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The Brightness/Contrast command

From: Photoshop CC One-on-One: Fundamentals

Video: The Brightness/Contrast command

In this movie, I'll show you how to apply the Brightness/Contrast command as a static adjustment and then in the next movie we'll apply the exact same function, Brightness/Contrast as a dynamic Adjustment Layer. And I'll demonstrate these two different approaches using a couple of butterfly photographs that I captured on the same day. So we've got this overly dark butterfly, and we have this overly light butterfly. Both images look terrible right now, but they're altogether correctable as we'll see.

The Brightness/Contrast command

In this movie, I'll show you how to apply the Brightness/Contrast command as a static adjustment and then in the next movie we'll apply the exact same function, Brightness/Contrast as a dynamic Adjustment Layer. And I'll demonstrate these two different approaches using a couple of butterfly photographs that I captured on the same day. So we've got this overly dark butterfly, and we have this overly light butterfly. Both images look terrible right now, but they're altogether correctable as we'll see.

All right let's start off on Dark butterfly.jpg. I'll go up to the Image menu and choose the Adjustments command and then choose Brightness/Contrast. Let's start things off by clicking on the Auto Button just to see what Photoshop comes up with. And after a moment, it does a halfway decent job. I'm thinking we can do better however. So the great thing is after trying that Auto Button, instead of having to just Undo, if you don't like it, as with the Auto commands, you can tweak the results using sliders.

So I'm going to crank the Brightness value up to something like 100, and then I'll take the Contrast value down to let's say around 50. And there's no reason you have to use round numbers like these, I'm just trying to come up with some values that are easy to replicate. Now one of the great things about Brightness/Contrast, it's incapable of clipping luminance levels. Now by clipping, I mean it can't take big shadow regions and make them black or big highlight regions and make them white.

And I want to demonstrate what I'm talking about here. So, I'll turn on the Use Legacy check box, this is not a check box you ever want to turn on when correcting continuous tone photographs, but it is helpful for purposes of demonstration. I'm going to go ahead and crank up the Brightness value and then I'll take the Contrast, rather through the roof, and you can see that we have these large swaths of highlights that are now clipped to white, which is of course nothing that we need. And if I reduce the Brightness value, then we have huge areas of shadows that are now clipped to black.

Now as you might expect, Use Legacy implies that this is exactly how the Brightness/Contrast command used to work, which is why a lot of people still avoid it like the plague. However, if you turn Use Legacy off, then you end up getting fantastic results out of this command. All right, so I'll go ahead and dial in 100 for Brightness, 50 for Contrast, once again, Click OK in order to accept that effect. And just for the sake of comparison here, I'll press Ctrl+Z so we can see the original murky, dark version of the image and then I'll press Ctrl or Command+Z again so that we can see the corrected version.

Thanks to a static application of the simple, but deceptively powerful Brightness/Contrast.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CC One-on-One: Fundamentals
Photoshop CC One-on-One: Fundamentals

