On Sun, Sep 6, 2009 at 10:34 AM, Carusoswi <for...@gimpusers.com> wrote:

> Still working my way around this great program - still wondering if I am
> proceeding in the most logical manner.
> Example:
> I captured an image of my daughter sitting in the bow of our boat.  Sky is
> cloudless, sun is on her left right coming in at probably 10:00 over her
> shoulder.
> Best exposure leaves her body a bit on the underexposed side, the sky a bit
> overexposed.
> In Gimp, I copy the background layer and set it to screen mode, then add a
> layer mask that hides this layer so I can paint the additional exposure
> onto
> her body.
> Next, I'd like to add another layer and follow similar steps that will
> allow
> me to darken the sky.
> My question:  Is the proper procedure to merge the first copied layer to
> the
> background before adding the second (I've been doing this), or is there a
> way
> to add that second layer without it negating what I've already accomplished
> using the first layer copy?

I keep all the layers, because I often have second thoughts about what I
have done and then can change it.

I propose a different approach to your problem.

* add a transparent layer on top of your image.
* set the layer mode to "Soft Light"
* take a suitable brush and white as the foreground colour
* paint on the parts you want to brighten up (dodge)
* do the same with black for getting them darker (burn)
* play with the opacity of the brush to control the effect

You can always erase your changes with the eraser or paint them over in the
opposite colour.

> In my mind, I view a layer stack where I might go back and tweak just the
> fourth of some twenty layers, but when I try that approach, I find that
> subsequent layers either obscure or alter the visible results obtained by
> previous layers.

It depends on the layer modes and the layer mass. I always try to use layer
modes that don't do "damage".

> More advice needed and much appreciated.

The docs about layer modes are good:

And if you are into watching video tutorials, I can pimp my video podcast

http://meetthegimp.org/episode-069-burn-and-dodge/ - fast forward to 14:20
to see the above described technique.

(I prefer to read over watching video - but I like to make them. ;-) )

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