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One of the colleagues who I teach with is fond of saying that Levels and Curves, they allow you to make similar adjustments. It's just that Curves is so much better. Levels is kind of like a row boat, and Curves, it's like a power boat. And it's a bit of an over-exaggeration. But I think the point is, is that with these two tools, we can make similar adjustments. It's just that with Curves, we have more power and precision. We have more control. So here, what I want to do before we actually start to work with Curves is deconstruct the Curves dialog so we can understand the composite and also the different channel views that we have here, and then we'll, of course, modify an image.
Well, here in the composite view, you can see that we have this curve line, drag it up, the image will become brighter. Drag it down, the image becomes darker. Yet we can also target these different channels. I've mentioned these in other places, yet it's really important here because you're going to spend a lot of time using curves in order to correct and enhance your photographs. Let's first take a look at the Red channel. In the Red channel you'll notice that you have a red line. If you drag it up towards the word Red, what will happen is the image will become more red. Drag it away and it will become more cyan.
So you need to start thinking about the Red channel really as the Red/Cyan channel. Next, the Green channel. That one is really the Green/Magenta channel. Drag up it becomes green, drag down it becomes magenta. And then finally of course, we have that Blue channel, which allows us to control both the blue and the yellow in the image. Well, let's take a look at how we can modify a photograph--say, this one here that we have in the background. I'm going to open up the Curves dialog in a way that it's just floating here to keep things simple.
In this composite view, what we can do is we can drag up to brighten up the overall image, drag down and it will darken the photograph. You can remove a point by simply clicking and dragging a point off. Well, what about these endpoints? Well, you can change the overall contrast of your image by making this curve line more flat by moving these endpoints. Or if you bring these in, you can see that you can then increase the overall contrast. Well, let's go ahead and set these back where they were.
Another thing that we can do is target the different channels. Here, in the Red channel, we can make the image more red or more cyan. Next, we'll go to the Green channel here. We have an image which is more green and then click and drag down, it becomes more magenta. And then the final demo here is the Blue Yellow channel. Click and drag up, it becomes more blue, and then the opposite, in this case it becomes more yellow. The reason why I'm spending so much time talking about Curves is because I really want you to memorize these different channels so that you can then tap into the different channels, so that you can have precise control when it comes to modifying your images.
Now of course, I've barely just introduced this topic of Curves, so we have to dig deeper, we have to figure out how we can use this adjustment, and so let's go ahead and do that in the next few movies.
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