[QUOTE="Savageduck"]\nOK!\nI started with basic exposure adjustments in ACR.\nThen I used the adjustment brush in ACR to lift the shadows and add a\ntouch of contrast under the wings.\nNext in the ACR "Detail" module I sharpen at about 120% with a radius\nof 1.4, masking at about 85% to restrict the effect to the subject.\nThat alone creates an illusion of a separation of subject and\nbackground.\n\nNow I bring the converted NEF into PS. I have a reasonable bird, but\nthe color hidden within the grey sky is still subdued as the ACR\ncontrast adjustment was subject selective. So, I made another contrast\nadjustment using an adjustment layer. This was not quite as effective\nas I wanted, so I resorted to NIK Color Efex Pro4 plug-in and applied\nthe tonal contrast filter to end up with the result in "NEF Version\n#2". That was a bit too much, so after tweaking the overall opacity of\nthat adjustment layer down to about 85%, I applied a layer mask to the\nadjustment layer and using a black brush set at 35% opacity and flow at\n50% for a degree of control, I selectively adjusted areas which needed\ntoning down. This got me to my version #3 result.\n< [URL]https://dl.dropbox.com/u/1295663/FileChute/screenshot_488.jpg[/URL] >[/QUOTE]\n\n\nThat was quite a lesson. I just used Photoshop elements and used the\nmagic wand to select the background (I probably should not have\nfeathered the selection) and auto-levelled it, then inverse selected\nthe foreground and lightened the shadows.