Lighten and darken the image in Photoshop

Improve your landscape photography skills using a variety of advanced lightening and darkening techniques for subtle correction of light and shade in the pictures.

When it comes to the final correction of landscape shots, lightening and darkening itself becomes an art form. This process has been an integral part of photography for many years, but nowadays it is much easier to adjust the light and shadow than it was ever done in a special dark room.

Here we look at several techniques. However, this is not the case where it is enough just to know how to selectively adjust the brightness: it is much more important to determine which area of ​​a photo needs to be processed.

When looking at a photograph, the eyes first focus on the brighter parts of it. When working we need to take this into account. Imagine yourself gazing at the image: underline the main lines and draw the eyes to the desired subject.

1. Divide earth and sky

Select the sky using the tool Fast selection (Quick Selection Tool), then click Ctrl + J, to copy the plot to a new layer. Create an adjustment layer Levels (Levels). Set its blending mode Multiplication (Multiply) by darkening the photo. Select the layer mask and click Ctrl + I, to invert it.

2. Darken the sky

Click with the key pressed Ctrl on the miniature of the sky copy layer. Click on the layer mask. Levels (Layers). Choose a tool Brush (Brush Tool). Set white as the primary color and set Opacity (Opacity) cut to 20%. Draw the sky areas you want to darken. When everything is ready, click Ctrl + D, removing the selection.

3. Raise the foreground

Create a new adjustment layer. Levels (Layers). Set its blending mode to Screen (Screen) to lighten the image. Click on the layer with the sky with the key pressed Ctrl, and then go to menu Selection> Invert (Select> Inverse). Invert the mask for the new Layer layer and paint over the foreground areas with a white brush that need to be brightened. When done, reset the selection.

04. Highlight the stones

Click Ctrl + Shift + Alt + E, creating a merged layer. Right click on the new layer and select Convert to smart object (Convert to Smart Object). Go to menu Filter> Sharpen> Unsharp Mask (Filter> Sharpen> Unsharp Mask). Set the following parameter values: Effect (Amount) – 120, Radius (Radius) – 45, Isogelium (Threshold) – four, adding stones to the definition. Invert the layer mask that appears and paint the stones white.

5. Draw the eye

Click with the key pressed Alt on the new layer icon at the bottom of the panel Layers (Layers Panel). In the layer creation window set Mode (Mode) on Overlap (Overlay), then check the box “Run Fill …“(Fill with …) and click OK. Install Opacity (Opacity) brush on ten%. Paint with white to brighten zones, black with black; Use this layer to draw attention to the subject.

6. Highlights and shadows

Click Ctrl + Shift + Alt + E, to create another merged layer. Choose a toolClarifier (Dodge Tool), install Exposure (Exposure) – ten%, but Range (Range) – Backlight (Highlights). Paint over the areas that need to be underlined. Use the tool Dimmer (Burn tool) with Exposure (Exposure) – ten% and Range (Range) – Shadows (Shadows) to add depth to shadows.

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