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Adobe Photoshop: The Complete Guide Bootcamp

Lesson 41 of 118

Curves for Color

Ben Willmore

Adobe Photoshop: The Complete Guide Bootcamp

Ben Willmore

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Lesson Info

41. Curves for Color


Class Trailer
1 Introduction To Adobe Photoshop 04:05 2 Bridge vs. Lightroom 06:39 3 Tour of Photoshop Interface 18:21 4 Overview of Bridge Workspace 07:42 5 Overview of Lightroom Workspace 11:21 6 Lightroom Preferences - Saving Documents 08:19 7 How To Use Camera Raw in Adobe Photoshop 2020 05:10 8 Overview of Basic Adjustment Sliders 13:09
9 Developing Raw Images 30:33 10 Editing with the Effects and HLS Tabs 09:12 11 How to Save Images 03:37 12 Using the Transform Tool 04:48 13 Making Selections in Adobe Photoshop 2020 06:03 14 Selection Tools 05:55 15 Combining Selection Tools 07:37 16 Using Automated Selection Tools 17:34 17 Quick Mask Mode 05:07 18 Select Menu Essentials 21:28 19 Using Layers in Adobe Photoshop 2020 13:00 20 Align Active Layers 07:29 21 Creating a New Layer 06:15 22 Creating a Clipping Mask 03:02 23 Using Effects on Layers 11:24 24 Using Adjustment Layers 16:44 25 Using the Shape Tool 04:39 26 Create a Layer Mask Using the Selection Tool 04:39 27 Masking Multiple Images Together 15:15 28 Using Layer Masks to Remove People 10:50 29 Using Layer Masks to Replace Sky 10:04 30 Adding Texture to Images 09:11 31 Layering to Create Realistic Depth 05:35 32 Adjustment Layers in Adobe Photoshop 2020 05:29 33 Optimizing Grayscale with Levels 10:59 34 Adjusting Levels with a Histogram 03:37 35 Understanding Curves 06:18 36 Editing an Image Using Curves 18:41 37 Editing with Shadows/Highlights Adjustment 07:19 38 Dodge and Burn Using Quick Mask Mode 07:14 39 Editing with Blending Modes 08:04 40 Color Theory 05:59 41 Curves for Color 16:52 42 Hue and Saturation Adjustments 08:59 43 Isolating Colors Using Hue/Saturation Adjustment 13:33 44 Match Colors Using Numbers 16:59 45 Adjusting Skin Tones 05:25 46 Retouching Essentials In Adobe Camera Raw 10:52 47 Retouching with the Spot Healing Brush 07:53 48 Retouching with the Clone Stamp 06:51 49 Retouching with the Healing Brush 04:34 50 Retouching Using Multiple Retouching Tools 13:07 51 Extending an Edge with Content Aware 03:42 52 Clone Between Documents 13:19 53 Crop Tool 10:07 54 Frame Tool 02:59 55 Eye Dropper and Color Sampler Tools 08:14 56 Paint Brush Tools 13:33 57 History Brush Tool 06:27 58 Eraser and Gradient Tools 03:06 59 Brush Flow and Opacity Settings 04:17 60 Blur and Shape Tools 11:06 61 Dissolve Mode 09:24 62 Multiply Mode 15:29 63 Screen Mode 14:08 64 Hard Light Mode 14:54 65 Hue, Saturation, and Color Modes 11:31 66 Smart Filters 11:32 67 High Pass Filter 13:40 68 Blur Filter 05:59 69 Filter Gallery 07:42 70 Adaptive Wide Angle Filter 04:43 71 Combing Filters and Features 04:45 72 Select and Mask 20:04 73 Manually Select and Mask 08:08 74 Creating a Clean Background 21:19 75 Changing the Background 13:34 76 Smart Object Overview 08:37 77 Nested Smart Objects 09:55 78 Scale and Warp Smart Objects 09:08 79 Replace Contents 06:55 80 Raw Smart Objects 10:20 81 Multiple Instances of a Smart Object 12:59 82 Creating a Mockup Using Smart Objects 05:42 83 Panoramas 13:15 84 HDR 11:20 85 Focus Stacking 04:02 86 Time-lapse 11:18 87 Light Painting Composite 08:05 88 Remove Moire Patterns 06:11 89 Remove Similar Objects At Once 09:52 90 Remove Objects Across an Entire Image 05:46 91 Replace a Repeating Pattern 06:50 92 Clone from Multiple Areas Using the Clone Source Panel 10:27 93 Remove an Object with a Complex Background 07:49 94 Frequency Separation to Remove Staining and Blemishes 12:27 95 Warping 11:03 96 Liquify 14:02 97 Puppet Warp 12:52 98 Displacement Map 10:36 99 Polar Coordinates 07:19 100 Organize Your Layers 11:02 101 Layer Styles: Bevel and Emboss 02:59 102 Layer Style: Knockout Deep 12:34 103 Blending Options: Blend if 13:18 104 Blending Options: Colorize Black and White Image 06:27 105 Layer Comps 08:30 106 Black-Only Shadows 06:07 107 Create a Content Aware Fill Action 08:46 108 Create a Desaturate Edges Action 07:42 109 Create an Antique Color Action 13:52 110 Create a Contour Map Action 10:20 111 Faux Sunset Action 07:20 112 Photo Credit Action 05:54 113 Create Sharable Actions 07:31 114 Common Troubleshooting Issues Part 1 10:23 115 Common Troubleshooting Issues Part 2 07:57 116 Image Compatibility with Lightroom 03:29 117 Scratch Disk Is Full 06:02 118 Preview Thumbnail 02:10

