Master the Curves in Photoshop | All You Need to Understand About Curves Adjustment Photoshop

In Photoshop, you can make the following adjustments as adjustment layers

Brightness/ Exposure







Color Balance

Selective Color

And the topic of discussion in this blog is how to use curves in Photoshop

Why to Use Curves in Photoshop - Introduction

Curve adjustment in Photoshop is among most used adjustment in Photoshop. As in curves adjustments you have to adjust a simple curve and that simple curve do much more stuffs beyond your thinking. Curves in Photoshop has ability of performing the task of many other adjustments such as Levels, Contrast, Brightness, Exposure and much more.

Curves basically graph the tones in your images. You can then manipulate and adjust these tones by adjusting the graph. The left side of the graph regulates darker tones, and the right side of the graph adjusts the brighter side. The central region of the graph covers Mid-tones.

In this tutorial by Digital Teaching Hub, you will be explained how to use curves in photoshop in detail. Digital Teaching Hub is an excellent platform for people looking for a photoshop course or a photoshop tutorial.

Let Us Now Get Into Photoshop Curves Tutorial

In this Photoshop Tutorial, we will discuss in detail how to adjust curves to manipulate your image. Firstly, let us understand how to open curves in photoshop.

How to Apply Curves in Photoshop ?

You can apply curves to your image through two different methods.

As an Adjustment Layer

  • You can easily add a curve adjustment layer to your image by clicking on the new create new adjustment layer option on the layer panel and selecting the curves adjustment layer. By clicking, you will open a new dialogue box with an adjustment layer in your panel. You can adjust the curves from there.

As an Adjustment

  • You can also apply curves as and adjustment to your image by going to Image > Adjustments > Curves. This setting will then be merged with the layer and cannot be adjusted. You can only undo the effect and apply it again

  • To have more freedom with a curve adjustment setting instead of a curve adjustment layer, you have to convert your layer into a smart object. You can do this by right-clicking on the layer and selecting the convert to smart object option. When a layer is converted into a smart object, all of its adjustments are visible as smart filters below the layer. These filters can then be adjusted by clicking on them and changing the curves on the hover panel.

Adding a curve as a adjustment layer is better option as you can see the effect of an adjustment layer on an individual or multiple layers and is easy to adjust. You can also use the shortcut key for curves in Photoshop, which is Ctrl/Cmd + M.

Due to regular improvements and updates, using Curves in Photoshop 2020 has become much easier to use than earlier versions. With this update, you can quickly add curves to the layers that helps you in understanding curves in Photoshop simple.

How to Use Curves in Photoshop

When you open the curves dialog, you will see a histogram that displays the exposure information. When you click anywhere on the curve, a control point is placed, which can be moved. Depending on its option, it will affect highlights, shadows, or mid-tones.

Adjustment Using RGB Channel in Curves

RGB channel in curves helps you to apply adjust the brightness and darkness of image or object. You can also add contrast, faded effect, exposure, brightness for more detailed explanation of RGB channel you can have a look at curves in Photoshop tutorial video embedded above in this blog post.

Adjustment of Curves Using Red, Green, Blue Channels

Before going deep in R G B Channel you should be aware of opposites of RED, GREEN, BLUE because the adjustment of these color channel depends on opposites. So the opposites are RED is opposite of Cyan, GREEN is opposite of Magenta, and Yellow is opposite of BLUE i.e RGB is opposite of CMY.

In the curves panel, above the histogram panel, you can see a dropdown box labeled as 'channels,' which, by default, are set to RGB. RGB combines all the color in your image and manipulates the highlights, shadows, and mid-tones. These do not affect the colors of the document. When you click on the arrow, you see options for Red, Green, and Blue.

When you make adjustments to a single color, all the corresponding pixels of the same color value are affected in your documents. This way, you can work on the unique individual colors of your document.

This feature helps you to manipulate and work on adjusting brightness, exposure, colors, temperature, and overall feel of your document and for in depth understanding of how to use different color channel in curves you can have a look at video attached to blog.

Feature You Must Have a Close Look About Curves Adjustment Layer in Photoshop

Using the curves adjustment layer, you can apply the same curve adjustment to all the layers in your document instead of a single layer.

This adjustment layer gives you the freedom to apple the same effect either on all of your layers beneath it or a single layer.

You can even mask the adjustment to your image layer to decide which part of the layer will be adjusted.

You can also clip mask your adjustment layer, so it affects your subject and not the other parts of the image.


We hope this tutorial has helped you in better understanding curves in Photoshop. For more such Photoshop classes in Hindi, follow the digital teaching hub. We have a wide range of courses and classes available, which can help you understand and learn Photoshop in Hindi at your comfort.

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