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lightening dark shadows

How can I lighten the shadows and dark areas of a high resolution scan of an oil painting (landscape) without effecting the rest of the painting. I am not getting the detail in the dark areas of the painting unless I wash out the rest of the painting?
1 Solution
There are a couple things you can do.  

I would start by using the Dodge/Burn tools to lighten or darken area by hand.  In Photoshop 5 they are found on the right side of the tools palette, six down from the top.  The dodge tool looks-like a lolli-pop and is used to lighten areas.  The Burn tool-looks like a hand making a "O" shape and is used to darken areas.  The key shortcut for these tools happen to be the letter "O".  The sizes of area effected is controlled by your brush size.  Before you do this I would duplicate the layer so you have a copy to use for reference back to the original.

Method two is to start by selecting the dark areas you want to lighten w/ the magic wand.  To select multiple areas hold down shift while clicking.  When you have everything you want selected, go into 'Layer' in the menu bar at the top then down to 'new' then over to 'adjustment layer'.  A window opens and gives you options for what type of layer you want.  Choose 'brightness and contrast'.  A new layer appears in the layers window and a new floating palette.  In the brightness and contrast window adjust the image to the desired effect.

You might try using the Curves feature. It gives you great control on the editing of areas by shade....

Good vibes!!!
Curves!! It takes a little getting used to for someone whose never used it before. You might want to hunt down a manual that describes the features but once you understand its unintuitiveness itll fix all your problems.
hifijetAuthor Commented:
solved my problem, looks great now, and the tips on duplicating helped a lot.


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