mode you like, Overlay, Soft Light, whatever you want to try, something you can see through obviously.

Lower your Opacity down to let's say 25%. See, we have just lightened that up, just a little bit so it compares a little better with this other side. Those are just a few ways to lighten parts of an image without lightening or darkening a whole image. If you want to darken a part, you just reverse your colors and you paint or do your gradients in black. When an overall tonal adjustment isn't what your image needs, if it's lighter on one end and darker on the other, sometimes you just need a little spot adjustment to bring it all together.

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This video is part of

Image for Photo Restoration with Photoshop
Photo Restoration with Photoshop

70 video lessons · 15657 viewers

Janine Smith
Author

 
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  1. 1m 33s
    1. Welcome
      48s
    2. What you should know before watching this course
      13s
    3. Using the exercise files
      32s
  2. 16m 47s
    1. Customizing your workspace
      2m 17s
    2. Using layers
      1m 58s
    3. Assessing the damage
      1m 52s
    4. Rebuilding color channels in a grayscale image
      3m 47s
    5. Using a Black & White adjustment layer
      1m 57s
    6. Using the Clone Stamp, Healing Brush, and Patch tools
      4m 56s
  3. 27m 30s
    1. Fixing a faded black-and-white photo
      2m 20s
    2. Removing small splits, specks, and spots
      3m 44s
    3. Repairing red-eye
      4m 58s
    4. Reducing paper texture
      4m 34s
    5. Reducing dot patterns in printed photos
      3m 51s
    6. Fixing lens distortion
      4m 19s
    7. Straightening a crooked image
      3m 44s
  4. 24m 16s
    1. Fixing large rips, tears, and other damage
      3m 9s
    2. Removing long scratches
      3m 24s
    3. Fixing creases
      5m 8s
    4. Stitching large photos using Photomerge
      3m 17s
    5. Reassembling torn photos
      4m 56s
    6. Replacing missing pieces
      4m 22s
  5. 27m 55s
    1. Removing stains
      3m 48s
    2. Removing ink marks
      2m 34s
    3. Repairing adhesive tape damage on a black-and-white photo
      2m 14s
    4. Repairing adhesive tape damage on a color photo
      6m 1s
    5. Fixing mold damage
      5m 20s
    6. Reducing starburst light glare
      5m 11s
    7. Reducing eyeglass light glare
      2m 47s
  6. 21m 32s
    1. Understanding the basics of levels
      2m 50s
    2. Understanding the basics of curves
      3m 29s
    3. Finding the black, white, and gray points in an image
      3m 28s
    4. Adjusting color levels by channel
      1m 58s
    5. Making selective contrast adjustments
      4m 48s
    6. Adjusting image shadows and highlights
      4m 59s
  7. 18m 13s
    1. Adjusting color with the Photo Filter adjustment
      2m 23s
    2. Correcting color casts using inverse color correction
      3m 2s
    3. Correcting color problems using the Color Balance adjustment
      3m 19s
    4. Correcting color casts using the Variations command
      3m 55s
    5. Correcting color by combining levels and curves
      1m 44s
    6. Improving color by adjusting the hue and saturation
      3m 50s
  8. 33m 14s
    1. Removing distracting elements
      5m 35s
    2. Repairing and recreating backgrounds
      7m 43s
    3. Extracting areas using masks
      5m 5s
    4. Matching colors in elements you add
      4m 11s
    5. Matching textures
      4m 45s
    6. Replacing facial features and missing body parts
      5m 55s
  9. 29m 59s
    1. Converting to black and white
      4m 48s
    2. Enhancing faded color
      3m 30s
    3. Smoothing a subject's skin
      4m 2s
    4. Enhancing black-and-white photos with duotone
      2m 34s
    5. Enhancing the eyes
      4m 10s
    6. Bringing out facial features with light
      5m 22s
    7. Sharpening
      5m 33s
  10. 32m 32s
    1. Assessing the damage
      1m 26s
    2. Repairing the crack
      1m 52s
    3. Replacing the missing body parts
      3m 5s
    4. Removing the specks, spots, and scratches
      3m 7s
    5. Fixing the missing corner
      1m 14s
    6. Lightening the stains
      5m 22s
    7. Restoring the faded tone in the face
      3m 8s
    8. Balancing the tone in the image
      1m 58s
    9. Evening the color with a Black & White adjustment layer
      49s
    10. Cleaning up the image
      2m 24s
    11. Adding definition to the face
      2m 20s
    12. Softening the image
      58s
    13. Sharpening the image
      2m 4s
    14. Bringing back some of the original tone
      1m 34s
    15. Comparing the image before and after
      1m 11s
  11. 24s
    1. Final thoughts
      24s

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