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Get the Image You Want: Essential Photoshop Editing Techniques by Element K Journals Creative Team

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Determine tonal quality by reading a histogram

We've all had it happen—someone gives you a less-than-stellar image to use for a project you're working on. When this occurs, you should immediately evaluate the image's tonal quality. After all, you probably don't want to spend countless hours trying to correct the image in Photoshop only to find out later that it isn't salvageable. One of the ways you can determine if an image is of quality, or if it can be saved, is to view its histogram.

What's a histogram?

In Figure A, we show an image with its histogram. This is an example of a quality image that has a well-dispersed tonal range, meaning that it has an acceptable amount of pixel data in all three ranges—shadows, midtones, and highlights. A ...

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