Lighten or darken

Discussion in 'Photoshop' started by RDOC, Dec 8, 2008.

  1. RDOC

    RDOC Guest

    Is one way or the other better for adjusting a photo that is a little
    dark or a little to light in Photoshop. My choices being the center
    triangle in levels (midtones) or the blending modes in the layers
    palete? Assuming that the highlights and shadow sliders are right on
    in the levels box. Thanks
    RDOC, Dec 8, 2008
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  2. RDOC

    Dave Guest

    Is Curves not one of your choices?
    Play with the alternatives and compare.
    If darkening, you should also consider making a duplicate
    and change the Blending mode to Multiply with adjustment to Opacity.
    Dave, Dec 8, 2008
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  3. RDOC

    RDOC Guest

    I am aware of your suggestions but my question still stands. Is it
    better to do the adjustment in levels or using the blending modes in
    the layers palate. I feel I can get good results doing it either way
    but is there a reason that one way is the more desirable method?
    RDOC, Dec 8, 2008
  4. RDOC

    Dave Guest

    The contrast should be better when using Levels
    although you should be leaded by the results.
    IMHO, I repeat myself when saying Levels
    should result in better contrasting
    between light and dark.
    Dave, Dec 8, 2008
  5. RDOC

    KatWoman Guest

    your question does not address if you are attempting to correct ALL the
    image or only parts of the image

    curves is perhaps better than levels
    blending modes are used for a lot of things not usually the first choice for
    exposure corrections

    my first choice would be to open the image in RAW
    the exposure controls are very varied and have many choices to adjust by
    highlight only or dark area only
    by the color or add fill light . blacks etc

    if you get to what you like with levels it's fine
    but in srgb space levels is limited

    the curvemeister Mike Russell) website can show you how to use LAB mode to
    adjust a/b channels without affecting the colors as much
    worth looking into
    KatWoman, Dec 8, 2008
  6. RDOC

    Joel Guest

    There is no better or worse technique/command to adjust the brightness. Or
    we just need to learn several different commands and use whatever works best
    for a specific photo.

    Or you can use any or commination of these. Level, Curve, Hi-lite/Shadow,
    Explosure etc..

    In general, you just slide the slider to where the Darkest/Brighnest
    start, and of course you do move further Left/Right or moving the middle bar
    for your own liking. IOW, just try the general then explode it for your own
    Joel, Dec 8, 2008
  7. RDOC

    Joel Guest

    In general Blend mode (I am assuming multiple layers) often not the
    popular command for brightness adjusting. Unless for some special need then
    it may even be the must have command.

    "LEVEL" is probably the command most people use.
    Joel, Dec 8, 2008
  8. RDOC

    Joel Guest

    Agree! LEVEL in general is a good tool to deal with the histogram, or
    where the BLACK & WHITE channels start. It does have option to adjust the
    brightness but not a good brightness adjusting tool for most people.

    Photoshop itself has all the commands we may find in RAW Converter, but
    most of them are often hidden in deeper menu (sub-menu). So to me, the
    easier way for most newbie is using the LightRoom or ARC comes with CS3 or
    CS4 which support JPG and most if not all popolar non-RAW formats.

    I don't upgrade to CS4 this time (my health hasn't been so well for over a
    year) to know much about CS4, but I believe the ARC continues to support
    non-RAW format.

    Me? cuz I am a professional photographer so I can't afford to deal with
    messed up photo, and knowing Photoshop quite well to have problem with
    brightness adjusting. Or I have been dealing with them years before the
    first RAW converter was born to know how to funtion without RAW converter.
    Joel, Dec 9, 2008
  9. RDOC

    KatWoman Guest

    I agree about curves being the better choice BUT not to putting levels to

    for PRINT JOBS and stock

    often require us to put image into LEVELS and clip black and whites to
    SPECIFIC number values
    KatWoman, Dec 9, 2008
  10. RDOC

    Jurgen Guest

    Mike Russell said once "you can do anything with curves" (referring to
    image adjustment) I'd like to say now, you can do anything with levels.

    I assume he adopted curves for his plugin because of technical
    limitations with levels at the time he began creating curvemiester.

    Nothing wrong with his plugin. Nothing wrong either with someone
    achieving the same thing using levels.

    I also discovered CS4 "Shadow highlights" control to be excellent at
    taming contrast. Much more so than in earlier PS versions.

