Um Jeff, Im a little confused mate...do I follow step 1 first or after I do step 1 do I then merge my layers with step 1...can you help please...you know Im from W.A. and we are kinda slow over here...
Mate after step one flatten all layers then:
>image>adjust>brightness/contrast and set both to +100. You may find that you have to play around with these settings a little. I spent about 3 hours finding the correct blend.
also after this try:
Filter>noise>dust and scratches and again play with the levels. I found that best results with this image were achieved as a direct result of using my Wacom tablet. With this i found it was easier to blend the pasted emelements. I am sure you will still get there using a mouse with a high level if sensitivity.
Sorry if i am going too fast for folks here. I am just assuming you all know what i am talking about.
Oh and please dont forget, don't be tempted to add a flood filter it will just spoil the final image and will ultimately lose you votes!