Like most everything in Photoshop, there are so many different ways to create a black and white image from a color negative. And most of them work pretty well.
So let’s explore the new features in Photoshop CS4 and then decide whether for $199 it’s worth upgrading from CS3 to CS4. If you are still working on an older version of Photoshop such as CS2 or CS then I would definitely recommend upgrading.
Soft-eyes are scanning problems inherent of the natural film curvature while scanning. To avoid soft-eyes problems, use snapshots technique which allows fixation in few seconds. To do this, first open your file. Then go to filter > sharpen > unsharp mask. After that, a dialog box will appear with unsharp mask defaults. Set the default amount to 75 percent, radius to 1 pixel and threshold levels to zero or one. Finally, click OK. You may notice that the entire image has the unsharp mask applied to it beforehand. As a result, it sharpens the overall image.
Step 4) Then, you need to “Invert” this layer by going to Image>Adjustments>Invert. You will also need to make it black and white because obviously charcoal is in black and Data Masking not color!
First, open the image you would like to work on and add a new layer. You can add a new layer from the menu via the path Layer>New>Layer or you can click on the icon below the red arrow in the image to the right. Once the new layer is added, you can name it by right clicking on the layer and selecting Layer Properties. Naming each layer will help keep you organized; especially when you are working on projects with several layers.
When the unnecessary background parts are removed, then you will clearly see that if the new figure needs some more re-sizing to be fit best with the others. Re-size again if necessary.
In this case, I chose a value of 400 for the brush (circled in red) and placed it over the center of the image. Click once and your picture should resemble the image to the right. Move the brush to either side of the center and click the mouse button again to reveal more of the background image. Repeat until you get the desired Vignette effect. If you make a mistake, just hit undo a few times and try again. Remember, practice makes perfect.