Adobe Photoshop CS comes with an amazing assortment of tools to help you edit your images. The latest version includes a wide range of features to make things easier, but how can you get the most out of it? In this second part of Chapter 5 from Mordy Golding's Adobe Creative Suite,(Sams, 2003, ISBN: 0672325918), you'll learn various ways to adjust your images, whether you're just trying to clean it up or want to try out some interesting effects.
Using Adobe Photoshop CS, Part 2 - Curves (Page 2 of 12 )
Although the Levels feature is easy to use and pretty much straightforward, it's limited to applying linear adjustments only. For even more control over the tonal range and values of your images, choose Image, Adjustments, Curves. Here you also have the eyedroppers to choose black and white points, but you have more precision when it comes to making tonal adjustments.
The grid in the center is your image-the region at the upper right is where the highlights are, and the region at the lower left is where your shadows live. Midtones are smack in the middle (see Figure 5.96). You can click in the grid to add a point, and drag it to adjust the curve. The benefit here is that you can open up the shadows, but also add more points and adjust the curve to keep the highlights from getting blown out (see Figure 5.97).
Figure 5.96The different areas of the Curves grid.
Figure 5.97Adjusting a curve.
Tip -As you drag in your document, a circle will appear on your curve indicating where that area falls on the curve. You'll see that as you click on the lighter areas of your image, the circle will appear closer to the top right of the grid, whereas darker areas will fall lower and to the left (see Figure 5.98).
Just as with levels, you can apply curves to the entire image as a whole or to individual channels. After you've made your adjustments, you can click OK.
Figure 5.98The circle indicates where on the curve your chosen pixel is.
Photoshop CS introduces the brand-new Shadow/Highlight command that automatically adjusts both the shadows andthe highlights of a picture while using "smart" intelligence to ensure that the image doesn't lose any detail.
Note -The Shadow/Highlight command works only on RGB and Grayscale images. It won't work on CMYK images.
To use this command, choose Image, Adjustments, Shadow/Highlight (see Figure 5.99). Use the Shadows and Highlights sliders to make adjustments as necessary, and then click OK (see Figure 5.100).
Figure 5.99Choosing Shadow/Highlight from the Image, Adjustments submenu.
Figure 5.100Adjusting the Shadow/Highlight sliders.
This chapter is from Adobe Creative Suite, by Mordy Golding (Sams, 2003, ISBN: 0672325918). Check it out at your favorite bookstore today. Buy this book now.