In this section we will introduce you how to correct a photo quick using Photoshop Tone Curve.
First, please take a look at the photo below in Step01. This is before correction and looks very different. The contrast is low and the blue color of the sky and sea is not clear. The photo looks dull overall.
In this tutorial, we will transform the dull picture into vivid one using Tone Curve.
Have a photo ready. Pick any photo you have and open with Photoshop.
Next, select [Window > Color Correction > Tone Curve].
This is the crucial part of the tutorial. Let me explain briefly.
First, slide ▲ and △ sliders close to each other. You can raise the contrast by sliding them close.
Why Contrast Raises?
To put it simply, ▲ represents complete black and △ represents complete white. When ▲ is dragged to right, the image overall gets darkened as the black part expands. When △ is dragged to left, the white part expands and the image brightens. By having them close, you can raise the contrast because the effects of the black and white parts are minimized.
Next, click any point on the Tone Curve (45 degrees straight line) and move it by dragging. The photo brightens and darkens.
Let me explain about it also.
First, you can put any number of pointers on Tone Curve. Raising the point brightens and lowering the point darkens the image.
Next, the part which is closer to ▲ is dark and the part closer to △ is lighter. The mountain looking thing is called histogram and represents the distribution state of the dark and light parts. Hence, what the S-shaped tone curve is trying to do is to lighten up the light part and darken the dark part.
You can adjust the detailed contrast and brightness of the photo by using the pointer.
This is how it looks when tone curve is applied. Compare it with the photo in Step01. The blue color and clear water color are very vivid in this picture.
This is almost done but let’s adjust the color balance too. Open [Window > Color Correction > Color Balance].
To emphasize the blue, check on half tone and increase the cyan and blue ratio.
That’s all for photo correction.
The key element in this tutorial was Tone Curve. You can correct the brightness, contrast, and color with Tone Curve. Even professionals choose to correct photos only with Tone Curve.
Have a photo and start modifying it with Tone Curve. You can improve the quality very easily.