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Learning about the parametric and point tone curves

From: Photoshop CS5 for Photographers: Camera Raw 6

Video: Learning about the parametric and point tone curves

Here I want to introduce you to the Tone Curve panel. Now we can navigate to this panel either by clicking on the icon up here, or we can press our shortcut. On a Mac, it's Command+Option+2. On Windows, that's Ctrl+Alt+2. That will then take us to the Tone Curve panel. Now for starters, you'll notice that we have two options, either Parametric or Point. Let's start off with Parametric, and let's make some changes to this demo file in order to deconstruct how this actually works. Now you'll notice that we have these different sliders: Highlights, Lights, Darks, and Shadows.

Learning about the parametric and point tone curves

Here I want to introduce you to the Tone Curve panel. Now we can navigate to this panel either by clicking on the icon up here, or we can press our shortcut. On a Mac, it's Command+Option+2. On Windows, that's Ctrl+Alt+2. That will then take us to the Tone Curve panel. Now for starters, you'll notice that we have two options, either Parametric or Point. Let's start off with Parametric, and let's make some changes to this demo file in order to deconstruct how this actually works. Now you'll notice that we have these different sliders: Highlights, Lights, Darks, and Shadows.

What we can do is click and drag this to either brighten or darken one particular area of our photograph. You can see that as I make that adjustment it primarily affects this area, but of course, there is a little bit of a reach. The interesting thing is that this curve kind of snaps back to the line, and then it protects or saves the rest of the image. Now, if I want to work on another area of the image, say the Shadows, I could go ahead and make an adjustment there, and here you can see how I can control that particular area of the image, or in this case, of the grayscale.

What about those Darks? So again, that's going to be that intermediary area, of course, it's connected to those other points, but in this sense the Parametric Tone Curve provides a little bit of a safety net. We can't really go wild here and make any changes that will affect the image in really drastic or negative ways. Okay. Well, let's reset all of this. We can do so by holding down the Option key on Mac, Alt key on Windows. That will change Cancel to Reset. Let's reset this back to normal. Okay. Well, let's focus in on one area, say the Shadows.

Now, when I make an adjustment to the Shadows area either to brighten or darken it, we can see that that adjustment kind of spikes right about here and then tapers off. I can control that spike area, or the area where it reaches most intensity, and I can do so by clicking and dragging this icon. You can see that as I do that I'm pushing that to the left, or for that matter all the way over here to the right. Essentially, I have the ability to dial in, or control the reach, of this particular adjustment. And I can do the same thing with the other adjustments as well.

For example, go ahead and double-click this little triangle icons to take them back to normal, and we'll make a Highlight adjustment. Well, same thing with the Highlights, I could extend that out this way, or I could push it back over here. I can also do the same with my other adjustments, and here we can see how we can work with our Lights and our Darks, and how it creates for us this nice, fluid line, which in turn has the potential to help us make some tone and exposure improvements to our photographs. All right, once again, let's reset this, hold down Option or Alt and then click on the Cancel button, which now becomes Reset.

Let's go to our Point Curve. Now currently we can see a Curve dialog, which looks very similar to the Curve dialog in Photoshop. To add a point here, there are a couple of different things that we can do. We can either click right on this line and drag up, you can see I'm now brightening the image, just like I would do inside of Photoshop, or I can hover over the image. Hold down the Command key on Mac, Ctrl key on Windows and then click. And when I do that it will then set a point. We can see that point down here. Now, if I want to select one of these points, I can either click on it, as I have done so here and make a change, or click on this one and make a change here.

But there's also a faster way to navigate between the different points that we have here, whether it's our endpoints, or whether it's points that we've actually added to this particular curve. What you can do is press Ctrl+Tab, and that's a same shortcut in both platforms: Windows and Mac. So when I press Ctrl+Tab, you'll see that different points are highlighted. Now, once I've highlighted one of those or targeted a point, I can use my Arrow keys. And here I can click Up or click Down in order to increase or decrease the value of that particular area of my photograph.

