Correcting Brightness

You can also use Curves to adjust brightness and the distribution of brightness values in an image. We use the Curves illustrated here to do this, but feel free to experiment with the forms - even the smallest changes to the position of the control points can have quite radical effects on the look of an image.

> Please note: All our Curves are set up so that dark is at bottom left!

Figure 4-27: On the left is the curve for brightening midtones, and on the right is the curve for deadening midtones.

> Clicking on a bright image area while the Curves dialog is open automatically marks the brightness of that area on the curve. You can lock the curve to this new control point by pressing |ctrl|/Â. This helps avoid losing highlight detail by over-correcting the image (i.e., by making it too bright).

> If you want to adjust the tonal value of an area directly in the image, activate the SS option (figure 4-23 ©), click on the appropriate point inyour image, and drag the cursor up or down with the mouse button pressed. Photoshop then sets a control point with the same value as the pixel at the current cursor position. The curve can now be shifted around the new control point. This type of correction is intuitive and can also be performed on the Curves adjustment layer.

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