Thursday, July 31, 2008

Contrast recap

After yesterday's first mini-tutorial, I kinda felt that I did not explain the logic of the Curves window only the technique.

So lets discuss the histogram and the Curves Window.

First, what is a histogram? In a photo, a histogram displays the amounts of various colors in a photo, each bar from represents a single color, and the height of the bar indicates the amount of that color in the photo.

Here's an example histogram:

(fig. 1)

One important note: The colors are sorted from black to white (left to right), therefore the bright colors (closer to white) are on the right side, and the darker colors (closer to black) are on the left side.

Usually a well exposed and contrasted photo will have a nice distribution of colors, something like this:

(fig. 2)

Therefore figure 1 lacks a bit of the brighter colors.

Now in order to 'fix' the histogram and by that I mean, adding a bit brighter colors, we can shift the entire histogram in the direction of brighter colors, you can do this like that:

Start position:

You drag the highlighted arrow to the left, this way you brighten the picture.

Final position:

This will surely brighten your photo and will add to the color and balance of the photo.

Obviously it works the other way around, in order to add darker colors you drag the black arrow on the left side to the right.

Hopefully, you now know how to use more skillfully the Curves window.

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