how to enrich the Source ducklings without turning the hands, beaks and everything else yellow, or leave a very noticeable contour around areas I select to adjust, even with a reasonable 5-10 pixel wide feather edge.
[Ariane] for PSP:
mark whatever part you want to change with the magic wand / or freehand selection tool
choose > Adjust > Brightness and Contrast > Brightness/Contrast and play with these setting till it's the way you want it to be
sometimes it also helps to copy THIS selection, add it as a 2nd (3rd... nth) layer and blend the layers (Multiply) and than flatten selection (=these 2 or 3 or 5 layers to make the part you want to enhance more vibrant)
[Nordlark] I especially agree about using multiple layers to enhance the colors. :)
I also like your suggestion to cut out some parts to adjust. I did that on some parts of the ducklings and was surprised at the results. Some of the blending modes would "blow out" the details on parts of the birds, so I did some rough highly-feathered cutouts of those sections and then applied different blending modes to them.
Fred, here are a few more tips that I've received from our other Walrus friends along the way:
play with different blending modes
Every image is different, so you never know which blending mode is going to work, until you start playing with it, and seeing what the effects are. Just be sure to save your earlier work before playing around too much. It's easy to lose track of your starting place if you want to back out of your experimentation. And some blending modes (and filters) have a higher likelihood of causing the software to crash, so be forewarned!
I feel like I must be telling you things that you already know, because you already have a lot of experience creating entries, so please pardon me if I'm stating the obvious, Fred! :) But, ever since Lyndia and 4th taught me how to do cutouts more quickly -- after almost a year of making entries (!) -- I no longer take it for granted that everyone else knows any specific method of doing things. LOL
Tab was the first to suggest to me that I use either Multiply or Color Burn to get brighter colors, and it has made a big difference. In fact, even if I haven't used either of those blending modes in my earlier layers, I almost always finish an entry with a final top layer using the Multiply blending mode -- sometimes even set as low as 2 or 3 percent opacity. It usually gives it just a little extra oomph. :)
Lotsa Treez and 4th both encouraged me to play around with the blending modes, even though my early attempts with them were frustrating. At that time, it took me so long just the get the basics done, that I was constantly looking for a shortcut that would work for every entry. VBG. Of course, there's no such thing. It takes some experimentation, and lots of failed attempts, but one does eventually start to get a feel for what might work.
adjust from maximal change backwards to desired change
Tankgurl had another suggestion that I've found invaluable: When you make adjustments to the color or contrast or blending modes, etc., instead of adjusting them by small increments, adjust to the point where you KNOW it has gone too far, and then back off to a more pleasing result. This gives you a really good feel for the range of results that are possible -- and sometimes gives you some fun and surprising results. :)
I don't know if PSP has the same names for the different blending modes, but they are probably fairly similar to what I use in Photoshop Elements. My favorite blending modes for enhancing the colors and details of an image are Multiply, Color Burn, Overlay and Soft Light, but I still usually play with the other modes just to see if it will add anything to the image.
Oh, and on one specific note about my entry this week. You wondered about making a layer that was all yellow. I did make one of the layers all yellow, but as often happens, that takes away a lot of detail, so I overlaid that onto the original image, then reduced the opacity and played with the contrast. I'm not sure which blending mode I used for that layer, but it was probably either Color Burn or Overlay. Then I cut out the beaks (with a 3-pixel feathering) and re-colored them orange.