Creative Curves Effects in Photoshop CS5 | Practical Photoshop
There’s much more to Curves than tweaking tones and controlling contrast. They are one of the most important and powerful tools in the creative image-maker’s armoury and can be used to add a huge range of artistic effects. Click here to Watch & Learn
Here we’ll show you three great techniques to get you started; the Solarising technique popularised by the surrealist photographer Man Ray, a cool split tone effect and, in the tradition of toy camera photography, we’ll also show you how to add a cross processed look with a light leak. They’re all fun, relatively easy and quick to do.
To replicate this traditional darkroom technique, convert your image to black and white before making the shape of an upside down ‘V’ to the Curve.
To create a straight line, use the Draw to Modify Curve tool – the pencil icon in the Curves panel – while holding down the Shift key.
Cross-process and light leak
To get the cross-processed look we pulled the Blue Curve down and the Green and Red Curves up, we also added an ‘S’ curve to boost the contrast. For the light leak, we dramatically moved the Red Curve up and the Blue Curve down to get an intense reddish/yellow effect. We used a Layer Mask to selectively apply this effect to small parts of the image for authenticity.
Use the eye droppers in the Curves panel to specify a colour for the black and white points. Double click on the eye dropper icon and select a colour. In this case we chose a dark blue for the black point and a creamy yellow for the white point. This effectively re-maps the colours to the tones for a ‘split-tone’ look.
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