This tip comes from Scott Kelby's Killer Tips for Photographers class at Photoshop World. He also showed it to viewers on last week's Photoshop TV.
Though I added a few steps before the final output, here's basically what I did to turn an ordinary photo that my friend Kevo took of our friend Al into something a little more dramatic. (If you know another way, I'd love to hear it. I just love this effect.):
- Duplicate your background layer twice.
- Change the blend mode of the middle layer to Screen and the top layer to either Soft Light or Color Burn (which ever looks better)
- Adjust the opacity of the upper layers until you get your desired color balance
- Flatten the image, or stamp visible (Ctrl+Shift+Alt+E)
- Add some noise and then sharpen it
- Duplicate the layer and change the blend mode to Multiply.
- Make a rectangular selection around most of the image and then feather it at least 100 pixels and hit Delete