Curves are hard to use.

Started Apr 25, 2014 | Discussions thread
Charles2 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,079
Re: Curves are hard to use - a couple of basic points

A good way to start: set one point on the curve at a dark place on the main subject or on the part of the image you want to boost. Set another point at a bright place of same. Apply an S-curve at those points.

Yes, curves are difficult. While getting comfortable with them, you will find that you get more insight into light and color, too.

Technical point: you can use the HSV-V curve, the HSL-L curve, the Lab-L curve, and others. You almost never want to use the RGB curve. Does your program document which one you have in front of you? Picture Window Pro has HSV and HSL (and RGB). Raw Therapee has Lab-L. HSV and HSL in particular work "opposite" in some ways:

Darkening in HSV reduces saturation. Darkening in HSL increases saturation when L > 0.5.
Lightening in HSV increases saturation. Lightening in HSL reduces saturation when L > 0.5.
(from a good intro at )

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