Saturday's Mini-Photoshop Session: Think Selectively – Not Globablly

This might be my most important digital darkroom tip: think selectively, not globally.

When you think selectively, you think about the individual parts of an image that need enhancement. When you think globally, you are thinking about making enhancements to the entire image – which is sometimes not necessary, and sometimes not even necessarily the best idea.

Adjustment Layers and Smart Filters in Photoshop – and Plug-ins for Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Aperture and Lightroom – make working selectively possible.

For this image, I increased the saturation of the woman’s dress and of her reflection in the mirror. I then used the Burn tool to darken the floor, background and her hands and face. As a final step, I sharpened the woman, the dresser and the mirror – leaving the background a bit soft so that the main subject was prominent in the scene.

About the photo: I photographed Marzia Gaspparotti during a VSP Workshop in Venice, Italy. Check out all of VSP’s info-pack and fun-filled workshops on their web site.

I was the instructor on a trip for VSP – founded by the lovely Marzia’s kinda good lookin’ hubby/great photographer Jonathan Maher – to Namibia two years ago and had a blast. I also helped out during one of their Venice workshop. No one does Venice like VSP … which formerly stood for: Venice School of Photography.

I love this dynamic duo.

Make pictures,

P.S. Hey, if you want to see some of my pictures from Namibia, click here to read my Layers magazine article: The Art of On-Location Portraiture. If you wanna join the fun on one of workshops, see the Events page of my website. China, Kenya, Rwanda, Laos/Vietnam - and the American South West added for 2010.