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Thread: Post processing - Curves? or Shadows/Hightlights?

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    Post processing - Curves? or Shadows/Hightlights?

    I have started trying to use curves by using the black and white points. I am not sure if that is how to use curves or not, but it is what I am trying to learn.

    I have attached a couple of photos - one using curves and one with the shadows/highlights that I have always used. The curves seems to have changed the colours quite a bit, but I cannot decide if it is better or not. Any help would be appreciated.

    _MG_0723curves.jpg
    Curves
    _MG_0723s&h.jpg
    Shadows/highlights
    Cheers Jan

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    Ausphotography Regular MissionMan's Avatar
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    Could you post the unprocessed version. I'd be interested in comparing it to see where it has gone to and what sort of colour changes have occurred.
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    I usually set my curves adjustment layer blend mode to Luminosity. That way it will not change the colour information, just the shadows and highlights. I read that somewhere in a tutorial and I have done it ever since. Not that it is right in every situation but have a play with the blend modes anyway

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    Hi MissionMan

    Here is the unprocessed version of my photo
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Ausphotography Regular Brigitte's Avatar
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    Let me begin by saying I’m no expert photographer or “photoshopper”. This is the way I would do it.
    1.Copy the document so you have a reference picture, work on layer 1
    2.Set the black/white point as follows - click on the black color picker square and in the table enter the following H=0, S=0 B=5. Click on the white square and enter H=0, S=0, B=95. This results in a not quite pure black and white.
    3.Create a levels adjustment layer (in layers pallet) hold down the alt key – image turns white , move the black slide towards the right until a touch of black appears. Select the white slide and hold alt, screen turns black and move left till a touch of white appears – in your image there is no real white so you may not need to take the white to the left as far, check and see.
    4.Open the curves adjustment and create a very slight S curve.
    5.Turn the eye off on the original background layer and press shift+ctrl+alt+E to make a new layer from all the open layers. Turn off the eye on all except the top new layer and the original layer and toggle between these to see the changes.
    I’m sure there are other better methods but this is what I use. Hope it helps. Nice composition.

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    You don't say how you decided/settled on the white and black point. To set the black and white points, before you touch curves get the threshold layer up. You'll see a histogram and a slider. Move the slider to the left until you find a spot that is still black. Grab the eyedropper tool , hold shift ( on a mac ) and click the black spot you want. Slide the slider back to the right side and do the same for the white spot. Then trash your threshold layer. On your pic now you will see 1 and 2 points , get your curves layer up and set the white and black points.
    I like your first pic but its a bit cold. Usea filter layer - on the mask fill it with black , set your brush to white , set the filter to warm , and paint back some warmth into the butterfly .
    The best way to learn what curves do is use the various options and see what the curves look like . You'll find one there that is the classic s curve.

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    Thank you for all your suggestions. I have printed this out, and I will have a play.

    Must say I appreciate all your help.

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