    There is plenty of evidence to suggest that lowering the contrast range
    of an image intended for magazine publication will in fact produce a
    very pleasant looking picture.

    One of the magazines I supply photography to has recently revised their
    requirements regarding D-Max and contrast. I think they might have
    changed printers or paper but whatever it is, my low contrast photos
    look quite pleasant in the latest edition.
    Jurgen, Dec 10, 2008
  11. RDOC

    Joel Guest

    Hehehe don't try to make some sense out of me. Yes, I do know how to move
    all 3 and even more than 3 slider, but it will make more sense when you
    really know what those sliders do.

    Other than that, I agree with you there is more moving option available.
    Joel, Dec 10, 2008
  12. RDOC

    Joel Guest

    It's between right and wrong.

    - RIGHT - yes, you can move those 3 main sliders around, and you can even
    move if I am not miscounting there is around no less than 12 sliders (or at
    least somewhere around 14 sliders).

    - WRONG - nope! if you try to control the Color Channel the normal way then
    it may not totally right.

    So, pick whatever please you, but try not to forget that Photoshop is very
    flexible it gives you both right/wrong, better/worse way for different need.
    Joel, Dec 10, 2008
  13. RDOC

    Joel Guest

    Shadow/Hi-Lite option has been available on several version. It's kinda
    ok for newbie but may not be used by many or most professional.
    Joel, Dec 10, 2008
  14. RDOC

    Joel Guest

    I can't say I agree or disagree with you between Curve vs Level as they
    are good for different need. But I disagree with you that Level has only 3
    fixed points or 3 sliders.

    Or it may have about 4-5X times more than you think. Of course Level
    can't do Curve, but you are selling Level a little too cheap.
    Joel, Dec 10, 2008
  15. RDOC

    Joel Guest

    Well, I started with Level, then spent around 2 years on Curve, then I am
    back to Level as I almost never need Curve, and Level for quick adjusting.
    Or Level is one I do use but not heavily.
    Joel, Dec 10, 2008
  16. RDOC

    KatWoman Guest

    perhaps he refers to the drop down in levels where you can adjust individual
    channels? according to color space there are 3 more sliders for each red
    green blue
    or in cmyk 4more sliders with 3 options?

    can't believe I am sticking up for Joel
    KatWoman, Dec 11, 2008
  17. RDOC

    Jurgen Guest

    It's Christmas Kat, be benevolent!
    Jurgen, Dec 11, 2008
  18. RDOC

    Jurgen Guest

    You could of course say "Curves could be dropped from Photoshop with
    zero loss of functionality" too. I can't find anything curves does that
    I can't do with levels.

    Like Mike, I wouldn't remove curves because of the scripts, actions and
    of course his and several other plug-ins that rely on curves.

    But I still contend that levels is very viable way of obtaining the same
    results you get from curves. You might not agree with me but I don't
    agree with a lot that you say either, Johan.

    I can create a droplet for a levels process to make it repeatable for Say:

    A Nikon D60 image(which makes Velvia look like a low contrast low
    saturation film) that is fast and reliable in taming the wild greens and
    yellow saturations of these cameras far easier and faster than I can
    using curves.

    Curves is fine for a quick grab to make an S curve on a stranger's
    images but when you work with your own or known source images, levels is
    a highly efficient and very fast way to automate standard image

    When I first began development of my droplets package I timed doing it
    with curves compared to using levels. Levels is faster by a factor of 3
    with all but one droplet.

    All too often experienced Photoshop users are closed to ideas that once
    were impractical but are now highly practical. Like when Mike (to his
    credit) changed his idea about color management, we should all be open
    to other people's views if we are to move forward with our craft.
    Jurgen, Dec 11, 2008
  19. RDOC

    Jurgen Guest

    I'm sure we all have a use for that one!
    Jurgen, Dec 12, 2008
  20. RDOC

    Jurgen Guest

    Oddly enough Mike,
    I and all my clients are quite happy with my images the way I deliver them.

    I don't actually see anything I do with levels "deficient" in any way.
    As a photographer, I get everything I need in Photoshop with droplets
    I've made using levels.

    Should I now attempt to argue you into converting a workflow to my
    methods or just recognize you have a different opinion than I do?
    Jurgen, Dec 13, 2008
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