What is it with Levels? Is it really the poor relation?

Discussion in 'Photoshop' started by John, Feb 27, 2004.

  1. John

    John Guest

    It seems to me that many experts look on Levels as the poor relation
    to Curves.

    I find the Levels command very useful and easy to use, and it has
    often solved all my photo correction problems. Also, unlike Curves,
    Levels shows a histogram. However, so far as I can see, Levels is not
    listed in the index of the 352 page printed Photoshop CS User Guide,
    and if you manage to find the reference to the Levels Command, it only
    gets a 12 word description,

    I have lots of books on Photoshop, and have studied Channel Chops,
    Photoshop Color Correction and Professional Photoshop very carefully,
    I think. But none of these books mention that if you ALT (Mac OPTION)
    CLICK on the white slider triangle while making adjustments in Levels
    you will see (if the Preview box is checked) those parts of the image
    that will be clipped. And the same with the black triangle.

    There are also procedures outlined in the online help to calibrate the
    black, grey and white eyedroppers to suit your requirements for each
    image you work on..

    John, Feb 27, 2004
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  2. You can do the same thing as levels with curves, but not the reverse.
    To adjust the end points you just move the black and white points in
    the curves inward. To adjust the middle point you move the curve at
    the 127 brightness.
    Under photoshop CS you can view histograms while using curves or any
    other adjustment.
    Levels has one feature that is still unique, the ability to see clipping
    as you slide the end points by holding down the ALT key as you move the
    Robert Feinman, Feb 27, 2004
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  3. John

    Bryce Guest

    Thanks John. I learned something today.
    Bryce, Feb 27, 2004
  4. John

    JP Kabala Guest

    Actually, I knew this (can't remember where I learned it-- Probably
    or Willmore) but it reminds me of one of the things I dislike most about
    Adobe software-- useful "secret handshake" features that are programmed in
    but not documented anywhere--or if they are documented, it's so well hidden
    it would take an Act of Congress to unearth it.

    This isn't the only example. I'd bet every power user here knows at least

    Why bother to code things if you're not going
    to make them accessible?
    JP Kabala, Feb 28, 2004
  5. John

    Hecate Guest

    To make every new working day a time of adventure and excitement as
    you try to work out how to do things..... ;-)
    Hecate, Feb 28, 2004
  6. John

    JP Kabala Guest

    You mean they're somehow related to my ex ?

    He thought being secretive, difficult and obtuse
    was somehow charming and endearing, too! LOL
    JP Kabala, Feb 28, 2004
  7. John

    Hecate Guest

    Well, look at the names on the programmers roll in the software -
    mainly men ;-)
    Hecate, Feb 29, 2004
  8. John

    Mike Russell Guest

    Curves can do everything levels can, and more. For a tool, if that's not a
    poor relation, what would be?
    Me too. Until I discovered curves.
    This has often been mentioned, and its strange that Adobe has never
    addressed this. Curvemeister 1.1, due for release this week, has an option
    to add a histogram to its curve interface. That said, histograms can simply
    be a distraction.
    I liked this feature so much I added it to Curvemeister.
    These are "set and forget" parameters. Configuring the eyedroppers this
    way, if it is even possible, is never done.

    Having said all that, I still use levels for when scanning text and line art
    to set the paper and ink values.
    Mike Russell, Mar 7, 2004
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