Lesson Info

Curves for Color

all right. Now, let's take a look at some examples of warm, cool adjustments. The one that I use the most is called curves, and that's because curves offers you the most control over what you're doing. In fact, most all of the other warm, cool adjustments are really using curves behind the scenes, and they're just not giving you all the power that curves could use. Instead, they're trying to simplify what it's presenting like when using color bounce. But we could do everything that color balance could do and just do it right here and curves. Any time you see me use curbs, you're gonna find that the subtle icon that looks like a hand it's always turned on. Its got a dark background that indicates it's turned on. And that's because I've gone to the upper right where there's a little menu and curves and there's a choice called Auto Select Targeted Adjustment Tool, and I have that turned on, and I'd suggest you turn it on. What that does is it makes it so. Every single time you access curv...

es, that little hand icon will be turned on. If the hand is not turned on, then If you move your mouse onto your image, you'll be using whatever tool you last used in your tools panel, like the paint brush tool or the hand tool or whatever it waas. But if that hand icons turned on when you move your mouse on top of your picture, it's going to think about curves. And that's what I needed to dio. So let's take a brief look at curves in curbs. If this menu is set to RGB, then I'm going to try to be just making brightness changes to my picture. And that's true, not just of curves but any adjustment that has the choice of RGB and then individually red, green and blue. That means things like Levels offers the same control in It'll work the same way. So that sets RGB and I click on my picture. I'm gonna try to darken or brighten the picture, but the colors shouldn't shift around. If, on the other hand, I changed that menu to read. Now I'm only counting controlling the amount of red light that the image is made out of. So if I click with him, my picture and I push up, I'm gonna brighten my picture because we're adding light, but I'm adding red light, so it should become more red. If I end up switching it to green and I move it up, I'm gonna make it brighter and use green light to do that with. So it becomes more green. If I switch it to blue and move it up, it's gonna make it brighter. And we're using blue light, so it becomes more blue. But those same three colors have opposites, so if I use less red, it's a Ziff. I used the opposite color of red to absorb it. The opposite of red if I look in my info panel, is science. So if I move this down, I'm using less and less red. And that's really making more and more of its opposite appear, which is science. I come hitter to green groups, get to the right color. I look in the info palette to see what the opposite of green is magenta. So when I pull this down to use less green, it becomes Maura of the opposite. I can't even see the dot in there to get rid of it and then blew the opposite of blue If you look in the info, Palin is yellow. And so if I click here and moved down, less blue really means more young. So any adjustment that offers a pop up menu that default so rgb, But when you click on it has a choice of red, green and blue. Those air warm, cool adjustments in moving something one way will make things warmer. Moving in the opposite way will make it cooler, so that's one type of adjustment. That type of adjustment is useful when you have a picture that has a color caste like this one. That image to me looks like it has too much blue and maybe too much green. And if so, I want to use a warm, cool adjustment, and I want to see if I can lessen the amount of each of those colors. So here I'll do a curves adjustment layer and let's say I think there's too much blue in there, so I set this to blue. I move my mouse on top of the image to an area where it looks like it has an excess of blue, and I dragged down down and once I dio I noticed that now the image feels like it has an excess of green. That means it really had an excess of both, so I could set this to green. Now click on an area that looks to be to green, and I could drag it down. And if I was able to do that, I might be able to get this image toe look better. Might need a little less blue as well. But right now I'm just trusting my screen, my eyes in just my guessing as to what color I think I'm seeing too much of. There's a way to get Photoshopped to figure it out for us. I'm gonna throw away this adjustment layer and let's see what we can do. Well, there's a general concept that could be helpful, and let's take a look at it by clicking on my foreground color and getting to the color picker. If I pick a color in here, you'll find the numbers on the right side changing those air formulas for how you could describe the color that I currently have so describe this particular green color I could get on the phone with somebody, and if I just said its vivid green. Do you think they'd be able to know what color I'm looking at? Probably not. They'll have some idea the category it would be in, but not the exact color. If, on the other hand, I told them to click on their foreground color, so they saw the same screen, and I told them to type in any one of these sets of numbers. Either the three numbers that make up HSB, the three numbers that make up RGB or the three numbers that make up L. A. B or