5 Recipes for Sweet Effects with Curves: Photoshop & Lightroom (VIDEO)

Curves is a very powerful and sometimes misunderstood ingredient for processing photos, and it’s not limited to Photoshop and Lightroom. In fact, just about any image-editing application you use likely includes a Curves tool.

Today’s tutorial isn’t a comprehensive explanation of how this important tool works, but rather a quick look at five easy ways to harness its power to create a handful of eye-catching effects. 

Instructor Scott Davenport is known for a calm, reassuring approach, and he offers weekly tips and tricks on composition, post-processing, and everything in between. The tasty recipes he provides today will not only deliver great images, but they’ll help you become more familiar using the Curves tool in the future.

As Davenport explains, “Curves are very, very powerful for everything from controlling light and shadow and color grading, to fine-tuning and tweaking color balance and more.” While today’s episode is limited to achieving five specific looks, there are several links beneath the video for other interesting ways to employ this helpful tool.

Davenport is using Lightroom to demonstrate today’s tips, but the fundamentals of the Curves tool are exactly the same with whatever software package you use. He begins with very brief explanation on how the tool works to adjust exposure and color.

Next Davenport presents his first recipe, which involves a straightforward method for giving images a matte look. You’ll then see how to create photos with a unique twilight effect, and achieve what he calls “accented atmosphere.”

You’ll also learn how easy it is to use the Curves tool for other creative effects. So take a close look and start cooking up some great images today.

You can find more tips and tricks on Davenport’s YouTube channel. And don’t forget to review the links beneath this video for more lessons on using Curves when editing images in Photoshop, Lightroom, and other popular programs.

We also suggest you check out the tutorial we posted recently from another image-editing expert, explaining an easy and effective way to get great color when processing images in Photoshop.