I’d like to bring to your attention a simple photoshop adjustment, selective contrast curves. The above photo, along with many many other photos in the industry are subjected to some amount of curves adjustment.
Just by simply adding a curves adjustment layer and masking it to a certain part of a photo can make all the difference. If this is done multiple times then the better the end product will be.
Like in the screen capture right here ^ you can see that I used 4 different contrast adjustment layers masked to a different part of the image each time.
One for the background
One for the guy’s face
One for the guitar
One for the guy’s clothes.
Each layer is set to Luminosity, so as not to disrupt the colors of the image during the adjustments. Sometimes I used the masks on the image layers themselves and sometimes the adjustment layers, it doesn’t really make that much of a difference. But masking and layers are the basis of Photoshop and if you can nail those down you’re golden, I’m still working on making finer selections, and there’s a myriad of ways to go about that, along with a reading marathon of photoshop books that came in the mail this past Wednesday, so I have my work cut out for me.