06 Lightening the foreground
My curve adjustment here is slightly different. I’ve added a control point in the centre, pushing it upwards to add a lightening effect, but then added another lower down the curve, dragging it down slightly to preserve depth and darkness in the shadows.
07 Adjusting individual channels
This step is optional, but you might find it useful. So far, I’ve been working on the Composite curve, which adjusts the image’s red, green and blue channels at the same time. But you can use the Channel menu to select any of these colour channels individually. Here, I’ve selected the Red channel and applied a slight upwards curve adjustment. This gives the foreground a slightly redder, warmer tone.
08 Painting out the effect
Finally, I’ve noticed that there are some areas right at the bottom of the screen which are now looking a little bit too light after this second adjustment. To put that right, I select the Masking Brush tool, top left, make sure the brush option right alongside is set to ‘Paint Out’, then paint over the areas I want to restore – you can see the brush cursor with a minus (‘-‘) icon the in the centre in the lower part of the picture.
09 The finished photograph
This is a straightforward image enhancement with no special effects applied, and it shows how versatile Perfect Effects really is. And don’t forget you can stack these adjustments with all your other enhancements. It’s also straightforward to understand if you’ve just come straight from Photoshop or Elements – the layers and masks in the Effects Stack are working in just the same way as adjustment layers and masks in the Adobe programs.