Using the Auto Adjustments commands

You can make color adjustments using the Auto Adjustments commands on the Image menu. You can use three Auto Commands (Auto Levels, Auto Contrast, and Auto Color) to make color adjustments automatically without any additional input. The Auto Levels command adjusts the intensity levels of shadows and highlights by identifying the lightest and darkest pixel in each color channel and then redistributing the pixel's values across that range. You can use the Auto Contrast command to make simple adjustments to the contrast and mixture of colors in an RGB image; it works by analyzing the distribution of colors in the composite image, not in the individual color channels. The Auto Color command adjusts the contrast and color mixtures using the image itself to make the adjustment, resulting in neutralized midtones.

FIGURE 3

Curves dialog box

Modify curves

FIGURE 3

Curves dialog box

- Active channel

Active setting

Values for active settings

Values for active settings

- Active channel

Active setting

FIGURE 4

Image with modified curves

FIGURE 4

Image with modified curves

Using the Color Settings dialog box

You can use the Color Settings dialog box to save common color management controls, such as custom color settings. You might want to create a custom color setting, for example, to match a specific proofing setup used by a commercial printer. To open the Color Settings dialog box, click Edit on the menu bar, then click Color Settings.

1. With the Large Parrot layer still active, click Image on the menu bar, point to Adjustments, then click Curves.

2. Click the center of the graph at the point on the line where the input and output values both equal 128.

3. Drag the point down so that the input value equals 128 and the output value equals 104.

Did you notice that the image's colors change as you drag the line? You can see the changes if the preview check box is checked.

I TIP Move the dialog box out of the way if it blocks your view.

4. Click the point where the curve intersects the right vertical gridline (input value equals approximately 191, and output value equals approximately 178).

I TIP The point that you click in the Curves dialog box is called the active setting.

5. Drag the active setting up and to the right as needed until the input and output values both equal 191, as shown in Figure 3.

TIP After you select the active setting, you can also change its location by changing the values in the Input and Output boxes.

7. Save your work, then compare your screen to Figure 4.

You modified curves settings by using the Curves dialog box.

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