Help with levels adjustment and shadow enhancement

Discussion in 'Photoshop Tutorials' started by scott.siegler, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. Hello,

    I am relatively new to photoshop. I am getting better with layers but have a question I hope someone can answer.

    I would like to enhance shadow after applying a levels adjustment layer.

    However, since you can't add an adjustment layer for shadow enhancement, how would I go about adding some type of layer on top of the levels adjustment layer so I could make further tweaks?

    Also, as I am new to photo retouching - when retouching a photo, is the preferred method to first make shadow enhancements and then add a levels adjustment or to make the levels adjustment first.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    scott.siegler, Oct 2, 2012
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  2. scott.siegler

    tony cooper Guest

    You have "Shadows/Highlights" as a drop-down under Adjustments. You
    have to experiment to know how much to tweak each slider to get the
    effect you want, but pay attention to the Midtone Contrast slider.
    The default is zero, but it needs to be brought up in most images.

    The first step in post should be to duplicate the background.
    (Control J). The next step is either adjusting Levels or adjusting
    Curves. If you're using Levels, bring in the points inside any
    clipping of the darks or lights.

    If you use an Adjustment Layer to set levels, you need to Merge
    Visible (hold down Alt and Merge Visible under Layers) or the layer on
    top of the Adjustment Layer will not have any effect.

    That creates a Layer that can be adjusted (but is not an Adjustment
    Layer). Use the Shadows/Highlights drop-down on this layer.

    You may also want to tweak the Contrast on this layer if you use
    tony cooper, Oct 3, 2012
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  3. You can't do this as an adjustment layer, but if you cange your photo layer
    (probably your background layer right now) to a smart object, you can add
    Shadows/Highlights as a smart filter.
    It doesn't really matter, but I would make the largest adjustment first and
    then fine tune with the other adjustment(s).
    Johan W. Elzenga, Oct 3, 2012
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