Wednesday, January 12, 2011

{FLASHY} Levels Tutorial

One of the most basic, quick & easy ways to attack a photo that you want to edit should be levels. According to me anyway. And when I say quick, I mean it. It shouldn't take more than a minute. So why not give it a try? Levels are your friend!

It is absolutely the first thing I do when I open a picture in Photoshop. It may not be the last, but it certainly gives me a much better jumping off point for more in-depth editing.

Open your picture in Photoshop and click on the adjustment layer button

Don't laugh. Yes. It is a picture of bread. Delicious, delicious bread. Perhaps I will be nice enough to post the recipe for this yummy beer bread.

In the levels adjustment box click on the dropdown next to RGB and select the red channel.

So far so good? The rest is just as simple. All the images "data" is displayed in black. All you want to do is pull in the left and/or right points to where the data starts.

For the red channel, the left side stayed at zero, the right side pulled in from 255 to 196. Now my picture is rather red.

Don't freak out just yet!

You want to do the same on the green channel

And once again on the blue channel.

Looking at this now, I think it is a bit too blue. If I were to go back and re-do this I would probably pull the left point in to about 10-15. Although there is data at the starting point, it doesn't really pick up until you start moving a little right.

So how much did that little bit of work really help improve this image? A lot, I'd say!

Now, this isnt exactly an image I wanted to put a lot of editing time in to. I could easily stop here as it is decent enough as it is, but I did do a tiny bit more tweaking. This was maybe another two minutes or so of work. We'll save those details for another day. 

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