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Photoshop Elements 9 Essential Training
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Adjusting with Color Curves


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Photoshop Elements 9 Essential Training

with Jan Kabili

Video: Adjusting with Color Curves

The Color Curves adjustment is the command to reach for when you want to adjust the lighting and color in an image and you want more control than you can get from the Shadows/Highlights command or from a Levels Adjustment layer. The Adjust Color Curves command is not an adjustment layer. So before you begin to apply it, you might want to copy the image layers that you have one that you haven't affected directly. I'll just leave things as they are and go up to the Enhance menu and down to the Adjust Color menu and from there I am going to choose Adjust Color Curves.
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  1. 11m 0s
    1. Welcome
      1m 18s
    2. What is Photoshop Elements?
      3m 47s
    3. Touring the workspaces
      5m 55s
  2. 54m 16s
    1. Working with catalogs
      5m 22s
    2. Importing and using the exercise files
      5m 13s
    3. Importing files from your computer
      7m 31s
    4. Importing photos from your camera
      8m 57s
    5. Importing photos from iPhoto (Mac only)
      4m 44s
    6. Importing files from external drives/CDs/DVDs
      4m 44s
    7. Scanning photos
      6m 50s
    8. Dividing scanned photos
      5m 51s
    9. Importing from watch folders (Windows only)
      5m 4s
  3. 39m 10s
    1. Touring the Organizer
      6m 41s
    2. Viewing thumbnails
      6m 15s
    3. Rotating photos
      52s
    4. Renaming photos
      2m 55s
    5. Fixing photo dates
      2m 28s
    6. Hiding and deleting photos
      4m 6s
    7. Stacking photos
      4m 22s
    8. Moving files
      2m 43s
    9. Reconnecting missing files
      4m 53s
    10. Using Help
      3m 55s
  4. 54m 22s
    1. Rating photos
      3m 58s
    2. Applying and organizing keyword tags
      7m 4s
    3. Searching by keyword tags
      3m 35s
    4. Tagging with People Recognition
      11m 3s
    5. Using Smart Tags
      5m 57s
    6. Creating albums
      4m 41s
    7. Creating Smart Albums
      6m 28s
    8. Searching by text
      5m 28s
    9. Using the Find menu
      4m 19s
    10. Using the Timeline
      1m 49s
  5. 30m 14s
    1. Viewing slideshows in Full Screen view
      4m 21s
    2. Working with photos in Full Screen view
      9m 20s
    3. Comparing photos
      5m 56s
    4. Viewing by date
      3m 18s
    5. Mapping photos (Windows only)
      7m 19s
  6. 38m 36s
    1. Applying Photo Fix
      9m 0s
    2. The Quick Fix interface
      7m 9s
    3. The Quick Fix controls
      5m 22s
    4. Adjusting lighting in Quick Fix
      3m 46s
    5. Adjusting color in Quick Fix
      5m 39s
    6. Using the Touch Up tools in Quick Fix
      7m 40s
  7. 43m 43s
    1. Guided Edit basics
      8m 13s
    2. Making an Out of Bounds image
      10m 17s
    3. Perfecting a portrait
      7m 43s
    4. Adding realistic reflections
      5m 26s
    5. Applying a LOMO camera effect
      2m 0s
    6. Making pop art
      1m 31s
    7. Using Style Match
      8m 33s
  8. 1h 20m
    1. Full Edit workspace overview
      6m 51s
    2. Working with tabbed documents
      4m 51s
    3. Using tools
      7m 40s
    4. Arranging panels
      5m 18s
    5. Setting preferences
      3m 41s
    6. Using Undo History
      6m 39s
    7. Zooming and navigating
      7m 4s
    8. Creating a blank file
      5m 19s
    9. Photo resizing and resolution
      8m 9s
    10. Cropping and straightening photos
      7m 15s
    11. Recomposing photos
      8m 15s
    12. Enlarging the canvas
      3m 27s
    13. Saving and formats
      5m 46s
  9. 35m 4s
    1. Understanding layers
      7m 17s
    2. Working in the Layers panel
      5m 21s
    3. Using layer masks
      7m 43s
    4. Using layer masks to combine images
      6m 27s
    5. Building composites
      8m 16s
  10. 20m 58s
    1. Selection basics
      3m 22s
    2. Manual selection tools
      3m 19s
    3. Automatic selection tools
      7m 24s
    4. Refining selection edges
      3m 30s
    5. Saving selections
      3m 23s
  11. 1h 21m
    1. Color managing
      7m 14s
    2. Applying Shadow/Highlight adjustments
      2m 42s
    3. Using adjustment layers
      8m 24s
    4. Masking adjustment layers
      7m 38s
    5. Adding a Levels adjustment layer
      6m 8s
    6. Adding a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer
      5m 56s
    7. Adjusting with Color Curves
      4m 14s
    8. Removing a color cast
      3m 37s
    9. Reducing digital noise
      4m 7s
    10. Sharpening photos
      7m 32s
    11. Processing multiple files
      7m 59s
    12. Working with raw photos
      15m 57s
  12. 18m 34s
    1. Using the Smart Brush tools
      6m 16s
    2. Dodging and burning
      2m 29s
    3. Retouching blemishes
      4m 29s
    4. Content-aware healing
      2m 31s
    5. Removing content with the Clone Stamp tool
      2m 49s
  13. 25m 53s
    1. Applying filters
      5m 36s
    2. Adding effects
      2m 34s
    3. Using layer styles
      7m 23s
    4. Using shapes
      4m 46s
    5. Using the Cookie Cutter tool
      2m 19s
    6. Converting color to black and white
      3m 15s
  14. 11m 25s
    1. Creating text
      7m 1s
    2. Editing text
      4m 24s
  15. 1h 25m
    1. Creating a photo collage
      8m 38s
    2. Fine-tuning a photo collage
      8m 3s
    3. Creating greeting cards
      8m 34s
    4. Creating photo calendars
      9m 28s
    5. Creating CD/DVD jackets and labels
      7m 43s
    6. Creating a photo book
      7m 44s
    7. Fine-tuning a photo book
      7m 11s
    8. Creating a slideshow (Windows only)
      8m 0s
    9. Fine-tuning a slideshow (Windows only)
      3m 23s
    10. Creating a flip book (Windows only)
      2m 47s
    11. End to end: Making a scrapbook page
      8m 15s
    12. End to end: Completing a scrapbook page
      5m 24s
  16. 49m 27s
    1. Printing photos
      8m 38s
    2. Contact sheets and picture packages (Windows only)
      6m 40s
    3. Sharing photos by email
      6m 38s
    4. Sharing photos by Photo Mail (Windows only)
      5m 8s
    5. Sharing to Flickr and Facebook
      4m 43s
    6. Saving images for the web
      6m 48s
    7. Signing up for Photoshop.com
      2m 55s
    8. Sharing online albums at Photoshop.com
      5m 4s
    9. Backing up
      2m 53s
  17. 38s
    1. Goodbye
      38s

