For this exercise I need to make local, not global adjustments to a portrait image using a manual selection method. The aim is to make the subject stand out more clearly from the background whilst still retaining credibility. This type of manipulation is open to interpretation and is hence subjective, how much is too much adjustment? I personally like very saturated colour, but that is not to everyone’s’ taste. I do not like over manipulated images that then fail to look realistic but as I gradually learn more Photoshop techniques I find myself experimenting more, and  I do enjoy the ability to have total control over the final outcome. 

The original optimised image looks fine to me and I would not usually do any more work than has already been done. As my PS skills are self-taught and I have not had any reason to attempt more intricate work I took quite a few hours before I actually even managed to create a layer mask to work on! Unless any of my images were exceptional I cannot see me performing this sort of manipulation on a regular basis---far too time consuming , I would rather be shooting. However I did enjoy the exercise and became quite absorbed. To make my subject ( Caitlin ) stand out more I increased the vibrance and brightness , made a curves adjustment to increase the contrast, and finally decreased the yellow saturation very slightly to alter her skin tones. Have I improved the image? I am quite pleased with the final result , it is brighter with bolder brighter colour, but that is my opinion, not everybody would agree, its my personal interpretation. 

I made a duplicate layer and used the magnetic lasso tool to select Caitlin saving the selection as a mask. I then created several adjustment layers. 

Before                                                                                       After
Original optimised image
2. +  Curves adjustment
3. + Brightness adjustment
4. + Vibrance adjustment
5. + Levels adjustment to whole image
6. + Saturation adjustment --yellow decreased to alter skin tone
7. Final image

Leave a Reply.