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Chapter 8. Photo Editing and Enhancement > Improving Brightness and Contrast

Improving Brightness and Contrast

You might think that when your photo needs some adjustment to its brightness or contrast, you should head right to Adjust > Brightness and Contrast > Brightness/Contrast. Nothing could be further from the truth. Stay far, far away from Brightness/Contrast when editing your photos. Brightness/Contrast affects the whole image uniformly, when what you really want is to be able to adjust different parts of the tonal range separately. The commands of choice here are Levels, Histogram Adjustment, and Curves (with perhaps a touch of Clarify afterward).

Levels

Levels is one of the best operations for adjusting brightness and contrast, especially for black-and-white photos. It enables you to make separate adjustments in the shadow, midtone, and highlight areas of your photo.


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