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From the author of 5. Reuse Adjustment Layer Masks

5. Reuse Adjustment Layer Masks

When you’re working with adjusting exposure on backgrounds in Photoshop, you’ll invariably need to adjust your subject’s exposure. Instead of repeating the selection techniques that we previously talked about, I’d recommend reusing the ones that you’ve already made.

Click on a new Curves adjustment layer, and you’ll see that there is a mask that is created in all white. Press and hold the Option (PC: Alt) button and drag the mask that you previously created for the background (see Figure 7). This will make a duplicate of the mask and replace it in the new Curves adjustment layer. From there, you can adjust the curve to better expose the subject and make them stand out a little bit more.

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