If you've worked with photoshop much, you probably know that there is almost always at least 3 ways to do the same job.
So here are three ways to lighten the unwanted darker parts of your picture.
First of all, the most crude way is to go down to the layer options and choose Levels...
slide those slider triangles back and forth (3 of them) and see what your image does. This can be a good place to start, but more often I go with option 2 here. I usually use a mask layer and paint or use gradient tool after this effect.
Secondly is in the Image menu go to Adjustments and down to shadows/highlights... This one works more effectively, I think.
This does a pretty good job of lightening those shadows and toning down the highlights. Play around with this one a bit. Add a mask and then on the mask layer try the gradient tool.
Thirdly is an action I made from a tip on photoshopkillertips.com
Here is the action to download... it is very simple. Here are the steps, and you can record it to your own action very simply.
Make a new blank layer with the new layer icon in the layers palette.
Hit Shift F5 or go to menu Edit and down to Fill. In the drop down box, select 50% gray and hit OK
Then choose layer style Overlay on the layers palette
(not quite done)
choose the brush tool and select your opacity to between 15 and 25% and hit the D key to make sure your color palette is black and white
Now you are ready to paint in some highlights and darken some areas. Just start brushing and hit the X key to switch from lightening to darkening.
Here is the tutorial from Matt Kloslowski - about 17mb
Have a great weekend!
Pic of the day:
comes from a friend of mine...
great treatment... the stylized look really adds to the animation of this photo. Love the lighting... no harsh shadows, simple white background and great composition. Great close up portrait. Nice job! Note the reflection in the glasses... I hope to address relfected light and family of angles in a future blog.