Here is another way to increase local
contrast without using the brightness/contrast control. Experiment with
different variables and have fun. This can be a very effective tool, especially
for doing spot contrast enhancement - which Photoshop generally has no tools
for. Let's try it on this image. Click on the image for a large version. Notice
that the main object of the photograph is flat and dark. Normally, by adjusting
the brightness and contrast this can be improved. The problem is the sky will be
ruined in the process. So, what to do? How about if we could find an EASY way to
adjust simply the inside area?
Try this. Using the Magic Wand
selection tool select the adobe blocks. Holding down the shift key (PC) continue
to select most of the interior. Always use Feather
after selecting anything. In this case try 20 pixels. This will include most of
the selection to one degree or another.
Now select Filter, Sharpen, Unsharp Mask.
I used Amount 100%, Radius
20 pixels, and Threshold 0. Experiment with
different values. Click OK and use Select, Deselect.
What could be easier? Remember to adjust the variables for larger images.
Now, how about a little touchup? Use Select,
Reselect. The marquee reappears. Now use Image,
Adjust, Shadow/Highlight. Set Shadow
at 15%, Tonal width 50%, and Radius
at 40. Click OK. Select, Deselect.
Now, just for grins, let's darken the sky a little.
Image, Adjust, Selective Color. Select Blues
and add Black using the slider. Now select Cyans
and add Black. Click OK.
Ok, OK, so you have some halo effect. This was down and
dirty. Too much feathering. Here is the effect if done carefully. Have
fun! Oh yeah, while we doing all this the birds just happened to fly in. Birds