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Levels VS Curves!
Old 01-11-2006, 04:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Which do you use? and whats your technique for using them,???


 
 
Re: Levels VS Curves!
Old 01-11-2006, 05:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I was thought to use levels instead of curves it seem alot easyer to use but who knows if I,am right
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Re: Levels VS Curves!
Old 01-11-2006, 06:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The hard part about curves is finding the best black and white. If you make an adjustment layer of type threshold you can move the slider from the left and right edges to find the darkest and lightest spot.

If there is no good mid grey area I use levels for that. The best thing to do is use a white/gray/black card in a test shot for the setup.

This describes only the most basic use of curves but I find it useful for getting neutral color to start with. By trial and error I found that after this it is better to try contrast adjustment before saturation.
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Living in Kansas. . .
Old 01-11-2006, 06:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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and being married to De Ann I can understand stress between levels and curves but surely you can see that curves beats levels every time. Kansas has some of the levelest ground and I-70 between Colorado and Missouri presents only two curves of any significance. One at Colby and the other at Oakley. Be thankful the corn fed honeys of Kansas furnish curves a plenty.
Okay just kidding. . .
As to Photoshop whole chapters and even several books have been written about this subject so don't expect a definative answer. Read Color Confidence by Tim Grey. It might help. I use both but find Curves a bit touchy, but with better control. I guess it depends on which you find it easiest to wrap your brain around.
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Re: Levels VS Curves!
Old 01-11-2006, 06:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I use both equally lousy,
as far as technique, just move the mousey thingy over to the line and drag it .
I hear that the pros use the numbers to their advantage for consistancy

but I am neither pro OR consistant in my editing , SO THERE [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img]
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Re: Levels VS Curves!
Old 01-11-2006, 06:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Stress I do not cause him stress but look at what he does to me

[img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img]

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Re: Levels VS Curves!
Old 01-11-2006, 06:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Volumes have been written on these two tools in Photoshop and hundreds of websites abound with information on how to use them.

Allow me to over simplify. Levels is a good intermediate tool to quickly make adjustments to an image. Curves will allow a great deal more control in achieving precise results and will require a bigger learning curve.

Way over simplification I know. Practice with tutorials and reading the articles, in print, web, or owner's manual, about how to use them. Amazing results are possible.

And, I would use these tools as an adjustment layer rather than straight off the Image>Adjust menu. That way you can make changes at will at any point in the process.

Which one do I use the most? Depends, yah I'm ducking the question. I will try levels first and if not happy with the easy solution there go to levels where I have more control. If I need to hit a color on the nose I use curves.

I also use the history brush a lot. I'm lazy. Precise control throughout an image can be achieved using curves. I'm not even close to being that good. So, I might adjust for something specific, over doing everything else, take a snapshot, go backward, and then use the history brush to paint back what I want adjusted.

Some argue that LAB color space offers more control than working in RGB. In LAB you can control, using levels and curves, the red/green and blue/yellow channels separate of luminousity channel.

Short of researching and practicing there is always Robert Sanders Photo Intensive Workshop.



Tom
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Re: Levels VS Curves!
Old 01-11-2006, 06:45 PM   #8 (permalink)
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[ QUOTE ]
Short of researching and practicing there is always Robert Sanders Photo Intensive Workshop.



[/ QUOTE ]


Ahhhh Dangit it! now they are gonna move this thread to Workshops and Events forum!!! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

Im sure Roberts Workshops are awesome but Im a mid western boy on a budget!!
it costs a fortune to fly outta the Level without Curves hell hole!!
[img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
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Re: Levels VS Curves!
Old 01-11-2006, 07:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hey Dandy Don,

I use both, not that you really care what I use. But, since your wife might care, I offer this. Curves is more advanced, and can make a better looking image. Of course, if you don't really know how or what to do in Curves, you can screw and image up pretty quick. Levels is easier to use, and easier to not screw up.

So, for a quick idea of what they both do, and why one is better than the other, I offer the easy solution. Watch a video, and the link is below. It is a pretty good example of the differences, and all that. This is a MOV file link, so works with Quicktime on my machine, but I have to let it all buffer (download) before I can see the video correctly. After it is all buffered, it plays fine for me.

Total Training Curves Example Video for Don
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Re: Levels VS Curves!
Old 01-11-2006, 07:45 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I always used the much easier levels. Like so many features of Photoshop, using a particular tool may make the image appear worse that when you started, and only at the end of a sequence of steps does the final product 'shine'. I had difficulty with curves until I attended a couple of NAPP seminars (Thanks Ben Willmore).

Seeing someone use the Curves feature and explain each step as they go along is worth way more than reading books and articles on it. I highly recommend this or a video tutorial.

Good Luck,

Tom
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