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Back in chapter seven of my fundamentals course, I introduced you to the concept of Luminescence. And I showed you how to use Photoshop's most basic Luminescence enhancement command brightness contrast. In this chapter we kick things up a notch and take on a more powerful Luminescence adjustment feature known simply as Levels. Remember the histogram? It's that bar graph of every luminescence level in an image, from black on the far left to white on the far right.
The levels command sets the histogram on a slider platform with three triangular controls. One black, one white, and one grey. Now for the sake of demonstration I'll stand in as the problem image. As you can see I'm low contrast and washed out. Your mission, correct me. You increase my contrast by dragging the black triangle to the beginning of the mountainous histogram and the white triangle to the histogram's end.
Then you drag the grey triangle know as the gamma control to modify the brightness of the mid tones. Drag the grey triangle to the left to brighten the mid tones also know as expanding them. Drag that grey triangle to the right to darken the mid tones which corrects for a washed out image. See, I'm all better. Nice work. And that's just the beginning. There's an auto-button that attempts to automatically correct an image.
You can preview clipped pixels, and you can adjust each channel independently to correct color balance. Levels is one of Photoshop's most powerful features, and it's the kind of command that takes some folks years to master. You'll have it figured out in a single chapter.
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