Making photographic art requires a complete understanding of your tools. Some tools are more powerful than others, but there are a few that are huge difference makers. The Curves tool in Photoshop is the single most powerful editing tool ever created. In this video, you’ll discover the keys to making it work for you. This is the second video in the series “Five Photoshop Tools I Can’t Live Without”.

For a long time, I took my understanding of Photoshop for granted. After all, I practically grew up with it. I began using it even before it even had layers! During the making of “The Creative Mechanic” I remembered just how important certain tools are to the making of my art. Yes, it’s vital that you discover your own personal vision. Without that, you’re simply remaking photos that have already been made. But let’s not underestimate the absolute necessity of completely mastering at least the most vital tools.

In addition to being a great problem solver, the Curves tool gives you access to a huge amount of creative options. The problem with it is that it seems to be taken for granted that everyone understands how it works. That’s simply not true. When you really understand what’s going on under the hood, you’ll find that it’s far from being the one trick pony so many of us seem to think it is. It’s elegant, it’s simple, and it offers you so much more than the obvious.

For more on this, check out the video below.

For the first video in this series on the Free Transform tool, click here.

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12 Responses

  1. Thank you Jim and Merry Christmas
    This “tech” information helps greatly! Blake talks about (and uses a lot) curves but he has never explained the details like this.
    You may already know this but I was watching a post by Moose Peterson and he showed how if you option/alt click on any square on the curves boxes it changes them to a “10% grid” and if you grab the curve dead center and move it diagonally one square that equals one stop exposure compensation. It allows me to adjust exposure quickly to bring out drama/emotion etc.
    Thanks again, I look forward to the rest of this series.
    Blessings,
    Charles Horton

    1. Thanks, Charles for the curve alt/click thingy. As a final refinement to a whole series of gradient maps, it is a gem?

  2. I never really understood what to do with the curves adjustment before, or what the “S” curve was all about. Thank you so much!

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