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Photoshop Elements 9 Essential Training
11h 20m Beginner Nov 23, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Photoshop Elements 9 Essential Training, Jan Kabili highlights the key features of this comprehensive image organization and photo enhancement application. She shows how to correct and enhance photographs, and how to organize a growing collection of digital photos. The course also explains how to use photos in creative projects like photo books, calendars, and greeting cards, and how to share work online and in print. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Downloading files from a digital camera
  • Importing photos into an Elements catalog
  • Applying keyword tags
  • Organizing photos into albums and Smart Albums
  • Automatically adjusting photos in Quick Fix
  • Walking through Guided Edit photo techniques
  • Understanding photo resizing and resolution
  • Cropping and straightening photos
  • Making and refining selections
  • Correcting photos in the Full Edit workspace
  • Applying image sharpening
  • Adding text and special effects
  • Creating photo projects, such as greeting cards and calendars
Subject:
Photography
Software:
Photoshop Elements Elements
Author:
Jan Kabili

Adjusting with Color Curves

The Color Curves adjustment is the command to reach for when you want to adjust the lighting and color in an image and you want more control than you can get from the Shadows/Highlights command or from a Levels Adjustment layer. The Adjust Color Curves command is not an adjustment layer. So before you begin to apply it, you might want to copy the image layers that you have one that you haven't affected directly. I'll just leave things as they are and go up to the Enhance menu and down to the Adjust Color menu and from there I am going to choose Adjust Color Curves.

That opens this large Adjust Color Curves dialog box. In this dialog box, I have an After view and a Before view to compare it with. But these previews are a little bit small for my taste. So I am going to move this entire dialog box way over to the right pushing some of it off the screen. So, I can see my image here in the document window or at least part of it. The way that I start in the Adjust Color Curves dialog box is with these preset styles here. As I choose a preset from this menu, the curve represented by this chart will change.

It represents all the possible tonal values in the image with the bright tones at the top right, the dark tones at the bottom left and the mid tones in between. So, I'll start by selecting a preset style and usually I'll just cycle through these one by one keeping my eye on the After view here or if I can see it the preview in my document window. When I get to one that I really like I'll use that as the basis for my correction. In this case, I think Increase Contrast is the best choice.

So, I'll cycle back to Increase Contrast and notice that that choice has affected the curve. It's no longer a straight line. This shadow point is now lower than it was and this highlight point is now higher than it was, creating this sort of an S curve that is a typical way to reshape a curve in order to increase contrast. I do like the way that the After preview is looking, but I might want to increase the contrast a bit more by adjusting the highlights and the shadows. So, I'll go to the Adjust Highlight slider here and I'll use it to fine-tune that preset style.

I'll drag the Adjust Highlight slider slightly to the right to make the highlights in the image even brighter. Then I'll go down to the Adjust Shadows slider and I'll drag that slightly to the left to make the shadows or the dark areas in the image slightly darker. I am satisfied with that result. I think it's a big improvement over the original and so I'll move the dialog box over and I'll click the OK button. Before I do, notice that there is a Cancel button which would just close this dialog box without making changes to the image.

There's also a Reset button that I can use to reset all the sliders and presets back to ground zero, so I could start again in this dialog box. But I am going to click OK to close the dialog box and apply that Color Curves adjustment. Down here in the histogram I can see that I'm getting a yellow triangle meaning that I need to update the histogram to reflect the latest changes I've made to the image. So, I am going to click this double curved arrow and that updates the histogram. In an earlier movie on Levels I explained what the histogram represents.

The spaces between the bars in this histogram indicate that applying that color curve adjustment has expanded the tonal range of the image. That's one of the reasons that it looks better. The light areas are now brighter, the dark areas are darker and there is a wider range of grays in between than there was before I made that adjustment. To see a before and after view out here in the larger document window, I can go up to the Undo button and click that. So that's how the image looked before the correction and here's how it looks with the correction.

One thing to notice is that adjusting color curves affects not only the lighting in the image, but also the color. So if you have an image in which you'd like to be able to adjust the highlights, the shadows, and the mid tones each separately, then give the Adjust Color Curves command a try.

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