Making selections with the Magic Wand tool

One of the most valuable editing tools in the Toolbox is the Magic Wand. You can use it to make selections — one of the most widely used processes in editing images — for example, to select similarly colored areas in your photo. You can specify the color range and tolerance for a selected area by using the Option bar to set them.

Selections are used to select contiguous and discontiguous areas of an image so you can make edits specifically to that area selected. For instance, if you want to select only the clouds in an image of sky, use the Magic Wand tool to select only the white areas (the clouds, which are discontiguous) and not the blue (the sky). I often use the Magic Wand tool to select portions of the backgrounds in my portraits so I can lighten, darken, or even blur those areas to get the effect I want. Another way I use selections is to isolate — and fix — areas of my image that are out of gamut. I want the whole image to match the gamut range of my selected printer and paper combination, but I don't want to change the entire image — just the areas that are out of gamut.

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Figure 11-13: Using the Magic Wand to select similarly colored areas of an image.

Figure 11-13 shows the Magic Wand tool used to select a section of an image that is overexposed relative to the rest of the image. I selected that portion so I could adjust its brightness to match the rest of the image.

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