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Learn how to go through the standard RGB curves adjustments in both Photoshop and Lightroom.
Tags:Photoshop Curves Tutorial ,photoshop curves levels,photoshop tutorials,rgb,yanik chauvin,yaniks photo school
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Hi guys, Yanik here for Yanik’s Photo School. And today we’re going to be going back to some basics just to make sure that sometimes when you’re working in Photoshop, you need to understand the basics of some of the adjustments completely, so that you can use them to their maximum efficiency. And today we’re going to be doing that with the curves. I’m sure most of you have used curves, but I want to make sure that you understand how it works and also to use it to its full potential. And what I’ll be doing after that is going into Lightroom and showing you the curves there and how differently it works in terms of adjustment, and it can actually be pretty cool to use them in Lightroom as well.
All right, back to Photoshop. First of all we need to bring up our dialogue box, image, adjustment, curves. Once you have this dialogue box open, you’ll notice that there’s a straight line in between your graphic here. Now what this represents, this is a line that represents from your blacks down here, all the way up to your whites. So you can call them high lights, and shadows, blacks, whites, whatever. You can see it by the gradient on the X and the Y axis here. The dark tones are way at the bottom here, and white tones are right at the other end up here. If I take my black slider, the black point there, and I move it up, what am I doing, you can see on the image it’s taking all those blacks and making them gray and it’s washing out the image. And if I bring it this way, I’m taking the dark grays all the way down and making them pure black. And if I do the opposite with the high light point, and I bring it this way, I’m basically telling them that whatever is light gray all along this line now becomes pure white. And going down, I’m telling the whites to become darker and darker.
Of course, on most images you won’t have necessarily some pure blacks or pure whites to play with. You’ll want to play all in this area here which is called the mid tones. Now, one thing to notice for you visuals out there is that everything that you adjust with in the top triangle here will lighten your image, and everything you do below in the bottom triangle here will darken your image. So if I’m bringing this mid point up, you can see the image just going lighter, and if I bring it down, the image is darker. Now once you’ve put a point on your line, and you’re trying to bring it back to center, and start working, and you want to get rid of this point, all you need to do is click on it, and drag it outside of the graphic and it disappears. There you go.
Now what we need to do for this image, let’s bump up the contrast a little bit and for that we’ll bring the whites up a little bit, and the mid tones and the shadows down a little bit here. That’s looking ok. And what you’re looking at right now is what you’ll be probably doing, maybe you’ve been doing this by default already, is the classic S curve. You can see those little S shapes in here where we bump up the shadow area, and we bumped up the high light area, and has created this really, really lovely S curve. And I suggest you play with that, and see how it boost up your image as it has in here if you look at the before and after, the image looks less washed out.
Let s go see the exact same curve dialogue box, but in Lightroom this time. Bringing up Lightroom we have our small dialogue box right here, and as you see when I’m hovering over it, it’s basically telling you which area of the curve will be affected, which is something that’s not in Photoshop. Now you can adjust by clicking like we just did in Photoshop, and dragging up, doing a nice S curve here, or we can use the sliders down here. You can see what it did, it affected the high lights at +20, and the darks at, sorry the lights at +20 and the darks at -20. That’s the adjustment I’ve done.
Now I can use the sliders instead of going into the curves dialogue box, and I really, really enjoy, I’m a sliders kind of guy, so I really enjoy using the sliders rather than going straight on the dialogue box. So when I’m adjusting my curves in Lightroom, I’m using those sliders all the time. Now, you don’t have a little point to remove if you want to remove one of the points that you put on your graphic. What you can do is just click on the dialogue box, enter the 0 value and that point, or the high lights, or anywhere else will disappear. If you put 0 everywhere, it brings back your standard straight line.
Now another cool thing about Lightroom though is this button up here. That is a tone curve button. But you’re basically clicking when you’re doing this, you’re clicking and you’re basically, oops! Sorry. Let me just get that back here, when you’re clicking on it, you can see the icon on here, and you can go and select which, actually which tonal area you want. You can see it on the graphic at the same time moving in different areas. If I move into the white shirt here, it’s going all the way up on the upper right. If I’m going into the hair, you can see the point on the curve going into the bottom left. So if I want to adjust this shirt, I can just click and drag up or down, and you can see the curve box moving, and it’s just affecting that area. So, that’s pretty neat. That’s something that’s not in Photoshop, and I really like it, it’s really good for visuals like me. And that’s how I would use this in Lightroom.
Now going back into Photoshop, I’m going to show you in the next video how to use the color channels to modify the colors in your image within curves. All right, stay tuned for part 2, just in a few seconds. Bye-bye.