In this movie, I want to highlight another feature that you can use when working with curves adjustments, which will allow you to speed up your workflow and to be a bit more precise. This is a photograph of the Mendocino coast, and one of the things that I notice with this picture is that because of all the fog, it's a little bit undefined. What I want to do is darken up the foreground here, but maintain some of the brightness that we have in the background. To do that, we'll click on our adjustment layer icon for curves. Now, when you open up the curves dialog, you may have noticed there's this little icon right here.
This is called the targeted adjustment tool. If you click on this tool it will activate it. Then you can position your cursor over the image, and notice how this little circle is showing you the tonal values underneath your cursor here. What you can then do is you can go to an area and then just click and drag. In doing that, I'm dragging down the darker tones in the foreground in this area. If there are some brighter tones, like up in here that I want to preserve, we'll just click and drag in a different direction. In this way, you can see how I set two points on the curve without ever touching it.
We created those points by using the targeted adjustment tool. This is a really handy tool, especially if you're a visual thinker, and you just want to use that. Click on an area, and modify that part of the photograph. In this case, these two simple adjustments really help out this picture here. Here's the before, and then now here's the after. It's much more defined and interesting. At least to me. We can also click on these points and drag them down further. Or drag them around a little bit, to modify a little bit of a different area of the photograph.
And this just gives us the ability to have some flexibility with how we work with the curves dialog. And also can help us to be a little bit quicker and more precise as we start to use this particular technique. Well let's look at the before and after. Here it is. The before. And then now, the after.
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