One of the most fundamental and powerful features of Photoshop is the Curves tool, and knowing it inside and out is key to all sorts of compelling and convincing edits. This helpful video will introduce you to the Curves tool and how to use it effectively.
Coming to you from Nathaniel Dodson of tutvid, this great tutorial will show you how the Curves tool works in Photoshop. At its core, Curves is a simple idea: you're given a graph of luminosity values. On one axis are the input values and on the other are the output values. By manipulating this graph, you can tell Photoshop to change luminosity values to other numbers very precisely and quickly. Once you spend about five minutes with the tool, it becomes very intuitive. I personally prefer it over the sliders as I find I can be more precise by homing in on exact values. There are also useful sub-tools built into the main dialogue to help you more. Furthermore, when you switch to individual color channel curves, you can very quickly tone your image. Check out the video above for the full rundown. Also, remember that if you enjoy using the Curves tool, you can also access it in Lightroom.