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General photography questions and answers: Discuss Curves only ?...Today is 2 years without using levels. Because of habits I have processing, I made myself follow a rule that ...
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Old 16-06-2009, 14:54   #1 (permalink)
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Curves only ?

Today is 2 years without using levels. Because of habits I have processing, I made myself follow a rule that I would only use curves and drop levels all together. I no longer even notice levels in the drop down or adjustment flyout. Has anybody else ever done something like this to help learn or master a certain tool ?
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Old 16-06-2009, 15:43   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Curves only ?

It is extremely rarely that I use PS. I might use curves for a certain effect but, as said, rarely.
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Old 16-06-2009, 15:56   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Curves only ?

No! I use whichever is more appropriate. If I am making a global tonal adjustment, I would probably use curves but if I am selecting small areas of an image for tonal adjustments then levels is probably more convenient. However, I do understand your point. It was along time before I used curves regularly though using the on-image adjustmen now found in CS4 and LR 2 it should encourage more to use curves.

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Old 16-06-2009, 17:02   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Curves only ?

It was along time before I used curves regularly though using the on-image adjustmen now found in CS4 and LR 2 it should encourage more to use curves.

Dave

I haven't upgraded to CS4 yet, just haven't taken the time. This on image adjustment sounds good. Is it a good reason by it self to upgrade ?,,I feel that upgrades sometimes can be stretched out.
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Old 16-06-2009, 18:08   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Curves only ?

Depends on how quickly I'm doing it. If I'm just messing v quickly with an image I'll use levels, but curves I like in that it allows me to adjust everything precisely, and all with clear relation to the other tone 'zones' in the image.
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Old 16-06-2009, 18:09   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Curves only ?

Use curves to make adjustments & tone all of the time Boofers, finally i do a last check with levels to make sure its OK on the histogram.
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Old 16-06-2009, 19:01   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Curves only ?

No need to use Levels to check the histogram Simp, the Curves one shows exactly the same but with more detail. I use Curves exclusively as it can do everything that Levels can do but more accurately and with more features.

Must say i am only just starting to play with CS4 but so far I very much like what I see

Cheers,
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Old 16-06-2009, 19:07   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Curves only ?

And for Aperture users...

Why no curves? Because you can already do them - Aperture Users Network
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Old 16-06-2009, 22:27   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Curves only ?

Most times, I head straight for the levels, if I have blank space at the end of the histogram, I start by clipping that, adjust the gama output, and maybe go through the individual channels to correct any outlandish colours.

I would then take a look at the curves to see if any further improvement could be made.

I use PhotoPlus, and this is part of the basics I do to all PP work, again, I have a lot to learn in this, but levels and clipping the ends of the histograms seams to give me a better picture to start with....
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Old 17-06-2009, 08:29   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Curves only ?

Yup, I too start at the Levels end of things and then, if needed, go to Curves (very rarely). Find it faster and just as effective - maybe I'll try dropping Levels to see what results I get

I guess if there's anything I vaguely avoid it's adjustments in PS - just use Adobe RAW most of the time
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Old 17-06-2009, 14:45   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Curves only ?

Thanks for all the comments, I felt like curves was a weak tool for me and needed to learn it, thus the rule thingy worked out good. Now if I could figure out a way to make myself better at using my flash
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Old 17-06-2009, 19:54   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Curves only ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boofers View Post

I haven't upgraded to CS4 yet, just haven't taken the time. This on image adjustment sounds good. Is it a good reason by it self to upgrade ?,,I feel that upgrades sometimes can be stretched out.
There were special reasons why I came to get CS4. I would probably not have upgraded yet and waited to CS5. If you have CS2 then it would definitely be worth an upgrade but less easy to justify upgrading from CS3. Incidently the on-image adjustments are also part of Adobe Raw V5.x and Lightroom 2
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Old 17-06-2009, 20:35   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Curves only ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Barron View Post
No need to use Levels to check the histogram Simp, the Curves one shows exactly the same but with more detail. I use Curves exclusively as it can do everything that Levels can do but more accurately and with more features.

Must say i am only just starting to play with CS4 but so far I very much like what I see

Cheers,
Rob
That's good to know Rob but am not to sure how to do this on CS2
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Old 18-06-2009, 17:56   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Curves only ?

I rarely use levels as such but i do use it on my mono conversions............ have to say i have dabbled in lightroom and im not impressed, apart frmo its slightly less ram hungry than bridge to open the raw files, its very very difficult to accurately use the sliders compared to ACR. looks better less hungry but very easy to over do something and its not nearly as user friendly! i still havent a clue what half hte things mean or do. it took me a fraction of the time to get to grips with Photoshop.
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Old 21-06-2009, 19:35   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Curves only ?

I just turned 58 and I still haven't figured out what I'm gifted at. I have always had to work very hard at somethings people breeze around. I don't use photoshop for an excuse for poor camera management, photoshop lived on my computer before I ever downloaded a picture from a camera. I believe that understanding color adjustment, balance and luminance have helped me understand my camera better. I don't really understand curves like professionals do, but enough to make me stay interested
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