Once again, Ctrl+Tab, then I'll go ahead and click and drag up to affect that particular area. It's also worth pointing out that like in curves in Photoshop we can also click on our endpoints and drag this down. I'm going to make an adjustment which is a little bit extreme, but I'm going to do so to illustrate a point. Take a look at the histogram here. Here you can see that what I've done is I've reduced the area where I have these deep blacks over here. In a sense I've brought up my blacks, also my whites, and sometimes these type of adjustments are helpful.

If you have a little bit of an over exposure, you can just bring that down to bring your histograms back into a bit of a better range. All right. You can also remove points by clicking on one and then dragging off to the side, and that will then successfully remove a point, again, clicking and dragging off to the side. And now we're almost back to normal. Let's just go ahead and bring this one back to the top. And now that we know a little bit about the Tone Curve panel, let's see if we can apply some of this knowledge while working on a few images, and we'll do that in the subsequent movies.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS5 for Photographers: Camera Raw 6
Photoshop CS5 for Photographers: Camera Raw 6

121 video lessons · 19918 viewers

Chris Orwig
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 8m 57s
    1. Welcome
      54s
    2. Should I use Adobe Camera Raw or Photoshop?
      3m 22s
    3. What is Camera Raw?
      3m 45s
    4. Using the exercise files
      56s
  2. 21m 7s
    1. Bridge overview and preferences
      4m 9s
    2. Camera Raw preferences
      3m 17s
    3. Raw vs. JPG or TIFF files
      3m 5s
    4. Choosing a native raw file or a digital negative (DNG)
      6m 13s
    5. Converting or saving to the DNG format
      4m 23s
  3. 28m 44s
    1. Project overview: Cover photo shoot
      2m 6s
    2. Auto-toning and correcting white balance
      3m 3s
    3. Cropping and composing
      2m 35s
    4. Enhancing color and tone
      2m 39s
    5. Removing distractions
      2m 46s
    6. Sharpening and noise reduction
      2m 29s
    7. Converting to black and white
      2m 24s
    8. Adding a vignette
      2m 10s
    9. Making a localized correction
      1m 45s
    10. Creating snapshots of memorable looks
      3m 11s
    11. Re-editing Camera Raw settings
      57s
    12. Working with multiple adjustments
      2m 39s
  4. 16m 13s
    1. Navigating the interface and the toolbar
      5m 5s
    2. Image adjustment tabs and panels
      5m 8s
    3. Using the histogram
      2m 4s
    4. Previewing before and after different adjustments
      2m 4s
    5. Working with multiple files
      1m 52s
  5. 23m 17s
    1. Opening raw files in Bridge
      6m 3s
    2. Opening JPGs and TIFFs in Bridge
      3m 28s
    3. Accessing Camera Raw from Mini Bridge
      2m 57s
    4. Resizing in Camera Raw with workflow options
      3m 35s
    5. Saving from Camera Raw
      3m 5s
    6. Opening an image as a Smart Object
      1m 41s
    7. Creating a duplicate file
      2m 28s
  6. 13m 56s
    1. Using the Crop and Straighten tools
      2m 23s
    2. Working with the Crop tool
      3m 39s
    3. Cropping with an aspect ratio
      2m 26s
    4. Composing with the Crop tool
      2m 33s
    5. Creative cropping
      2m 55s
  7. 10m 29s
    1. Improving color balance
      2m 23s
    2. Using the White Balance tool and controls
      1m 35s
    3. Color correcting with white balance cards
      2m 31s
    4. White balance vision and creativity
      2m 22s
    5. Color balance resources
      1m 38s
  8. 30m 17s
    1. Deconstructing the basic adjustments
      3m 59s
    2. Recovering highlights
      2m 29s
    3. Making basic exposure enhancements
      1m 59s
    4. Making basic adjustments more quickly
      2m 18s
    5. The relationship between tone and color
      2m 40s
    6. Enhancing color and tone
      1m 9s
    7. Demystifying clarity
      3m 36s
