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I have this image:

enter image description here

I'm trying to:

1) cut out the napkin

2) make the white more pure

This is what I've done so far using the magic wand to select, white point and curve adjustments

enter image description here

As you can see, the edges of the napkin are overexposed, while the center is still grey-ish.

If I keep using curves to try and fix the grey center, it will make the edges even more exposed in the process. How would I make just the grey part more white?

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Curves and Blend-if is still the answer. You're probably better off switching to Lab which is in the Image Mode settings. Its like CMYK or RGB... except its Lab.

Typically (this can be flipped) The left of the curve is darkness and the right is lightness. You can look at the bottom of the curve and you'll see a black and white indicator. Black side is dark, white side is light. Midpoints are .. in the middle. What you want to do is flatten your curve around the highlights.

enter image description here

The more you flatten them all the less of that dark spot you'll have. You can use the Output at the bottom of the Curves Adjustment to make sure they're nearly (or exactly) the same.

enter image description here

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