Here's the straight dope on this...
What you want to do is learn how to colour correct every scan you come across. This is the most important thing, in my opinion. There are tutorials all over the net on how to do this. It's actually quite simple, but difficult to explain; you're better off following a tutorial. Do a search on google for 'levels correction'. Elements and photoshop are probably similar in this vein, although I'm guessing.
The attached version of Nyala was done with two adjustment layers. One was a levels correction, the other was with selective colour. You want to make big global adjustments like this first, then move in to smaller parts if you think it's necessary.
I don't know elements, but to select the sky, look on the toolbar of Elements for Select>Color Range. If it's there, a dialogue box will pop up. Take your cursor and click on your picture where the sky is and click OK in the dialogue box. That's an easy way to select the sky.
Another way to make a change to your sky is to make a change to your pic via Selective Color, which is an adjustment layer. Find where it is in Elements, bring up the dialogue box, pull the menu down to where it says Whites, go to Whites, then play with the sliders until you get the sky the way you want it, by lightening it and changing the colour.
Bringing focus to the animal is difficult here because the beast has hundreds of years of evolution working in its favour, but the initial Levels (or Curves) correction will take it about as far as it should go.
here's a link I found on elements,
Roger L ......How did you do the sky, looks great??? Actually, I went back and looked again ...darn good.
Remember how you did it?
Tom - Good Job!
Looks a little low in contrast on my monitor. It may be that you are more focused on detail than tonal range, which is understandable, but I think it needs a little more 'snap', either levels or curves ...
If you want to keep the tones about where they are in your Nyala you can burn in where natural shadows would be and dodge out where natural highlights would be (Burn/Dodge tools or paint with white or black on an empty layer set to overlay blending mode). This manually extends the tonal range and adds 'Pop'. You don't need to do big areas, just a lot of little edges.
Goldcoin - Sky was done with a layer filled with a sky blue color, set to color mode. Then ran Filter > Render > Clouds and masked layer to apply it to the sky area only. Lightened / Darkened with an Overlay Layer.
Nice one Tom.
A couple of thoughts though, the greens are a bit too green and the pink on the tips of the horns and the ears worry me a bit. The tips of the horns should be white and the foliage in Africa is usually more blue-green.
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