Working in the Curves Dialog

The Curves and Levels commands can both be used to adjust the tonal range of an image. However, in contrast to the Levels command, which allows adjustments to be made only to the shadow, highlight, and gamma, the Curves command lets you adjust any value along the tonal curve, while keeping 15 values constant (Figure 3-9).

Figure 3-9: The default view of the Curves dialog box, showing values in levels and a large grid.

When you open the dialog box, you will see a straight diagonal line representing the current distribution of tonal values. By adding anchor points to this tonal curve, you can alter the tonal values represented. The curve can be moved up to increase the tonal values or down to decrease the tonal values. Similarly, the points can be moved horizontally to increase and decrease the contrast.

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