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Chapter 11. Recolor > Levels and Curves

Levels and Curves

If you use the Levels or Curves command to make color or tonal adjustments, you should adjust the overall tone of the image first (the composite channel), and then adjust individual color channels, if necessary (a bit more cyan, a bit less magenta, etc.).

To adjust individual color channels using Levels:

1.
Display the Info palette.

2.
Choose Image > Adjustments > Levels (Ctrl-L/Cmd-L).

or

Create an adjustment layer by choosing Levels from the “Create new fill or adjustment layer” pop-up menu at the bottom of the Layers palette.

3.
Check Preview.

4.
If there’s an obvious predominance of one color in the image (e.g., too much red or green), choose that channel from the Channel pop-up menu .



Follow any of these steps for a CMYK Color image (the sliders will have the opposite effect in an RGB image!):

To increase the amount of that particular color, move the black or gray Input Levels slider to the right. The black triangle affects the shadows in the image, the gray triangle affects the midtones.

or

To decrease the amount of that color, move the gray or white Input Levels slider to the left. The white slider affects the highlights.

or

To tint the image with the chosen channel color, move the white Output Levels slider to the left. To lessen the chosen channel color, move the black Output Levels slider to the right. The Output sliders are particularly effective for adjusting skin tones in a photograph.

Repeat these steps for any other channels that need adjusting, bearing in mind that one channel adjustment may affect another.

5.
Click OK.


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