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Lesson 6. Photo Retouching > Adjusting the tonal range

Adjusting the tonal range

The tonal range of an image represents the amount of contrast, or detail, in the image and is determined by the image's distribution of pixels, ranging from the darkest pixels (black) to the lightest pixels (white). You'll now correct the photograph's contrast using the Levels command.

Choose Image > Adjust > Levels, and make sure that the Preview option is checked in the Levels dialog box.

Notice the histogram in the Levels dialog box. The triangles at the bottom of the histogram represent the shadows (black triangle), highlights (white triangle), and midtones or gamma (gray triangle). If your image had colors across the entire brightness range, the graph would extend across the full width of the histogram, from black triangle to white triangle. Instead, the graph is clumped toward the center, indicating there are no very dark or light colors.

You can adjust the black and white points of the image to extend its tonal range.

Drag the left and right triangles inward to where the histogram indicates the darkest and lightest colors begin. Click OK to apply the changes.

Increasing shadows (black triangle) and adding highlights (white triangle)


Choose Image > Histogram to view the new histogram. The tonal range now extends throughout the entire range of the histogram. Click OK.


ImageReady does not have a Histogram command. To adjust and view a histogram, use the Levels command.

Choose File > Save.



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