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Lesson 3. Basic Photo Corrections > 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.

In this task, you’ll use a graph in the Levels dialog box that represents the range of values (dark and light). This graph has controls that adjust the shadows, highlights, and midtones or gamma of the image. You’ll also refer to the Histogram palette, which simply displays the information for you. Unless you’re aiming for a special effect, the ideal histogram extends across the full width of the graph, and the middle portion has fairly uniform peaks and valleys, representing adequate pixel data in the midtones.


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