MuseCam is built around powerful editing tools. Curves gives you the ability to precisely adjust tones, giving you raw access to RGB channels. Curves can be used to make advanced tonal adjustments to your image. It’s a very valuable part of the post processing workflow.

To begin, let’s first understand curves and how they affect a photo.

Curves takes a photo and divides it into different tonal regions. Tone, in this context, is a term that refers to the amount of light. The 5 tonal regions are Blacks, Shadows, Midtones, Highlights, and Whites.  , “Blacks” have no light, “Shadows” have only a little, and this pattern continues until “Whites,” which have so much light it essentially can’t be distinguished from a solid color of white. Within each tonal range, you can add or reduce more light to each of the red, green and blue color channels, or to the entire spectrum. In MuseCam, simply swiping up or down within each given tonal region is essentially telling MuseCam to find all of the pixels in the photo that fall into that that range, and adds or reduces more light.

Now that we have a better understanding of curves, let’s look at how we can use them.

The curves tool can help evoke very specific emotions. Let’s examine some interesting ways to use MuseCam’s curves tool to achieve interesting looks.

The Faded Look

Fade has become extremely popular nowadays, especially with the rise of Instagram. From a technical standpoint, Fade is achieved by brightening the blacks, and darkening the whites. To provide an example, we have increased the blacks and decreased the whites slightly in each color tone. What we have achieved is a standard fade that evokes a more vintage feeling to the photo.

standard-fade

A subtle fade in the blacks and whites, applied evenly to each channel gives the photo a subtle, moody and faded look.

 

Here’s an example of a more intense fade. Notice how we left the blacks & whites the same, but we’ve involved shadows & highlights. The shadows are brighter, and the highlights are darker.

intense-fade

Involving shadows & highlights. The shadows are brighter, and the highlights are darker leading to a more intense fade.

 

You can also achieve the above look by making the same adjustments to only the RGB channel. While the RGB channel allows you to affect all color spectrums simultaneously, experimenting with individual color spectrums allows for more precision control to achieve a unique look.

curves-rgb-channel-musecam

The same curve applied to the RGB and individual color channels. Note the unique impact each has on the photo.

An extreme: Image Inversion

It’s dramatic, and it’s unlikely you would ever employ this technique. But we want to mention it, because it gives a good idea of how the Curve Tool works.

To invert the image, simply drag the lower left end of curve up to the top, and drag the upper right end down to the bottom. Then run the curve slope downward at 45 degrees to invert a negative image. Because then, input at black becomes output at white, and input at white becomes output at black. This is the standard inversion technique.

An extreme example: image inversion technique

An extreme example: image inversion technique

 

Learning to use Curves takes a little practice, but they are not too difficult to master. If you play with the Curves tool for 10-15 minutes you will feel much more comfortable with the process and begin to have a good understanding of how it affects your photos. Have fun, and remember to tag #MuseCam on the images you share. We’d love to share them!

3 Comments

Leave a Reply