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Chapter 11. Adjustment Layers > Histograms & Automatic Adjustments

Histograms & Automatic Adjustments

When you work with images that contain large areas of white/black (like ones with fancy borders—see Figure 11.64), the histogram can become less than useful because it will indicate that your image contains the full range of brightness levels (Figure 11.65) even though the image itself (minus the border) might be rather low contrast. To get around this, you'll need to take steps to limit what the histogram looks at when analyzing your image. That way you can optimize the contrast of the important areas of the image without having to look at the spikes at the ends of the histogram that would reflect the large areas of black or white that are in the border area. I also use this technique when I want to radically enhance the contrast of an image while retaining detail only in the most important areas.

Figure 11.64. The original image contains bright and dark areas that are not part of the actual photograph. (©2005 Ben Willmore)



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