103 video lessons · 22978 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
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  1. 38m 23s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      1m 51s
    2. Opening from the Windows desktop on Windows 8 (CC 2014) NEW
      6m 16s
    3. Opening from the Windows desktop on Windows 7 or earlier (CC) UPDATED
      5m 48s
    4. Opening from the Macintosh Finder UPDATED
      7m 10s
    5. Opening from Photoshop or Bridge
      3m 52s
    6. Opening an image from Mini Bridge (CC)
      2m 39s
    7. Opening through Camera Raw
      5m 11s
    8. Closing one image and closing all UPDATED
      5m 36s
  2. 52m 47s
    1. Navigating your image
      40s
    2. The dark vs. the light interface UPDATED
      6m 2s
    3. Navigating tabs and windows
      4m 32s
    4. Panels and workspaces
      6m 20s
    5. Zooming incrementally
      6m 22s
    6. Zooming continuously
      2m 43s
    7. Entering a custom zoom value
      2m 25s
    8. Scrolling and panning images
      2m 31s
    9. Rotating and resetting the view
      2m 11s
    10. Cycling between screen modes
      3m 10s
    11. Using the Navigator panel
      3m 38s
    12. Using Retina and HiDPI displays
      4m 3s
    13. Adjusting a few screen preferences UPDATED
      8m 10s
  3. 1h 2m
    1. Digital imaging fundamentals
      1m 45s
    2. Image size and resolution
      6m 34s
    3. The Image Size command
      6m 9s
    4. Common resolution standards
      4m 7s
    5. Upsampling vs. real pixels
      7m 59s
    6. Changing the print size
      8m 15s
    7. Downsampling for print
      5m 14s
    8. Downsampling for email
      6m 22s
    9. The interpolation settings
      6m 40s
    10. Downsampling advice
      5m 5s
    11. Upsampling advice
      4m 15s
  4. 53m 20s
    1. The layered composition
      1m 40s
    2. Introducing the Layers panel
      4m 12s
    3. Adding, scaling, and aligning layers
      5m 27s
    4. Dragging and dropping layers
      4m 36s
    5. Stack, reveal, and rename
      3m 1s
    6. Opacity, history, and blend mode
      6m 5s
    7. Duplicating a selected portion of a layer
      5m 32s
    8. Applying a clipping mask
      3m 58s
    9. Blending inside a clipping mask
      4m 10s
    10. Finishing off your artwork
      3m 13s
    11. Creating a new layer and background
      4m 24s
    12. Layering tips and tricks
      7m 2s
  5. 26m 13s
    1. The art of the save
      54s
    2. Four things to know about saving
      5m 59s
    3. Saving layers to PSD
      6m 34s
    4. Saving print images to TIFF
      4m 48s
    5. Saving an interactive image to PNG
      3m 40s
    6. Saving a flat photo to JPEG
      4m 18s
  6. 32m 16s
    1. Honing in on your image
      1m 43s
    2. The new and improved Crop tool
      4m 35s
    3. Editing your last crop
      6m 29s
    4. Cropping to a specific ratio or size
      5m 57s
    5. Straightening a crooked image
      4m 44s
    6. Filling in missing details UPDATED
      6m 44s
    7. Using the Perspective Crop tool
      2m 4s
  7. 44m 51s
    1. First, there is brightness
      2m 12s
    2. How luminance works
      4m 18s
    3. The three Auto commands
      3m 27s
    4. Automatic brightness and contrast
      6m 5s
    5. The Brightness/Contrast command
      2m 47s
    6. The dynamic adjustment layer
      4m 4s
    7. Editing adjustment layers
      3m 52s
    8. Isolating an adjustment with a layer mask
      3m 31s
    9. Introducing the histogram
      4m 58s
    10. Measuring an adjustment
      3m 34s
    11. Using the Shadows/Highlights command
      6m 3s
  8. 44m 33s
    1. And second, there is color
      1m 31s
    2. Identifying a color cast UPDATED
      3m 34s
    3. Correcting a color cast automatically
      3m 57s
    4. Changing the color balance
      6m 10s
    5. Compensating with Photo Filter
      3m 11s
    6. Adjusting color intensity with Vibrance
      3m 29s
    7. Correcting color casts in Camera Raw
      5m 46s
    8. The Hue/Saturation command
      5m 26s
    9. Summoning colors where none exist
      4m 8s
    10. Making more color with Vibrance
      4m 27s
    11. Making a quick-and-dirty sepia tone
      2m 54s
  9. 55m 46s
    1. Making selective modifications
      1m 10s
    2. The geometric Marquee tools
      6m 1s
    3. Aligning one image element to another
      4m 59s
    4. The freeform Lasso tools
      3m 59s
    5. The Polygonal Lasso tool and Quick Mask
      5m 19s
    6. Cropping one selection inside another UPDATED
      6m 15s
    7. Creating rays of light
      4m 44s
    8. Quick Selection and Similar
      4m 11s
    9. Making it better with Refine Edge
      4m 56s
    10. Integrating image elements
      2m 39s
    11. Magic Wand and Grow
      5m 17s
    12. Refine, integrate, and complete
      6m 16s
  10. 53m 48s
    1. Your best face forward
      1m 0s
    2. Content-Aware Fill UPDATED
      6m 11s
    3. Using the Spot Healing Brush
      5m 36s
    4. The more capable "standard" Healing Brush UPDATED
      5m 55s
    5. Meet the Clone Source panel
      3m 53s
    6. Caps Lock and Fade
      4m 57s
    7. The Dodge and Burn tools UPDATED
      5m 1s
    8. Adjusting color with the Brush tool UPDATED
      6m 35s
    9. Smoothing skin textures UPDATED
      5m 57s
    10. Brightening teeth
      4m 0s
    11. Intensifying eyes UPDATED
      4m 43s
  11. 49s
    1. Until next time
      49s

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