Histograms just show you what’s happening in your images, they’re not there to tell you what to do. But there’s an old adage from the days of film photography that you should still be able to see some detail in the darkest and brightest parts of your pictures, and that’s carried through into digital photography. This is the job of the histogram. It shows you whether the … [Read more...] about Histograms aren’t sacred: shadows and highlights CAN be clipped
Levels adjustments are one of the most basic yet most important things you can do when enhancing photos. The levels tool will usually display a histogram which shows you whether the tones in your image cover the full range from solid black, on the left of the scale, to solid white on the right.
If they don't, you can then move black point and white point sliders to line up with where the histogram does actually start and end to maximise the tonal range of your picture.
It's a quick and simply way to maximise contrast and tonal without clipping (cutting off) any details in the extreme shadows and highlights. You don't have to do it with every single image – some look best with low contrast – but it's one of the handful of core adjustments you'll find yourself doing again and again.
Levels adjustments are are pretty basic and straightforward way of maximising the tonal range of your pictures. You move the white and black point sliders to line up with the brightest and darkest parts of the picture, and that’s it – you've got maximum tonal range and contrast. Curves are more complex because they enable you to adjust the brightness and contrast within … [Read more...] about Levels vs curves vs luma curves: ways to adjust contrast in photos
With careful use of levels and curves adjustments you can rescue even the faintest and most faded artworks and restore both saturation and contrast. Levels and curves are two of the most basic adjustment tools in any image-editing program, but there’s often confusion about which to use and when, and it often appears as if they overlap in what they do. But some programs … [Read more...] about Restore faded art using levels and curves
Levels are one of the most basic image adjustments in any image-editor. They're your first chance to act on the information you get from the image histogram and use adjustments to maximise the tonal range of your picture. In fact, although the Levels dialog may not offer the advanced image control of curves or other image-editing tools, it's still the first adjustment you … [Read more...] about Mastering Elements Levels adjustments
DxO Color Efex Pro 4 isn't just a collection of special effects. It also has a number of powerful image-editing tools hidden amongst them, and one of these is the Levels & Curves tool. You can use this to make adjustments to your images in the same way you would in Photoshop, Elements and other image-editing programs. But these adjustments go further than you might think. … [Read more...] about Adding localised levels and curves adjustments in Color Efex Pro 4
There's this idea in digital photography that your histogram must never be clipped, and that it should always fit – just – within the maximum width of the scale. And sometimes we work so hard to recover shadow and highlight detail to prevent clipping, that we end up with an image that has lost its impact. So here's a more controversial approach! The fact is that some shadow … [Read more...] about How to preview and control histogram clipping in Lightroom