Hi all. I have a set of jpegs from years ago when I was less experienced in PS and I applied auto-levels to them all. Looking at them now, I would like to try and "tone down" the effects of auto-levels. I appreciate the effects can't be completely undone, but can anyone advise of any adjustments I could make to counteract the auto-levels changes and get the images closer to their original state. I've attached an example. Thanks in advance.
Entirely depends on what you want to accentuate and what the originla files looked like. From simply applying a Levels/ Curves adjustment to bring back the "crunch" of an evened out Gamma to convoluted selection operations and blending mode trickery this could be anything. That's the crux of it. without the original images to compare it is near impossible to advise what specifically needs to be done as literally it's just all in your mind. If you can dig up an untreated example image it realyl would help a lot.
In future, and for any new users reading this, work non - destructively, using adjustment layers, smart objects, cloning and healing onto separate layers etc. Save a master copy with all layers intact as a PSD/PSB. That way reverting to the original version later, or just revisiting and tweaking adjustments is easy and do-able.
Keep the use of jpeg exports for sending copies onward, or for web use, only. Avoid saving masters as jpeg - the effects of jpeg compression are cumulative i.e. they are added every time you resave.