Back to Basics: Quick and Easy Tutorial on Using Curves in Camera Raw & Photoshop

Over the years, Adobe has made image editing programs like Photoshop and Camera Raw much more intuitive and easy to use so that it’s not quite so intimidating for beginners to dive in, but one of the adjustments that still scares many first timers is Curves.

As Bryan O’Neil Hughes puts it in the Photoshop Playbook video above, “something about wrangling a diagonal line to yield a proper exposure just isn’t very intuitive,” and so he’s dedicated 5 minutes of his time to show the newbies some of the ‘friendliest’ and most ‘approachable’ ways to use Curves in Photoshop and Camera RAW.


If you know a beginner who could use this info, or if you yourself are that beginner, pass along or check out the video above. And, as always, feel free to drop further tips and tricks in the comments down below.

  • Alan Klughammer

    Setting the exposure curve is one of the most powerful tools in digital imaging. Learn it and your photos will improve.

  • Will Mederski

    while i understand for people who started with PS, or do serious manipulations of photos, i still don’t understand why so many photogs use PS rather than Lightroom.

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  • Sarpent

    That was a surprisingly well-presented and useful video.

  • greenarcher02

    Don’t they have a similar UI though? And you can do much more photo manipulation in PS if you want to get creative. Those composites and surreal imagery aren’t done in Lightroom. And some are just more comfortable in PS…