Selective Adjustments

Creating a selection can change the way Auto Levels and Auto Contralst, and Auto Color works. This is because the way these "Auto" features work is related to photoshop's way of taking into account all the colors and contrast of the image. When you make a selection, then it will take into account only the colors that are in the selection and may behave quite differently than it would had you adjusted the entire image.


Using the Lasso Tool with a Feathered selection.


 

1. Use the lasso tool to select the area of your subject. The area selected will be shown with the "marching ants".

2. Choose Select>Inverse to select all the other pixels instead of your subject (the background).

 
 

3. Choose Select>Feather to blur the edges of the selection by a specific number of pixels.

4. Choose any image adjustment while the background is selected, and it will only affect that area.

There are many other ways that are useful to selectively adjust an image. For instance, let's say you wanted to make the background behind your subject darker or lighter soas to keep if from distracting from the subject.

Remember that you can hold ALT to make a selection that will be subtracted from your existing selection.

Remember that you can hold SHIFT to make a selection that will be added to your existing selection.

 

Using the Magic Wand Tool

The Magic Wand tool is a very hand tool for images which have areas of color that are somewhat uniform. Here an image has been prepared by a "stock" house--they removed the background and made it completely white.


1. You can use the Magic Wand tool to select the background automatically because it is all the same color. But remember, the magic wand tool also selects based on adjacency. To also select the white area inside the phone's cord, you'll need to hold down the SHIFT key and make another magic wand selection in there.

2. Once the background is selected, you can make it black by choosing Edit>Fill>With Black.