As far as the spotlights (all 7) still being there that part is easy enough to resolve (hopefully) - while in the filter, look to the right toward the bottom you will see the spotlights (7) of them appear as if they were layers - drag six of them to the garbage can (there will always be one) - for the question... the filter defaults to the last setting (if my understanding is correct) that is why you still have 7 spotlights - and if this is not the solution you are looking for.... what I will do when using filters such as this is create a layer over the one that you previously did the filter to, fill that with a 50% grey, change the blending mode to overlay (for starters) and create the effect you want (it will look like it is not effecting anything but the grey layer but once applied you will see and afterwards you can change the blending mode to which best shows the effect. - hope this helps.
Thanks for the response, rhalaquist.
Unfortunately, deleting the spotlights doesn't work because then I also lose the effects of them, and those I want to keep!
I am familiar with the 50% grey trick for dodging and burning, but I hadn't thought about using it for this purpose. I'll definitely give it a try. I know there are other alternatives for getting spotlight effects as well, but I would still like to get to the bottom of this issue.
Your theory that the filter defaults to the last setting can't be correct because there's no problem when I open any other jpg and open the filter: I see just one spotlight. So I still don't understand how I can save a copy of my problem file as a jpg (after flattening it) and have those 7 spotlights remain in the file. That just seems wrong to me.
Thanks again for the workaround.
(click image to enlarge slightly)
- with that said - if you are trying to keep the look of the middle image when you do the third without losing the brightness of the middle than the 50% grey trick is the way to go (to the best of my knowledge) - not sure the quality of this posted image but it may give more insight to what I was trying to say.
- --- - this is not a plug for the model (my computer was recently restored and this was the quickest image I could find) all copyrights of image belong to her & her photographer) any question feel free to visit her deviant site Model-Salvaje (Maria E.) on deviantART
I used a combination of the '50% grey trick' and some saturation using the sponge tool (which I don't like to use because it's destructive, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do) and I got what I needed.
However, I would still like to know why the 7 spotlights carried over to a jpg copy of a flattened tiff. I guess that will just remain one of PS's great mysteries.
I expect to post my image on Flickr tomorrow (it's almost finished) and once I do, I'll post a link to it here in case you want to check back and see what it looks like. Thanks again!