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The Curves adjustment in Adobe Photoshop has a reputation for being challenging for some photographers. In this workshop, Photoshop expert Tim Grey takes you step by step through every aspect of the Curves adjustment, helping you truly understand the concepts behind it so that you can quickly and easily maximize tonal range, optimize contrast, and enhance your photos' color balance. Note: This course was recorded in Photoshop CS5, but was created with users of both Photoshop CS5 and Photoshop CS4 in mind.
The curves adjustment, like several of the other adjustments in Photoshop, includes a series of presets you can use, to apply a particular look to an image. Presets server as an excellent starting point for any adjustments, you'd like to apply and every now and then, they may provide all the adjustment you really need, in curves. There are two ways to utilize presets with a curves adjustment. The first is to create a curves adjustment with that preset already applied. To do so, simple navigate to the home page of the adjustments panel and click the arrow to expand the list of available curves presets.
You can then simply click on one of these presets and a new curves adjustment layer will be created with that preset applied. In this case I've applied the color negative preset, which happens to produce an eerie orange affect for this particular image. But I could've chosen any preset I wanted. You don't have to specify a preset when you create the adjustment layer. You can simply add a new curves adjustment layer and then change the preset on the adjustments panel. The preset pop up is at the top of the adjustments panel. SImply click the pop up and choose any preset you'd like to utelise for the image.
When you click on a pre-set, the curve will be updated based on that particular pre-sets behavior. Besides providing you with a quick starting point for adjusting an image, the pre-sets for curves can also offer a little bit of creative inspiration if you're not sure exactly what effect you'd like to aim for with a particular image, take a look at some of the pre-sets for curves. You just might find some great inspiration and a solid starting point for refining the adjustment. And of course, if you've applied a great adjustment using curves, you can always save those settings as a preset to be used for future images. To save a preset based on an adjustment you've applied in curves, simply click on the panel pop-up menu at the top right of the adjustments panel, and then choose Save Curves Preset from the pop-up menu.
Simply type a name for your preset, in this case I'll just call it Test Preset because I haven't actually created a custom preset I want to save, and then click the Save button. The preset will be saved, and will now be available on the popup menu within the Adjustments panel, when you're working on a curves adjustment. In this case, I don't actually need to save this preset. I just wanted to show you how I could save a preset, so I'll show you how it's possible to delete a preset. Simply choose the preset that you want to delete and then click on the panel pop-up menu in the adjustments panel and choose "delete current preset." When you do so, that preset will be deleted and no longer appear on the pop-up menu. As you can see, presets for curves can be tremendously helpful as you work toward optimizing any given image.
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