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Adobe Photoshop: The Complete Guide Bootcamp

Lesson 34 of 118

Adjusting Levels with a Histogram

Ben Willmore

Adobe Photoshop: The Complete Guide Bootcamp

Ben Willmore

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Lesson Info

34. Adjusting Levels with a Histogram


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
2 Bridge vs. Lightroom Duration:06:39
3 Tour of Photoshop Interface Duration:18:21
4 Overview of Bridge Workspace Duration:07:42
9 Developing Raw Images Duration:30:33
11 How to Save Images Duration:03:37
12 Using the Transform Tool Duration:04:48
14 Selection Tools Duration:05:55
15 Combining Selection Tools Duration:07:37
17 Quick Mask Mode Duration:05:07
18 Select Menu Essentials Duration:21:28
20 Align Active Layers Duration:07:29
21 Creating a New Layer Duration:06:15
22 Creating a Clipping Mask Duration:03:02
23 Using Effects on Layers Duration:11:24
24 Using Adjustment Layers Duration:16:44
25 Using the Shape Tool Duration:04:39
30 Adding Texture to Images Duration:09:11
35 Understanding Curves Duration:06:18
36 Editing an Image Using Curves Duration:18:41
39 Editing with Blending Modes Duration:08:04
40 Color Theory Duration:05:59
41 Curves for Color Duration:16:52
42 Hue and Saturation Adjustments Duration:08:59
44 Match Colors Using Numbers Duration:16:59
45 Adjusting Skin Tones Duration:05:25
52 Clone Between Documents Duration:13:19
53 Crop Tool Duration:10:07
54 Frame Tool Duration:02:59
56 Paint Brush Tools Duration:13:33
57 History Brush Tool Duration:06:27
58 Eraser and Gradient Tools Duration:03:06
60 Blur and Shape Tools Duration:11:06
61 Dissolve Mode Duration:09:24
62 Multiply Mode Duration:15:29
63 Screen Mode Duration:14:08
64 Hard Light Mode Duration:14:54
66 Smart Filters Duration:11:32
67 High Pass Filter Duration:13:40
68 Blur Filter Duration:05:59
69 Filter Gallery Duration:07:42
70 Adaptive Wide Angle Filter Duration:04:43
71 Combing Filters and Features Duration:04:45
72 Select and Mask Duration:20:04
73 Manually Select and Mask Duration:08:08
74 Creating a Clean Background Duration:21:19
75 Changing the Background Duration:13:34
76 Smart Object Overview Duration:08:37
77 Nested Smart Objects Duration:09:55
78 Scale and Warp Smart Objects Duration:09:08
79 Replace Contents Duration:06:55
80 Raw Smart Objects Duration:10:20
83 Panoramas Duration:13:15
84 HDR Duration:11:20
85 Focus Stacking Duration:04:02
86 Time-lapse Duration:11:18
87 Light Painting Composite Duration:08:05
88 Remove Moire Patterns Duration:06:11
89 Remove Similar Objects At Once Duration:09:52
91 Replace a Repeating Pattern Duration:06:50
95 Warping Duration:11:03
96 Liquify Duration:14:02
97 Puppet Warp Duration:12:52
98 Displacement Map Duration:10:36
99 Polar Coordinates Duration:07:19
100 Organize Your Layers Duration:11:02
101 Layer Styles: Bevel and Emboss Duration:02:59
102 Layer Style: Knockout Deep Duration:12:34
103 Blending Options: Blend if Duration:13:18
105 Layer Comps Duration:08:30
106 Black-Only Shadows Duration:06:07
109 Create an Antique Color Action Duration:13:52
110 Create a Contour Map Action Duration:10:20
111 Faux Sunset Action Duration:07:20
112 Photo Credit Action Duration:05:54
113 Create Sharable Actions Duration:07:31
117 Scratch Disk Is Full Duration:06:02
118 Preview Thumbnail Duration:02:10

Lesson Info

Adjusting Levels with a Histogram

Let's say this is a scanned photograph. You have an old photo of you. You put it on a flatbed scanner, hit the scan button, and here it is in photo shop. Well, if I come in here and choose levels, you should be aware of the bar chart that's in there. That bar chart is called a hist. A gram in all history Graham does is it tells you which brightness levels are found in your picture, in which ones are not. So. If I zoom up on this, if you compare that bar chart to the bar that's down below, that has those brightness levels in it. If you were to pick any shade from that bar and goes straight up until you hit the bar chart, if there's a bar on the bar chart than that shade is found somewhere within your picture. If on the other hand, you choose a shade, you go straight up and there's nothing in the bar chart at all. Then that is not found in your picture. It's not even a single speck of it is in your picture. So what that tells me with this particular hissed a gram is it's empty over here ...

