Curves are hard to use.

Started Apr 25, 2014 | Discussions thread
Johanfoto Veteran Member • Posts: 3,670
Re: Curves are hard to use.

realgeek wrote:

Johanfoto wrote:

I don't disagree with Kelby, I disagree with your interpretation of what he says. He says "Now, I’m not talking about creating contrast using the Tone Curve in Camera Raw, or Lightroom (because I do that all the time)". The tone curve in Lightroom or CameraRAW is just as much a curve as the curves function in Photoshop. It just means you use curves earlier in the process, but that applies to most, if not all color correction tools. So you could say that the curves function in Photoshop is obsolete, but not that curves as such is obsolete.

Although the page I linked to originally only speaks of color adjustments, Kelby has gotten more strident on the issue since 2009. (See The Grid, Episode 52 starting at 36:30.) He has become quite negative on curves. In his opinion, it's like the darkroom -- it's obsolete. Until recently, he used curves to add some contrast. But with Adobe Camera Raw Process 2012 (Photoshop CS6 or Lightroom 4), the contrast slider has been improved, and he now uses the contrast slider instead of curves.

Well, in that case I do indeed disagree with Kelby. The contrast slider in LR4 is indeed improved, and it's another example of a 20/80 (or maybe even higher) case. In 80% of all images the contrast slider may be all you need, maybe even in 90%. But there are always situations where a simplyfied tool with just one slider cannot give you the same control as a more sophisticated tool like curves. BTW I also disagree that curves is difficult to understand. The concept is actually a very simple tone adjustment with before (X-axis) and after (Y-axis). But maybe you need to read books from other authors than Kelby to understand that. Kelby is a great showman, an even greater salesman, but as an educator he usually goes only skin deep.

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