the four for C M Y que. They'd be able to see the same color, although I shouldn't quite say that is not true for seeing like a This color is too vivid to be described with that, but it's a precise way of describing a color. The numbers don't usually mean anything to you, necessarily unless you've used them for decades, but they're very useful. So let's learn just a little bit about those numbers in. Since we're gonna be working with adjustments that offer the choices of red, green and blue, we're gonna look at those numbers RGB numbers. So what I'm gonna do here is, I'm gonna choose a shade of gray over here on the left side. These are all shades of gray, and when I choose these different shades of gray, keep an eye at the numbers that show up on the right side of my screen. Just the RGB numbers and see if you can learn anything about them. Here I'll choose a dark shade of gray. I'll choose ah, medium shade of gray. What? She was a bright shade of gray, and you should learn something about it because you'll notice that all of the shades of grey have a balanced amount of red, green and blue. Red, green, blue are exactly the same. If there ever not exactly the same, then it's not a shade of gray. So if I choose any color, it doesn't matter how melo the color is. When you look at the RGB numbers, you find that they vary. So when red, green and blue are in perfect balance, you have a shade of gray. Whenever they get out of balance, you have a color. If red is above the others, its a reddish color green is above the others. You have a greenish color and so on. If you just knew that, then there'd be a chance you could figure out how to color. Correct a picture. The key to color correcting a picture is to find areas that should be a shade of gray and then looking at them with those numbers to see if their balanced. And if they're not balanced. It's not a shade of gray, and therefore you have an excess of some color that shouldn't be there. And that's what a color caste iss. So here I have, ah, coffee mug, which is a white mug. So as long as there's not a coffee stain on the outside of it, where it would be brownish if I were to take a picture that included this mug and I move my mouse on top of it, I could look in the info panel and it would tell me exactly how much red, green and blue is in the mug. And if it wasn't balanced, then there would be too much of some color in the image. Whatever color is above the average that's there. Same with these little dangles that connect my computer toe, various cables there white. That's a shade of gray shouldn't have any color in them. Same with the metal that's around this screen that's near me. It's made out of aluminum, and it's gray. I don't think it's Ah, reddish or bluish or any other color, and therefore those numbers should be equal. Well, what happens is as you take any color, then you take it to its extreme of brightness. If you look in a color picker, let's say you look at red. You're thinking about a red apple. For instance, if you look at the brightest highlight on a red apple, it's not read, even if it's a really vividly red apple in every inch of the apple. Because what happens is in order to be extremely bright, you just can't have any color. So the next time you look at a vividly colored object, especially if it's a shiny one, look at where the highlight ISS, where the light is hitting it the brightest, and you'll find that the color in general usually goes away and you won't be able to just think of this. You gotta look at photos the next time you're watching TV and somebody sets an apple on the table. Watch the highlight. There won't be any colorant, most the time. The same is true for the dark portion of an object. If it's a red apple and you take a picture of it, look at the absolute darkest part of the red apple and there won't be any color showing up. And that's simply because you can't have both an extremely dark area and color at the same time. So what that means is there are two special areas in a photograph that would usually contain no color. And that would be the extremes of brightness, the brightest in the darkest areas. And if we go into either levels or curves, you're gonna find little eye droppers over on the side. You seem right here. One of them would be full of black, one of whom would full of white and one is full of grey. They could be used for color correction. What they're designed to be used for is, you grab the white one, you go into your image and you finally absolute brightest area. That is not what's known as a speculum highlight. A speculum highlight is an area that has absolutely no detail. It's usually the light source itself or a reflection of that life source on something shiny. And so you avoid those you're looking for what they call it diffused highlight, which is just where it's Ah, it's not blown out to solid white. Anyway, I believe that that spot would be approximately here in this image. So I'm gonna click there with white eyedropper. Then I'm gonna grab the black eye dropper, and I'm gonna think about where I think the darkest portion of this image is the absolute darkest little speck in the image. And I'm gonna guesstimate it to be right here, and I'll click there. Then I'm gonna grab the middle eyedropper, and I'm gonna look for something in the scene that I think should be grey. That means an object I might recognize would be great. These columns might have been gray, and if so, I'm gonna click on it. Did you