Targeted adjustments- Revisited

October 18, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

Targeted Adjustments - Revisited

Photoshop has long had a tool that what Adobe calls a targeted adjustment. It is located under the curves dialog box which looks like a pointed finger.

In theory, you may select a portion of the image with this tool (either in RGB mode, or a color channel) and by moving the 'hand' icon up or down one should be able to achieve the effect desired.  In the real world, this is often not the case. For example, in the landscape image above, it I wanted to increase the reds in the trees, the tool would adjust all reds, including the reds in the tee shirt.  Yes, there certainly other tools such as hue/saturation adjustments, but what if you really wanted to zero down to a very specific part of the image?

You could of course make a selection of that very specific portion of the image and then use one of the adjustment layers just to affect that selection.  There is yet another way to work this issue.

In the image above, the trees below the cliff are very drab. Not at all how I remembered the shot. I could add a vibrance layer, but this would affect the ENTIRE image, and that is not really what I want.

I am going to add a vibrance layer, and then I am going to INVERT the layer mask so that it is black (black conceals).  Now I am going to adjust the vibrance slider to what ever level I wish, and then paint with the brush tool set to white ONLY on the trees below the cliff.  The only portion of the image that is being affected by the vibrance layer is the trees. 

This techniques not only saves the time of having to select and mask portions of the image and can be a great boost to workflow in many types of images. Of course, I could have selected a different type of adjustment layer with a layer mask, so this process is certainly not limited only one type of edit.

Give it a try, and let me know what you think!


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