This is one of my favourite things in Photoshop that you can use and this is all the information that you need. This is to show some ways you can improve your photos with just using one adjustment and in my opinion one of the most powerful ones as well. There is a lot to it, but to start with let’s work with the first thing you look at which is RGB which sort the light and dark of the image. There are many different ways to do this. you can just drag around the point around and that will change the brightness or darkness of the image below. I love to use this area to do dodge and burn as their own curves, as this will change the image a lot and you can also change the final colour. I will go through this later as it is a bit more advanced and more to it. So for know, it will be how to make light and darker. As you can see the images are different from each other but the curves. The first one is normal settings then the top right is the brighter image and the other is the darker one. As you can see it all looks different with just one thing.
The way I think about curves is in two ways when I colour correct and brighten or darken the image, I have shown the difference above. To go with colour correcting it can get confusing, but I will give it a go. I will do it through each channel. At the back of the first one one you see a histogram in the back which will show you how much information you are changing for each channel.
This one is what is above so you can change how dark the images are as well as changing the brightness of these images.
If you look at the sides you will see a graduated line that shows black and white for me they are at the bottom other people have them the other way around it depends on the person but these are there to help you work out where the light and dark are. So if the dark is at the bottom and if it is white it means it is brighter that side.
On this one, you have red instead of lightening and cyan as the dark side. There is a slight difference between all the histograms.
Which means that green is where the light is and magenta is where the dark is.
So then it is blue where light is and yellows the other side.
Tools on Curves panel
I have numbered all the sections of this panel. I will go through each section so you can understand how all this works.
- Click and Drag: The way this works is it will take the brightness or colour of the curve, this will only affect part of that curve that is in the right colour range.
- Sampler: These will set all the points from black to white, for the whole image.
- How the curves work: The one highlighted is a click and drag so you can make your points of how light and dark the image will be. the non-highlighted one is where you draw on the curve you like. personal I like the one where you can change the curve as it starts as at.
- Smooth curve: This will smooth out any jagged edges on the curve and make it look nicer.
- Histogram: This will show the histogram.
- Presets: Photoshop has a lot of preset’s in there and ones you can make for yourself and save this is the area for the curves to have them placed in.
- Auto: This will Auto correct your colours for you.
- Channel’s: this is where you set all the channels RGB, Red, Green and Blue which works the way I said early.
- Link to layer: this is so you can link it to a layer that has a mask or bit missing and it will change the layers under it.
- Previous state: You will need to hold this down so you can see what it look like before and after the new changes.
- Reset: This will reset to adjustments default.
- Preview: Can see the changes you have done to the photo
- Trash: This will delete the curve.
The next part will be coming soon, as this will get into more depth for curves.
P.S. Please excuse any typos. I am dyslexic.