If you twitter, then I suggest you follow PetaPixel – through whom I found a great technique on how to adjust digital images on PhotoDoto.com.  Below is the link the the PhotoShop tutorial.

http://photodoto.com/black-white-is-the-key-to-better-color

While this technique is in PhotoShop, I found how to recreate it in Paint Shop Pro X2.  I find that it gives a much more dramatic detail to the image and prevents crazy saturation nuts like me from going overboard.

The technique is to convert the image to black and white, make the needed lighting adjustments, and then converting back to color and keeping the other adjustments made.  Below is how to do this in PaintShopPro X2

Step 1:

Make sure the History Palette is visible.  (View | Palettes | History)

Step 2:

Convert you image to black and white. (Effects | Photo Effects | Black and White Film)

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Step 3:  Choose the filter color that gives you the most natural looking light and contrast.

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Step 4:  Once you’ve converted the image to Black and White, adjust the image as needed.  You can adjust the Brightness and Contrast, Sharpness, Noise Reduction, Clarify, etc., until you are happy with how the picture appears.

Step 5: Undo the Black and White conversion in the History Palette.  Select the Black and White Step and click the “Undo Selected” icon.  See the red arrows in the graphic below.

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Step 6: Once completed, the image should convert back to the color version, and retain all the other changes and adjustments made.

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The changes may appear to be subtle – but when experimenting with difficult to light images, it does make a quality difference in the final product.  Hope this helps.!

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