In this article I want to cover an alternative way to apply level corrections to a selected area of a picture with fuzzy edges. This technique is based on applying gradient fill to a layer mask, through which we select the content of the layer to correct the levels. There is another way to reduce contrast of the image, which is described in Contrast Masking .
A few words about what I used: Photoshop 7.0 English (I am sure the technique works in version 6 and probably lower).
Now, go to the chase. I took a fairy primitive mountain view (see picture on the left), but the morning sky was too bright so the balance in the picture was broken. I wanted to make it better (darker and "juicy"). My first step was to correct levels for the whole picture but it didn't work.
The sky area has almost linear edge, so we can apply this "gradient level correction". First switch the background layer to a normal one:
At this moment nothing has changed, only the background layer is became workable (we can create a mask). So, let's proceed with the mask:
A few words about the layer mask. This mask (mode - Hide All) - allows you to make transparent (for the given layer) everything, which is colored as black By the way it allows you to use gradient transparency by using tones of gray. And such ability will be applied in the following steps.~ Top ~
Let's make transparent everything except the sky:
At this moment everything is rather simple - the image with the selection. But the selection in this case doesn't have a straight border; even it is shown by a single line. Now we have to apply levels correction (or something more sophisticated - see other pages):
I hope this approach will help you to correct photographs, which are not always correctable by simple use of levels and curves.~ Top ~