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The DSLR Field Guide by Michael Freeman

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Tone Adjustments with Curves

For more precise and more localized tonal adjustment turn to the Curves command in your image-editing suite.

The characteristic curve plots exposure against density on a graph, and the shape of the curve reveals such things as how contrasty the response is. In the Curves dialog, this is changed to a graph in which the horizontal is the Input (the original density of pixels) and the vertical axis is the Output (the changes you apply). The curve appears by default as a straight diagonal line. Because you can select any number of points on the curve and then drag them toward darker or lighter, this is a more flexible ...

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