Photoshop curves

January 04, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Most of the time when we are post processing images, if highlights or shadows are not quite right we can correct quite a bit with a program such as Lightroom. Occasionally we may to migrate over to Photoshop tweak the levels, but can't quite get the results that we want.

Curves can be tricky, but there is a little tool within the curves panel that can make you life just a little bit easier. In fact, almost as easy as using the sliders in Lightroom.

TunnelTunnel The model really wanted an image of her within this underpass. My speedlight did not quite do a great job lighting the model in this original image (along with a couple of other things to fix).

Tunnel curvesTunnel curves In Photoshop, If you open up the curves panel, you will see what looks like a hand just to the left of the histogram above the dropper tools (on CS6). The hand has an up/down arrow adjacent to it.  I zoomed into the models face and choose the hand tool. With the hand tool on her face, I moved it upward which lightened her skin and even her dress. The opposite site of the tunnel was too bright for my taste so I once again used the hand tool, but this time moved downward which decreased the highlights behind her. The final curve looked something like the second image above.  I made a few more tweaks to the image such as a crop, got ride of the man hole cover (with the patch tool), and added some contrast.

Tunnel closeupTunnel closeup The model is better lit, and with the background highlight toned down, it is not as distracting resulting in the image being a little more flattering to the subject. Curve adjustments can get more involved, but it is always nice to keep it simple when you are able.