see what it just did when I did those three eye droppers? Well, what those three eye droppers air doing or using the concept of a balanced amount of red, green and blue makes gray. And what I'm doing is looking through the scene to find areas that I think should be great and usually by default. You can use the brightest area of your picture for one in the darkest area for another, because in order to be an extreme of brightness, you just can't have color there. And then it's mainly the middle one where I'm experimenting. Where if I had a coffee mug in my table, I'd be clicking on it because it's a white mug. Or if I have these little dangles, or if I had my laptop, that's a silver color. It's not bluish or yellowish or anything. Ah, that's what I would use. Now there's a way to find the brightest in darkest parts of our images, so we don't have to guess in this case, I was guessing. So I'm gonna throw away this adjustment layer, and I'll show you how you could do it without guessing. I'll go back into curves and in curves, their little sliders at the bottom. Those sliders do the same thing is the top outer sliders in levels. If you happen to know how levels works and with those sliders, if you hold on the option key, which I have held down right now and you pull this slaughter towards the middle until you see the first part of your image that actually turns white. Not blue, not yellow, not some other color but white. It's telling you where the brightest part of your picture is. So right now I can see a white ish blob near the lower right. And if I like oh, my mouth, I'm just going to stare at it so I can recognize where it is. Okay? It's exactly where I was clicking. Then I'll bring that slider all the way back to its original position, and I'm gonna do the same thing for the opposite slider. Hold down the option key, which is all time windows. Click on it in the drag it towards the metal. In this time, I'm dragging it until I see the first spot that turns solid black into me. It looks like it's on the left side of my wife's hair. I see an area turning black. I'll let go, just like in spare at it and notice where it is. It was right over in here. Then I move this slider back to where it started, So these are at their extremes. Now that tells me where I could click with white eyedropper, where I can click with the black eye dropper and where the middle one it's not going to tell me. I have to look around the scene and I'm looking for things I recognise. That might be a shade of gray. And so I'm don't remember who is my wife's. Ah, outfit here, Grey, Or is it purplish or some other color? If I think there's a possibility it would be gray, I can click on it with the middle eyedropper if the color improves, it was near gray, but then I can experiment and click on another area like What's up here? If I think those might have been gray and just move around until I've tried all the various areas that I think are possibilities of being gray and I end up going back to whatever one gave me the best color. So let's just say it was there. So I'll turn this off and back on again. You see how we can color correct a picture? Well, what if we can give Photoshopped to do that for us? Well, I'm gonna throw away this adjustment layer. Start with a fresh one. And if I go to the side menu and curves, there's a choice in here called auto Options, and we can set up how the button called Auto, which is found in Kurds works. And if I choose this, we have many different choices. Weaken use One is called Find Dark and light colors. That means use the same thing We just used a moment ago to find the brightest in darkest areas. Then it's gonna click on it with the black and white eye droppers. For us. There is a check box here called Snap Neutral mid tones. What that's going to do is it's gonna look through the scene for the area that's closest toe, having a balanced amount of red, green and blue, and it's gonna assume that it should be exactly balanced, which means it's gonna try to find something close to gray and click on it. It's not gonna be anywhere near as good as we could be. And then if I turn on this check boxes save his defaults that it's gonna remember all these settings, I click OK, and now, in the future, if I ever want to color, correct a picture. First off, I would usually do it in adobe camera with white balance adjustment. We talked about that in a lesson that was specific to Adobe Camera, But here we're looking at our options and photo shop. So imagine this is a scanned picture instead of one from a digital camera. But now that I've set that up, all I need to do is have the auto button here, and it will attempt to color correct my picture. And afterwards I can always grab the middle eyedropper in experiment. Just try other places in case it didn't do a great job of picking the best area. And I just click on any object that looks like it should be. A shade of grade shouldn't have any color in it. And I keep going until I find whichever area gives me the most pleasing color

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


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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.

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  • 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)


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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!!!


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