Flexibility through Curves

Curves is one of Photoshop's most powerful tools. While the Levels tool only allows you to make linear corrections to the whole image, the Curves tool allows you to make extremely selective adjustments to shadow, mid-tone, and highlight detail. Using Curves is not particularly intuitive, but it is worth taking the trouble to learn.

Here, we will describe some of the simple but useful aspects of the Curves tool. You can adjust the color channels together or individually. Curves can be found under Image rAdjustments rCurves (or via |ctrl|-|~M~] (Mac: (M~). Photoshop CS3 introduced the option of displaying a histogram with the curve, making it possible to perform changes to tonal range using the Curves tool.


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