Mastering Tonality With Levels

Working with Levels enables you to influence three tonal areas of an image: shadows, midtones, and highlights. You can use the sliders and the black-point or white-point eyedroppers to place or reset black or white points (see figure 2.1 }). The gray eyedropper is not available when you are working with black-and-white images; it is used to find neutral points in color images. Often, you can make an image pop right off the page just by setting new white and black points and moving the midtone gamma slider (to the left to lighten or to the right to darken the image).

Auto Function controls

Levels k

Channel:

Input Levels: 0

LOO 255

Channel:

Input Levels: 0

LOO 255

Output Levels:

Output Levels:

I OK "

[ Cancel

[ Load...

[ Save...

1 Auto

| Options.,

Black point slider figure 2.1.3

Midtone White point Black, gray, gamma slider and white slider eyedroppers

The Levels dialoi' box

The most important Levels controls to enhance image tone are these, all of which are addressed in greater detail in this chapter:

• Sliders: Use the highlight and black sliders to determine the black and white points by moving the relevant slider to the area of the histogram where the light or dark information starts.

• Eyedroppers: Use the eyedroppers to set white and black points for both black-and-white and color images and the neutral gray eyedropper to define a neutral tone in color images.

• Auto button: Use the Auto button to prompt Photoshop to apply one of three types of auto corrections as explained in Chapter

4: "Working with Color". You can choose which setting Photoshop uses by clicking the Options button directly underneath Auto

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