Recently I have been editing shots taken during the height of the day - and thus been dealing with a lot of harsh lighting. One thing I have noticed is that my best friend the levels editing seems to exaggerate the influence of harsh lighting in a shot. Before now I have been adjusting curves and using the burn tool to try and reduce this effect, but recently I came across the method of making a contrast mask and have found this to be a good way to reduce the harsh effect. example: without contrast mask 100% crop with contrast mask 100% crop and the full shot a little larger if you wish to see (with mask of course) http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/...s/British Wildlife Centre 2/1000/IMG_1138.jpg As for making a contrast mask I followed the directions here http://www.earthboundlight.com/phot...-photoshop.html?search=contrast mask&bool=and if you are an elements user scroll down to the bottom where the author outlines how to get the same effect. The only difference I had with this was that I did not use gaussian blur - infact I added no blur at all to the result, since I saw not only in his example shot, but in my own as well that the use of the blur reduced overall sharpness of a shot. Also note that I used a layer mask to apply the contrast mask to select areas only (those under the effect of harsh light and also the shadowed side of the birds head) I found that applied to the whole shot it took away the effect of depth and the shadows - so I used the mask to keep some form of depth to the shot Anyone any thoughts on this or tips?