Camera Raw: Using the Curve Tab

Camera Raw is an Adobe Photoshop CS5 plug-in that allows you to access and use your RAW images. It supports different formats by the leading camera manufacturers. This plug-in features a Curves feature, which is similar to the Adobe Photoshop Curves option. Both beginner and advanced photographers can use this plug-in.

Using Curves

The Curves dialog box allows you to adjust the overall look of your photograph. You can make changes to the hue, saturation, color balance, contrast and brightness. While you can do this individually in other sections of Photoshop, this allows you to make all these changes simply by adjusting the tone curve.

The Curve tab in Camera Raw allows you to create a custom curve based on your preferences. There are two main types of curves: tone and linear. Both adjust the same elements, including contrast and mid-tones. The main difference is that the linear curve is straighter.

How to Use a Curve

To manipulate the look of your picture using a curve, you select one of the points of the curve and drag it into a different section. Depending on the direction, you either decrease or increase contrast, brightness and so forth.

Once you change the look of the curve, these effects are applied to the entire image. You cannot select the section of the picture that you want changed, and you cannot draw your own pencil. You can, however, manipulate the existing curve of the image by dragging the points around. And, you can only use the curve once to adjust the look of the image.

Benefits of the Curve

The Curve tab helps you improve the overall brightness of the RAW photography, and you can see how the changes look on your photograph as soon as you make them.