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Adjusting Levels

This tutorial will show you how to easily touch up the levels in your photographs using photoshop making for much better picture quality with minimal effort. For this tutorial, I've chosen a particularly dark photograph from a concert:.

Adjusting Levels
Description: This tutorial will show you how to easily touch up the levels in your photographs using photoshop making for much better picture quality with minimal effort. For this tutorial, I've chosen a particularly dark photograph from a concert:

The first step we need to take is to actually open the levels tool. We can do this by clicking Image - » Adjustments - » Levels.

We now have the ability to manually adjust levels in photoshop. The left side represents the darker parts of the image (black) and the right side the lighter parts (white). As you can see, there is currently way more black then we want in our photograph. There are 3 sliders in the shape of triangles below the main window. These are what we will play with to get the levels that look best for our photograph.

As you can see, there is almost no white in the photograph until you are 2/3 of the way toward the left. What we want to do is click and drag the triangle controlling the lighter levels to where the white starts on the image. You will also notice the middle triangle sliding over as well. This is expected. You should notice your photograph is brighter.

It is important to remember that not all photographs will be dark. Some will need the black slider to move in a bit, some will need both the white and black sliders to move in a bit. No matter what your photograph you should slide either extrema in to where black area starts on the levels graph.

Now it is simply a matter of putting on the final touches. Play with the middle slider and move it around until the photograph is as bright or as dark as you want it. As you slide it left it will become brighter and as you slide it right it will become darker. For our photograph, a slight adjustment to the left is what I chose to do.

Our photograph is now brighter and objects we couldn't make out before are now more clear. The levels tool works wonders on photographs and takes seconds to complete.

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