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Part 5. Working with Tone > Task 3 How to Improve Contrast with Curves

Task 3 How to Improve Contrast with Curves

Task 2 showed how to use the Levels dialog box to set the white point and the black point of an image, thus optimizing the tonal range for the image. You can use the Curves dialog box to increase the contrast in the image, allowing you to selectively enhance image details. If the image seems flat or lacking in contrast, curves can make a dramatic improvement.

1.
Open the Info Palette

Open the image you want to affect. Choose Window, Info to open the Info palette.

2.
Open the Curves Dialog Box

Choose Image, Adjustments, Curves to open the Curves dialog box.

3.
Set the Black and White Points

Follow the steps in Task 2 to set the black and white points for the image. Use the Eyedropper icons from the Curves dialog box rather than those in the Levels dialog box.

4.
Darken Shadows

Click the lower-left portion of the diagonal line in the Curves dialog box to place a point on the curve. If necessary, slowly drag the point you placed downward to darken the shadow areas in the image.

5.
Brighten Highlights

Click the upper-right portion of the diagonal line in the Curves dialog box to place a point in the light areas. Slowly drag the point up to lighten the highlights, increasing the overall contrast, especially in the midtones. Click OK to apply the effect.

6.
View Results

Compare the final results to the image from Step 1. Notice the improved detail and clarity.


PREVIEW

                                                                          

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