Making Over Your Foreground Focus (continued)

with various starting and ending points for applying those gradients.

P To darken the background, first click the Blur layer to be sure it's selected.

You are darkening the Blur layer rather than the No Blur layer because the layer mask is forcing this Blur layer to be visible in the background.

a Choose SelectoLoad Selection.

The Load Selection dialog box reappears.

S In the Load Selection dialog box, choose the 100 Feather Background selection from the Channel drop-down menu and then click OK.

The 100 Feather Background selection created in Steps 7 and 8 loads into the Blur layer.

d Click the Create New Fill or Adjustment Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers palette and then select Curves from the contextual menu that appears.

Doing so brings up the Curves dialog box.

Note: While it's true that you could just activate and use the Curve tool here directly, creating and using the Adjustment layer will provide nondestructive editability.

f In the Curves dialog box, click and drag the middle of the curve downward by two lines.

Doing so darkens the Feather Background selection.

g Click the OK button to apply this adjustment to the Blur layer.

Note that the background is slightly darkened, which further highlights the lighter

Gradient...

Pattern...

Levels...

u ■ ■ o

Curves...

Layers, Chann

Color Baance... Brig h:ne ■ s /Contrast...

Normal

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H*»/Satu ration... Selective CoHor... Chanrwl Mixer... Gradient Map. Photo Filter...

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Threshold... Potterire...

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I* _

Nc Slur

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blooms in the foreground. (The effect will be even more impressive after you sharpen the blooms a bit.)

Also note that a Curves Adjustment layer has been added to the Layers palette. You can double-click this Curves Adjustment Layer icon at any time to adjust the effect of this Curves tool without making any permanent changes to the image. Only after the layers are ultimately flattened (on a copy of this image!) are the effects permanent. Adjustment layers provide safe, unlimited editablity to your layers.

h In the Layers palette, click the Blur layer to be sure it's selected, and then choose SelectoLoad Selection.

Doing so calls up the Load Selection dialog box once again.

j In the Load Selection dialog box, choose the 100 Feather Background selection from the Channel drop-down menu and then click OK.

The 100 Feather Background selection created in Steps 7 and 8 loads into the Blur layer.

k Choose SelectoInverse.

Doing so shifts the selection to the foreground blooms.

1 Choose FilteroSharpeno Unsharp Mask.

The Unsharp Mask dialog box appears.

; In the Unsharp Mask dialog box, set the Amount to 100%, the Radius to 1.0 pixels, and the Threshold to 3.

_ Choose ImageoDuplicate to make a duplicate copy of this image.

Okay, two more steps.

Chapter 5: Composition Makeovers |
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