Unit 1

 

unit 1

Learning Zone

Adjusting the Curves in Photoshop CS5

The Curves dialogue box offers the best set of controls for making tonal changes in an image. This is a difficult set of controls to master but through experimentation you should see impressive results.

 

Just like the Levels command you can change the range shadows, midtones and highlights. However, you can also make changes to pixels along the 0-255 scale.

 

To access the Curves dialogue box you need to go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves. Then click Ok. The Curves dialogue box will then be displayed (see below).

 

Curves dialogue box diagram

 

From the graph above it is clear that there are a large number of dark pixels in the image (the peak of the graph is located to the far left).

 

You can down load the image of the fruit bowl here.

 

In order to make changes to the image we are going to set points on the graph line in order to lighten and darken areas on the image. Make sure you have selected the Point tool.

 

Step 1: Click in the mid point of the line. Then drag the point up and down. Notice how it makes changes to the image. Drag upwards to lighten and downwards to lighten.

 

Step 2: Delect the point you have just made by clicking on the point then press the Delete/Backspace key, or just drag the point out of the graph.

 

Step 3: To increase the contrast of an image create a point on the line 1/4 of the way from the left. Drag this upwards to lighten the highlights. Next place a point 3/4 of the way along. Drag this downward to darken the shadows. The midtones will stay the same.

 

Step 4. Reverse the settings in step 3 to decrease the contrast of an image.

 

Experiment with the settings to achieve a range of wierd and wonderful effects.

 

Author

Anthony Bennett

 

 

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