Levels, Lassos and Localisation. by Mark Pedlar


Levels, Lassos and Localisation.  After reading an article on these three attributes of Photoshop CS5 I was able to turn a very ordinary landscape of the Grampians into a very pleasing image. When I took the photo, I felt that the scene showed  promising lighting.  However on the computer it was flat and uninteresting.   At this point I must point out that I claim no credit for the concept. Eric gave me a magazine containing a useful article on the subject.  A contributor to the magazine had done the hard work putting it together. I used the tips to reveal my image’s potential.  To my eye it has captured some of the drama that inspired me to take the photo in the first place.


This image was shot in the Grampians last July. The weather was lousy but the view from the top of Mount William breathtaking.

Unfortunately the camera was unable to cope with the range of contrast unaided. So, following the Digital Photo mag article this is what I did.


First of all I went into Levels in the Image/Adjustments tab and moved the white slider left til it met the base of the curve. (1) This gave me a full range of tones from white to black.


Then I went back to the Image/Adjustments and selected Exposure. This I increased to +0.73. (2)


Since the foreground was very dense I used the lasso tool to select a localised area and increased the exposure to +3.00.


Then after saying OK to the exposure and before leaving the lasso tool, I selected Refine edge from the toolbar above the main image and moved the Feathering slider all the way right to 250 pixels. (3) I repeated this in several spots til I had the detail I wanted.


Finally, after entering it in a club competition and having it judged I straightened the horizon.