Table of Contents

Curves

The Curves adjustment is often regarded as a more advanced variation of the Levels adjustment. You can use it to adjust image highlights, shadows, and midtones, boost contrast, improve image colors, or create artistic effects.

You can adjust the colors and contrast by dragging directly on the image or use the tonal curve (a diagonal line crossing a square graph) in the Curves adjustment. The tone curve represents the tonal range of an image. The top-right section of the curve represents the brightest parts of an image, the bottom-left section represents the dark tones, and the middle section lets you work with midtones.

You can tap any point on the curve (you can adjust up to 16 points) and drag it up to brighten the image in that selected area or drag it down to darken it.

Adjust image highlights, midtones, and shadows
  1. Tap and turn on Curves.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • To adjust the highlights, tap the top section of the curve to add a new point. Drag the point up to brighten the highlights or down to darken them.
    • To adjust the shadows, tap the bottom section of the curve to add a new point. Drag the point up to brighten the shadows or down to darken them.
    • To adjust the midtones, tap the middle section of the curve to add a new point. Drag the point up to brighten the highlights or down to darken them.
    • Tap a point on the tonal curve again to remove it.
Adjust RGB channels

All digital images are made up of three different color channels — Red, Green, and Blue. With Curves, you can adjust these channels all at once or individually. This is especially useful in color correction as you can work with complementary colors — cyan and red, magenta and green, and yellow and blue.

For instance, images shot under a tungsten light often have some yellowish-orange undertones to them. This can be adjusted by dragging the Blue channel curve down to bring out the blue tones.

Similarly, if a photo is too blue in the shadows, adding a point somewhere around the bottom of the curve and dragging it down will bring in more yellow to neutralize the blue.

  1. Tap and turn on Curves.

  2. Tap the Curves pop-up menu and choose Red, Green, or Blue.

  3. Tap the tonal curve to add a new point and drag it to adjust the colors.

  4. (Optional) To remove a from the tonal curve tap it and then tap Remove.

Adjust curve directly on your photo
  1. Tap to turn on color adjustments.
  2. Tap On-Image Curves next to the Curves adjustment.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • To adjust the highlights, touch and drag a highlighted area in your image upward to lighten it or down to darken it.
    • To adjust the shadows, touch and drag a shadowy area in your image upward to lighten it or down to darken it.
    • To adjust the midtones, touch and drag a neutral-colored area in your image upward to lighten it or down to darken it.