Basic adjustments – Curves

Curve adjustment – Photoshop

Like layers, curve adjustments is a way of adjusting the brightness/ darkness levels in an image. The emphasis is put more on contrast and adjusting curves is a very smooth and sophisticated way of adjusting contrast. Because the curve can be ‘s’ shaped, this allows more control than “levels adjustment” because you can affect the shadows and highlights differently.

Open an image in Adobe Photoshop and go to Image – Adjustments – Curves

Image Adjustment Curves


This action will open the curves dialogue box.

Adjusting the shadows

Adjusting the shadows

  1. Click on the line at the intersection as shown
  2. Adjust the output to be 10 points lower than the input level.
  3. The output level should stay around the 65 mark.

Create your own website

Are you thinking of building your own photo website? There are so many tools to help photographers display and sell their photos online.  Having your own website is like owning a property, you don't have to pay commission to third party online galleries  Siteground are the best webhosts I have used in my 15 years of running icelandaurora.  They are currently having a sale.  Use this LINK to get a massive discount on hosting plans.

Adjusting the highlights and shadows

What happens to the straight line in the curves dialogue box? What happens to your image?

The line starts to curve and your image should get darker. We are adjusting the shadows in your image.

Adjusting the highlights

Adjusting the highlights

Now click on the line in the upper third of the dialogue box. The input value is around 191, for this example, adjust the output to be 10 points higher that the input value (201).

We have created a very gentle ‘S’ shaped curve and the contrast between the highlights and shadows has been increased very slightly and very smoothly.

Left versus right

Left versus right

The left side of the image has no adjustment and the right has very gentle curve adjustment. What do you notice? which side do you prefer and why?

Check out one of my Photo Tours

Photo Gifts



RSS IcelandAuroraPhotos

  • Vatnjokull Northern lights - Limited Edition Print by IcelandAuroraPhotos
    211.76 GBPThis photo was taken on a highly active evening of Northern Lights over the Fjallsarlon Glacier Lagoon in Iceland. This amazing aurora display lit up the sky of St.Patrick's day in 2015.Limited Edition PrintThis image is limited to 50 prints (of any Size or Material). You will receive a Certificate of Authenticity with details […]
  • Goðafoss Waterfall Rock Aluminum Print : Iceland Landscape by IcelandAuroraPhotos
    12.02 GBPThis Godafoss waterfall photo was taken during an all night photo shoot in the mid Summer. The rising sun added some wonderful colours to the sky and the long exposure smoothed out the river to give a slight reflection. Goðafoss Waterfall is famous for historical events as Iceland moved from Paganism to Christianity. MATERIALS:Museum-quality […]
  • Winter Dawn Jokulsarlon - Aluminum Print : glacier Iceland by IcelandAuroraPhotos
    48.62 GBPThis was a cold December morning on the banks of the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon in South East Iceland. The winter sunrise had lit up the sky and clouds and there was a perfect reflection on the ice lake. Iceland landscape photography printed on aluminum dibond looks amazing and lasts a lifetime. As it is […]



Pin It on Pinterest

Share This