Fine tune adjustments with Advanced Blending Options
When you are applying adjustments, or Blend Mode, you can fine tune with Advanced Blending Options, another powerful feature in Photoshop. In this case I will increase contrast around Sun to bring attention to Sunshine which is subject of photograph.
So, with photograph opened in Photoshop, I choose Strong Contrast which is one of Curves Presets at Adjustments palette.
|Strong Contrast preset|
To fine tune adjustments in Advancend Options dialog, either double click on empty thumbnail area or click on fx icon and choose Blending Options…
|Open Blending Options dialog|
In Advanced Options you will see all avaliable options which will not be discussed at this time. Because my goal is to increase contrast only at lighter portion of image, I drag left slider to the right on gradient below This Layer: to exclude dark portions of image from adjustment.
|Blend If sliders in Blending Options dialog|
If you look carefully, sliders are divided at two parts in middle: left and right. By draging one side of triangle you can make gradient transition to make less obvious tunning of adjustment. To access this feature, hold down keyboard shortcut Alt key then click on left or right side of trianle and drag.
|Alt + click and drag to create smooth transition|
You can even further fine tune adjustment with Blend Mode, Opacity, Advanced Blending Fill Opacity, but I will stop at this point, and here is my before/after.
|Before/after advanced blending options comparision|
Photoshop / Layer opacity and blending
Product used in this tutorial: Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended