A lecturer once told me when I was studying accountancy that I didn’t need to understand what he was saying, just trust him and believe it and that really did not work for me. I was reminded of that when working through this section of the materials; very technical, and more specialised than we need to consider! OK but why?
Another reason I struggled with this section was that for some reason my version of Elements does not have ‘Adjustment and Curves’ options under Image in the editor and I felt I wasted quite a lot of time looking for it. I eventually got round it by delving into my new version of Lightroom 4, still without a handbook, but it did the trick and I’ve even managed to find away to save a jpg version of the edited file. Previously the files I edited and exported into Elements were in tiff format and that does not seem to be compatible with WordPress. If only all the technical bits would work I would get through this course a lot quicker!
The first image, shot in Santorini, Greece, a few years ago, shows a typical Greek church against a clear blue sky. I was quite happy with the exposure in this image and the histogram showed the values spread fairly evenly across the whole range.
For this image I used the curves feature in Lightroom 4 to creat a linear curve which dipped away from the centre line, resulting in a much darker image. In this case, the values in the histogram were squashed towards the left hand side of the frame.
Finally I edited the image again, creating a gamma correction curve in order to produce an image which was nearer to the original. Although I haven’t quite got the sky right, I was able to see the impact of moving each of the points I had created on the curve and the resulting histogram was again, much more equally spread across the graph.
I don’t claim to fully understand how or why this works in the way it does but I can see the difference each of these adjustments makes and also the benefit of using curves to adjust exposure in quite a flexible and localised way.