New layer —- Channel Mixer, adjusted the constant to make the image slightly warmer.
Adjustment levels – LEVELS —— changed the sliders slightly to make the darker area in the background a little darker, to contrast with the dog.
Adjustment layer — exposure. Adjusted the “exposure” slider and the “gamma correction” slider just slightly to try to balance them out. After I was done it was unclear whether it made an appreciable difference from the adjustment level I had done previously.
Tried to add an adjustment layer curves but after playing around with the traditional S curve for a while I scrapped it because I thought it looked better without.
Now the real magic happened with my favorite tools: the dodge and burn tools. This is how I really got the image to POP!