You can use the Dark Strokes filter with many images only if you set the Black Intensity to 0 and the White Intensity to 10 in the dialog box. Otherwise, it tends to turn the whole picture black. Even with a relatively light picture, you might need to keep the black number low and the white setting high. Figure 16.23 shows a carefully balanced application of dark strokes. My settings were Balance, 5; Black Intensity, 5; and White Intensity, 5.
I never used to like this filter, but it does surprisingly nice things to the stuff on the workbench and the hanging fish net. Perhaps it will do wonders for one of your photos, or possibly it will just muddy things up. You really never know what will happen until you try some of these filters, even though you can theoretically define what effect they'll have on specific dark or light areas. After years of Photoshop use, I am still frequently surprised (and often delighted) by what a filter like this can do to a photo.
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