The tone curve is one of the most powerful tools in photo editing, allowing you to change multiple values and essentially doing the job of several different adjustment layers. But it’s also complicated, and hard for beginners to understand. These two videos should help.
The first video was shared by Photoshop Tutorials back in December, and it explains how tone curves REALLY work. From adjusting the main RGB curve to breaking down the curve into its Red, Green, and Blue components, the video explains the tone curve, offers some tips on learning how to use it, and shares plenty of examples of different curves in action.
That video alone is worth your time, especially if you still find the tone curve confusing. This next video add to it by suggesting a few design changes Adobe could do to make that would greatly improve the tool.
The video was shared two days ago by Denny Tang, and it attacks the tone curve from a different angle than most tutorials. This is an advice video for Adobe that shows what a major Curves redesign could look like in Lightroom and Photoshop to make the tool much easier to learn and use.
He lists 5 different changes, each of which will help you to better understand how the tone curve works. But even if Adobe pays no attention to Denny’s suggestions, the video will still leave you with a more comprehensive understanding of this powerful photo editing tool.