Almost any image-editor worthy of the name offers curves adjustments, but they can be tricky things to get right. It’s easy to overcook the results or fix a problem in one area only to cause a problem in another. So here are ten top curves tips to show how they work, what they can and cannot do and how to get them right. By the way, all of the screenshots below are full-screen so that you can see both the before (left) and after (right) images and the curves settings. You can simply click on the screenshot to see a...Read More
Don’t write off DxO Optics Pro as a one-tricky pony. It’s brilliant at correcting lens aberrations and perspective and maximising the quality of your RAW files, but the lack of any localised adjustment tools can tempt you into migrating to another app as soon as you’ve fixed the basic issues. But don’t be in such a rush, because you could be missing out on some of Optics Pro’s best features – especially if you’re a fan of black and white. I’m going to use this colour image to introduce some of the hidden power in DxO Optics Pro’s adjustment...Read More
HDR (high dynamic range techniques) are sometimes necessary to cope with scenes that have a higher dynamic range than the camera’s sensor can cope with. But that’s happening less and less as sensor technology improves. The latest D-SLR sensors don’t just have increased dynamic range, they’re able to capture shadow detail with less noise than before. This means that if you shoot RAW files, which retain a greater brightness range than JPEGs, it’s often possible to capture a scene’s full brightness range even in situations as tricky as this one, and this Lightroom HDR effect can make the most...Read More
Solarization adds a dramatic and surreal look to regular black and white images. Darker shades of grey and midtones stay unaffected, but brighter tones and highlights are reversed into a negative image. It’s particularly effective on bright skies. You might imagine you need a plug-in to achieve this kind of effect, but in reality you can create it in any program which offers curves adjustments – including Aperture. Aperture is especially good at this, in fact, because of the unique way it can combine multiple curves adjustments with its other tools. The key to this Aperture solarization technique is...Read More
Curves adjustments are tricky to get right. Small changes can have a big impact on the image, and it’s easy to make things worse not better. That’s why Adobe’s provided a secret weapon – the Adjust Point Curve tool in Lightroom. Normally, you make curves adjustments by estimating or measuring the position of the area you want to adjust on the curve display, then add a control point and drag it up and down to change the brightness of that area. If you drag upwards that area becomes lighter; if you drag downwards it becomes darker. You can add...Read More
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