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Help with layers please

Mari 11 1.8k Wales
19 Feb 2005 10:05AM
I've got an image which i've exposed for the sky and so the fg is dark. I need to lighten the fg but when I select it and adjust levels, I always get a halo, no matter how much or little feathering I use.

I have a feeling this could be done more neatly by using layers but having tried to fiddle around for a couple of hours, I am getting nowhere. Do I need to select both areas separately in different layers, do I use a mask or what. I would be grateful for help, i've read endlessly on the subject but still can't seem to grasp it when putting into practice.

Confused Mari

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Miles Herbert 12 1.8k 4 United Kingdom
19 Feb 2005 10:12AM
Why not just create a duplicate layer, so you can go back to the original if it all goes wrong, and mask off the foreground of the duplicate using Quick Mask, the go back to mormal mode, click on rectangle marquee, right click on the image and choose "select inverse". The area you masked off should now be the working area, and any changes you make will only apply to this area.

when you are happy, just flatten the image, the bottom layer original is only an insurance against things going wrong.
andytvcams 12 10.4k United Kingdom
19 Feb 2005 10:14AM
A quick way would be to use your Polygonal Lasso tool,

Draw around the foreground then select levels adjust then right click on your lasso and deselect.
agoreira 11 6.0k Wales
19 Feb 2005 10:18AM
Not sure if this is the sort of thing you are after.
I use capture One, do two exposures and then blend together in Photoshop.
Mari 11 1.8k Wales
19 Feb 2005 10:19AM
Thanks for your prompt reply, Miles, i'm going to try that now, i'll let you know how I get on.

Thanks Frank , i'll have a look at that link.

When I do that with the selection tool, Andy, I get a halo which is why I wanted to see if I could do it by layering. Would the lassoo tool be any different? I haven't got a very steady hand!!


Mari 11 1.8k Wales
19 Feb 2005 10:27AM
Miles, have gone back to my image and can't find where quick mask is, i've got PS6?????????????? Any idea??

I must be so thick!!

Edit, just found it !!
Boyd 11 11.2k 11 Wales
19 Feb 2005 11:29AM
Mari (or anyone who is unsure about layer masks), you may find this tutorial helpful.
User_Removed 11 17.9k 8 Norway
19 Feb 2005 11:56AM
Excellent Boyd! Thanks for the link...

AdrianTurner 11 350 Wales
19 Feb 2005 12:01PM
Heres an alternative method, it does sound a little complicated to start with but is far less time consuming. If you are shooting RAW all the better, process once for the sky exposure and save this with a different name to the original, process a again this time tweaking the exposure etc. for the foreground. If you have shot in JPEG, you will need to adjust Levels/Curves in PS on the second image.

O.K. either way you know have one dark image (Sky Correct) and one light image (Foreground Correct).
Working with the dark image:- use Select>All, then Edit>Copy, close the dark image.
Working with the light image:- use Edit>Paste, you now have two layers, in the Layers Palette click on the topmost layer to select it, go to Layers>Add Layer Mask>Reveal All.
Next click on the bottom layer and use:- Select>All, then Edit>Copy
Now hold down the Alt key and click on the white rectangle (layer mask) which has appeared on the top layer, your image will turn white, this indicates that you are now working in the Layer Mask use:- Edit>Paste, the Layer Mask will now contain a B&W representation of your image.
With the B&W mask displayed use:- Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur and set the Radius to about 40 pixels

Click on the bottom layer and WOW look what youve done, before you flatten the image into one layer you can fine tune the result independently within each layer but make sure you select the actual layers and not the layer mask.

Hope this will be of some help to you, it really isnt as complicated as it seems once youve done it a couple of times and is actually very quick when you dont have to refer to notes to remember the steps.

This is not guaranteed to work with all images, but does work with many.

kaybee 11 4.2k 25 Scotland
19 Feb 2005 1:06PM
Select your area quite wide and loosley. Give it a big feather and make a copy layer of the area. Then select your levels and adjust to taste. Once that is done you can use the erazer tool with a soft brush to take off any bits you don't want altered. Finally, flatten the layers.

As you can see from the advice, there are lots of doing this - it is just a case of finding one that suits you
agoreira 11 6.0k Wales
19 Feb 2005 1:37PM
"Heres an alternative method, it does sound a little complicated to start with but is far less time consuming."

Agreee, same method I use. Takes longer to write than to do! Wink
Mari 11 1.8k Wales
19 Feb 2005 1:40PM
Thanks everyone so much. I am normally a quick learner but layers have always baffled me. Perhaps i'm trying to make it harder than it is.

Anyway, I now have loads to help and i'm most grateful to you all.

Mari 11 1.8k Wales
20 Feb 2005 1:45AM
BTW if anyone wants to have a play with the image i've been trying to alter its now HERE
JohnHorne 10 1.0k
20 Feb 2005 7:41AM
Here's a method which is easier than those suggested so far.
Create a duplicate layer.
Working on the top layer:
- convert it to black and white;
- convert it to a negative image;
- set the blend mode to overlay.
If the effect is too strong, reduce the opacity of the top layer. If the effect is not strong enough, merge the layers and repeat the process.

I've demonstrated this by uploading an edited version of your original image. In this case the effect is fairly subtle, so you may wish to apply it twice.

Simon_Whitehouse 10 769 5 United Kingdom
20 Feb 2005 7:50AM
For JohnHorne

How do you convert the layer to a negative image in PS 7?

Thanks in advance.


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