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Thread: Dealing with an overpowering background

  1. #1
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    Default Dealing with an overpowering background

    One thing I have struggled with since I began manipulating digital photos in photoshop is dealing with situations where the background is too bright or has distracting bright patches. I recently read one approach to fixing this on another forum and found it so good I'm posting it here. It gave me the results I wanted immediately and its now pretty much a standard part of the workflow I do when I get one of those rare things - a photo worth keeping.

    Of course, this being Photoshop, there's probably a hundred other ways of achieving the same thing, but this one works for me.

    Heres the link -> http://www.birdphotographers.net/forums ... hp?t=55360. Scroll down to post number four - the one by Doug Brown.

    cheers
    Arron
    www.patonga.me : botany, wildlife, fishing, check it out

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Dealing with an overpowering background

    Even easier is to use the image itself as a mask. Copy the image into a mask layer and then blast the contrast up with curves or levels. Then use that mask on a curves layer and pull the brightness down. Any area on the bird you don't want the effect on paint over on the mask in black.

    Steps are ctrl-a ctrl-c to copy image
    create curves layer, click OK
    alt click blank layer mask and paste in image (ctrl-v)
    increase contrast by image --> adjust --> curves or levels
    adjust curves to pull own brightness.
    click on the mask and paint black over any areas of the bird you don't want the adjustment on.
    if required to adjust colour, ctrl-click the layer mask and open a selective colour layer
    adjust colour in the neutrals to remove any undesirable cast.

    This could readily be converted to an action.

    You can even use it as a mask on a layer which you do the painting on to restrict the painting to bright areas
    Chris Ross
    Helensburgh NSW
    www.aus-natural.com
    Instagram: @ausnaturalimages

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Dealing with an overpowering background

    Thanks for the post Arron, and the alt idea Chris. I'll have to give this a try.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Dealing with an overpowering background

    Awesome tips thanks guys! Thanks for pointing it out Arron.
    Cheers, Dave

    www.davidstowe.com.au WORKSHOPS

    Aus Life List IOC= 688 - Carpentarian Grasswren
    "So God created every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:21


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Dealing with an overpowering background

    Arron

    All I ever do when dealing with backgrounds is to select your main subject (often the most difficult part) then select Inverse in the Select menu which makes only the background active - from there you can do whatever you want to the background without touching your bird.
    Cheers

    Graeme

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