How to use Photoshop Curves to increase contrast in your photos (Beginner Tips)

Here is a new Photoshop tutorial that will show you a quick way on how you can adjust the contrast on your photos.

This technique will be very useful in enhancing your photos most specially for beginners. It will teach you to look for PS tools more quickly allowing you to produce great images in no time.

Video: Improve contrast in your photos

Here’s a summary of these steps:

(View the video for full details and explanations)

  1. Click on the Adjustment Layer icon found at the bottom right side of Photo Shop then select Curves it should bring out the Curves Properties window. A new Curves layer will automatically be added on the layer panel.
  2. If you want to darken the image you just click the diagonal line on the histogram and pull it downwards. Pulling it upwards will make the image appear brighter. If you want to darken the shadows of a particular part of the image.
  3. Click on the bottom end of the histogram and drag from that point.
  4. You will immediately see a change on a specific part of the image only.
  5. You can add another control point on the curve and drag it upward making the top part of the curve more straight and it would look much more closer to the original image.
  6. Disabling the curve layer will give you an idea on the difference made on the original image.
  7. Use the S-Curve to increase a contrasting image.
  8. This can be done by adding one control point on the top half of the curve and another on the bottom half of the curve.
  9. Then pull the bottom control point downward to darken the shadows and pull the top half of the curve upwards to brighten the highlights.



Comments on How to use Photoshop Curves to increase contrast in your photos (Beginner Tips)

  1. Reg Green says:

    Steve, I was really amazed with most of your Photoshop work. Unfortunately I am a raw beginner. I have an Epson Artisan 1430 printer capable of printing paper 1 metre long and 33cms wide. This is my passion. For starters I don’t understand how to load the picture onto the paper so that I can work on it then print it out. Dumb I know. So maybe you could go with some very basics that will help. I currently use publisher but this programme is unable to do anything like the corrections etc. of Photoshop. Any help would be appreciated.

    1. Steve A says:

      Hi Reg, thanks for your question. I’m not sure from your comment if you have Photoshop but only use Publisher at the moment because you’re a PS beginner, or if you don’t actually have Photoshop and are requesting information about Publisher.
      In case it is Photoshop you’d like help with, I’ll be posting new videos here on the Photo Mastery Club blog weekly, which you should find helpful. Or if you want to take steps to learning PS more quickly then I’d recommend considering joining the Photo Mastery Club membership which features an already-large (and growing) library of content, plus personal coaching and advice from me. Please check out the home page if you’d like to find out more

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