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Monday, June 28, 2010

Photoshop Tip: Color Correcting Art with Levels & Curves Adjusting Commands

Often when art is scanned and imported into Photoshop, the colors need to be corrected with either the Levels or Curves adjusting commands. It is tempting to use the Levels to correct colors because it is easy to use and the Curves command is not as intuitive. In fact Curves can be down right confusing and difficult to use until you understand how. However, Curves is really a better choice to correct colors because it allows you to adjust 14 different tonal points while Levels only allows you to adjust 3 (white point, black point, gamma). Also Curves allows you to make precise adjustments to individual color channels. For those reasons, I think it is worthwhile learning how to use Curves to color correct art.

I found that the best method to learn how to use Curves is to watch Photoshop tutorials. I recommend watching "Photoshop - Curves vs Levels" to see the amazing improvement of contrast and colors in a photograph when using Curves instead of Levels. And once you know what you are doing, Curves is just as easy to use as Levels. By watching the following short videos, you will get a more in depth knowledge about Curves. Note: Some of steps and techniques in each of the videos are the same but I still found them all useful because each offers different explanations and viewpoints.

1. "Photoshop Curves Tutorial - Part 1"
2. "Photoshop Curves Tutorial - Part 2"
3. "Photoshop CS4 - Color Curves" (also shows how to use Curves in CS3)

Most likely using the techniques shown in the above videos will color correct your art well enough. However, if it does not or you want even more in depth information on how to use an advanced color correcting method in Curves with the info pallet, watch the 26 minute video "Color Correcting Photos: photoshop CS3!"

If you would like to share information or comments about this article please click on the below comment button.


  1. Correcting Color in Photoshop was rather long and distracting with the arrow moving all over that place in the illustration.

    That isn't your fault but the demonstrators. Information was great.

  2. Joan, this post was great. As always, I appreciate your sharing your knowledge. I love Photoshop, but there's always so much more to learn. Keep up the good work! I love your blog.

  3. Great sharing through this post. Thanks...