    8. Increasing clarity
      3m 48s
    9. Understanding Vibrance and Saturation
      2m 28s
    10. Improving color with Vibrance
      2m 4s
    11. Using Vibrance and Saturation together
      1m 38s
    12. Color creativity
      2m 9s
  9. 8m 55s
    1. Learning about the parametric and point tone curves
      4m 53s
    2. Using the parametric curve
      2m 7s
    3. Using the point curve
      1m 55s
  10. 15m 29s
    1. Removing blemishes on a face
      4m 36s
    2. Cloning away small background distractions
      3m 37s
    3. Removing distracting background elements
      1m 55s
    4. Cleaning up a studio background
      1m 31s
    5. Removing dust on the lens or the camera sensor
      2m 25s
    6. Removing red-eye
      1m 25s
  11. 46m 13s
    1. Demystifying the Adjustment Brush
      3m 37s
    2. Correcting exposure by brightening shadows
      2m 23s
    3. Painting an effect into a photograph
      4m 41s
    4. Increasing visual interest by brightening shadows
      4m 3s
    5. Increasing visual interest by heightening saturation
      5m 0s
    6. Whitening teeth
      3m 33s
    7. Adding color to makeup
      5m 58s
    8. Changing color
      4m 12s
    9. Selective sharpening
      6m 8s
    10. Eye sharpening and skin smoothing workflow
      4m 28s
    11. Creating custom Adjustment Brush presets
      2m 10s
  12. 11m 33s
    1. Enhancing the foreground and background of an image with the Graduated Filter
      4m 55s
    2. Reducing exposure with the Graduated Filter
      3m 15s
    3. Creative effects with the Graduated Filter
      3m 23s
  13. 33m 26s
    1. Noise reduction
      6m 33s
    2. Reducing noise and sharpening
      6m 36s
    3. Sharpening more effectively
      7m 18s
    4. Edge sharpening in an architectural photograph
      3m 1s
    5. Sharpening a portrait
      2m 3s
    6. Using the Detail panel to soften skin
      7m 55s
  14. 16m 18s
    1. Introducing HSL
      3m 38s
    2. Modifying color and tone
      3m 52s
    3. Enhancing a fashion photograph
      3m 5s
    4. Enhancing color and tone with HSL
      3m 16s
    5. Getting creative with color
      2m 27s
  15. 13m 59s
    1. The black-and-white controls
      2m 43s
    2. A simple black-and-white conversion
      2m 5s
    3. Using multiple panels to create a black-and-white image
      3m 52s
    4. Creating a dramatic black-and-white landscape
      5m 19s
  16. 6m 40s
    1. Traditional black-and-white toning
      3m 26s
    2. Toning a color photo creatively
      3m 14s
  17. 11m 17s
    1. Deconstructing the Lens Correction controls
      3m 48s
    2. Correcting lens vignette
      1m 59s
    3. Correcting lens vignette more quickly
      1m 21s
    4. Correcting chromatic aberration and defringing
      4m 9s
  18. 16m 30s
    1. Understanding the Effects controls
      5m 54s
    2. Using the Post Crop Vignette for creative effects
      3m 23s
    3. Adding film grain to a black-and-white image
      2m 18s
    4. Adding film grain with Camera Raw and Photoshop
      4m 55s
  19. 14m 4s
    1. Introducing the Camera Calibration panel
      3m 39s
    2. Comparing color options with Snapshot
      2m 47s
    3. Creative color with the Camera Calibration controls
      4m 48s
    4. Camera Calibration resources
      2m 50s
  20. 9m 41s
    1. Introducing presets
      2m 27s
    2. Applying presets to multiple images
      3m 9s
    3. Preset resources
      4m 5s
  21. 10m 0s
    1. Quick raw processing of multiple files
      4m 38s
    2. Recording an action
      3m 15s
    3. Batch processing multiple images
      2m 7s
  22. 13m 52s
    1. Creative vivid color
      3m 30s
    2. Working with split toning
      2m 14s
    3. Applying soft and warm colors
      1m 25s
    4. Adding warm, muted colors
      2m 28s
    5. Adding and reducing false color
      4m 15s
  23. 7m 58s
    1. Additional resources
      3m 11s
    2. Camera Raw and Lightroom
      4m 19s
    3. Goodbye
      28s

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