Using the Power of Curves to Make Effects in Photoshop

For any one thing you want to do in Photoshop, there are probably at least 50 ways to go about accomplishing it. However, perhaps no tool is more versatile than Curves, which allows you incredible control over luminosity and color and in tandem with masking, can give you tremendous creative editing capabilities, as this fun tutorial will guide you through.

Coming to you from Unmesh Dinda of PiXimperfect, this helpful video will show you how to adjust the lighting of and grade an image using Curves in Photoshop. Most people think of Curves as a tool for adjusting absolute and relative luminosity values, and while it's certainly useful for that, when you move away from the RGB curve and begin adjusting individual channels, you've unlocked the full capabilities. This allows you to quickly and easily add or subtract color to an image based on varying luminosity values with fairly precise control as opposed to some other tools, which makes it my favorite method for this sort of work. As Dinda demonstrates, you can take advantage of this along with some creative use of layer masking to transform an image relatively quickly (especially once you get a feel for the tool's behavior). Give it a try!

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I have just started following Unmesh Dinda of PiXimperfect and have been very impressed with his tutorials.

Gabrielle Colton's picture

I do this a lot, good stuff!

Curves are one of the most underrated tools in Photoshop.
Basically it is the best tool to create a LUT.

In order to capture how powerful it is, I would mentions that all Luminosity Masks out there are basically generated by curves (Actually all blend modes are as well, Or any pixel wise operation for that matter).
They are either applied using Curves or by math operation on layers (Less efficient) but all can be achieved using a LUT (Basically a curve).

Eric Robinson's picture

In my opinion both Unmesh and Arron from Phlearn deserve medals to be struck for them to recognise their services to photography. I am sure worldwide thousands of photographers have learned and continue learn so much from the quality videos these guys post.

Darko Zivkovic's picture

I follow Arron for long time. Unmesh I discovered few weeks ago. I must say both are great teachers, but I think Unmesh does it with more patience for the ones watching and learning. Great future in front of him I think.