Video:Photoshop Tutorial: How to Use the Curves Toolwith Chris Davis
Using the Curves tool in Photoshop is a great way to adjust your luminance in a photograph. Watch this video to learn how-to do it in CS6.See Transcript
Transcript:Photoshop Tutorial: How to Use the Curves Tool
Hi I'm Chris Davis for About.com. Lets review how to use the curves tool in Photoshop CS6.
About the Curves Tool in Photoshop
The curves tool is the primary tool for adjusting luminance within your image. It gives you control over highlights, mid tones and shadows. To use the Curves tool go to the Layer menu, select new adjustment layer and curves or click on the curves icon in the Adjustment tab. Once it is open you will see a graphical display of the luminance of your image. The left hand side represents your blacks, the right hand side the whites and the middle are your mid tones.
Using the Curves Tool in Photoshop
You will want to use the curves tool with little adjustments. A little bit goes a long way. A good place to start is right in the center. Click once this will create a point. Now if you drag that point up you are changing what was gray to a lighter gray and if you drag down you are changing it to a darker gray. That simple move will impact your image quite a lot. Not only does it effect mid tone it effects the entire image.
Adjusting Photos with the Curves Tool
However, to adjust the shadows or highlights it just a matter of adding additional points. The bottom will effect shadows while the top adjusts highlights. Be careful that you don't get carried away. You can get some pretty strange effects. If you do go overboard or don't like what you have created click the reset button. It looks like a curved arrow.
Another powerful element with in curves is the button that looks like a hand. Click it, and move your cursor over your image. Now click again and drag up or down. You are altering the luminance based of from the color that you originally clicked. Although it is effecting the entire image it has keyed in on that color.
And if you are completely in doubt reset the image and click the Auto button. Photoshop will make the necessary adjustments at which point you can except or continue to edit.
For additional tips check out About.com Graphics software site. Thanks for watching.