on the left side, and that means the darker shade in the entire picture is right here. And if I go straight down from it, it's exactly that bright. Well, doesn't this slider here for serious to black? And if I pull it over, let's say, just by chance to right there, wouldn't that force the shade that has found directly below two black? That's what it does. And if that happened to be the darkest shade in our photo now the darker shade is black on the opposite side of the history. Graham, you notice a gap over here, which indicates the shades down here are nowhere to be found in the image. There's nothing near white in this photograph, but if I pull this slider in until it touches the history Graham, then that's gonna force whatever is directly below this toe white. And now the brightest area of her picture is white, and therefore, if I were to click OK and open levels again, I'd see an updated, hissed a gram and updated. One would span the entire width because they forced the darkest area to black in the bread hysteria. White zoom out. Look at her picture. There's a preview check box here. If I turn it off, you'll see before turn it back on and you'll see after then. After doing that, If the image is a little too dark or too bright, I could grab the middle slider and brighten it up or darken it up. Then, if I have that printer I described earlier where I'm printing on really cheap paper using ink, and I find that the darkest part of the image I lose the detail and the lightest I could get, I should say the darkest I can get where I can still see detail. Let's just say it was 90% brightness. Well, I could pull this in until it points at 90% and therefore the darkest part of my picture is not gonna be black. It's gonna be what this points at, and you can use the numbers that are in here to figure out exactly what setting you're using its fans from zero, which means no light whatsoever 2 to 55 which is a much light as you can possibly get. And that's because a normal image has 256 brightness levels, and if you count, zero is a number. That's 256. So you could figure out if this is 100% of the light to 55 then what would be 1% of this number? Well, 10% of it will lead 25.51% would be 2. So if you want to convert, you can take whatever percentage you want and multiply it by 2.55 to figure out what it would be in this numbering system.

Class Description

All individual classes that make up this bootcamp are also available here for individual purchase.


  • Develop an understanding of how Photoshop works
  • Create your ideal workspace
  • Configure the essential preference settings
  • Set up Adobe Bridge and Lightroom for optimal integration with Photoshop
  • Navigate multiple images seamlessly


Adobe® Photoshop® 2020 is a feature-rich creative force, perfect for turning raw ideas into audience-wowing images. With Ben Willmore as your guide, you can master it faster than you think and take on a new decade of projects.

Ben takes you step-by-step through Adobe Photoshop 2020 as only he can. With an easy pace and zero technobabble, he demystifies this powerful program and makes you feel confident enough to create anything. This class is part of a fully-updated bundle – complete with 2020 features and more efficient ways to maximize the tools everyone uses most.

Whether you’re a 20-year designer or you’re opening the app for the first time, this is the perfect way to learn and love using Photoshop. From retouching to masking to troubleshooting, Ben unpacks all the essentials and hidden gems, while giving you real-world examples to drive each lesson home. By the end of the class, you’ll feel eager to make serious magic with Photoshop 2020.


  • Beginner, intermediate, and advanced users of Adobe Photoshop.
  • Those who want to gain confidence in Adobe Photoshop and learn new features to help edit photos.
  • Students who’d like to take ordinary images and make them look extraordinary with some image editing or Photoshop fixes.


Adobe Photoshop 2020 (V21)


Noel Ice

I am an avid reader of photoshop books, and an avid watcher of photoshop tutorials. I have attended (internet) several hundred of presentations. In the course of this endeavor, I have found my own favorite photoshop websites and instructors. Creative Live is probably the bargain out there as well as among the top three internet course sites. I have to say with great enthusiasm that the best Photoshop instructor is Ben Willmore. There are many great ones, but truly, he is the best I have come across, and, as indicated above, I have watched literally 100s of tutorials on Photoshop. I have seen all of Ben's courses, I think, and among them, this one is the best by far, and that is saying a lot, because that makes this course the best course on Photoshop to be found anywhere. I am going back and watching it twice. Not only is it comprehensive, but Ben is so familiar with his subject that he is able to explain it like no other. This is crème de la crème of Photoshop classes. I have been wanting to write this review for some time because I have been so thoroughly impressed with everything about this class!

a Creativelive Student

Wow. I cannot communicate the value of this course!! The true value in this course is how the instructor identifies workflows you'll need before you'll ever realize it, repeats important information without it becoming annoying, and explains the "why" behind the techniques so well that even if you forget the exact method, you can figure it out via the principles learned. Excellent value, excellent material, excellent instructor!!!


The short lessons makes it easy to find things. Clear explanations, structured content, great examples, handbook plus practice images - this class is worth x10 the price! I have seen many of Ben's classes and I'm so happy you created this one, love it