Digital Outback Photo
- Photography using Digital SLRs


Photoshop Corner #017

"The Power of the S-Curves"

by uwe Steinmueller



Sometimes if you convert linear RAW files using camera profiles (e.g. for the Fuji S2) the photo can look very flat and shows low saturation. The S-Curve is a solution for such flat photos. With the contrast enhancement also the saturation gets much better (we rarely use the saturation tools anymore).

We got the above S-Curve from the InCamera development for exactly that purpose. But often this S-Curve is too strong. As modifying this S-Curve all the time is time consuming we created a set of S-Curves and stored them with Photoshop. Now we can recall and switch among them pretty fast.

There are also negative S-Curves which lower the contrast.

The following table demonstrates the effect (the linear curve was the original). Have a look in Photoshop how much impact even a very flat S-Curve can have.

We show S-Curves in the order:

m3, m2, m1 (m stands for minus contrast and the number for strength)

00 no change

p1, p2, p3, p4 (p stands for plus contrast and the number for strength)

We hope this is some food for thought.
You can download this set of S-Curves here.

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