Get Control Over Your Photos’ Colors With the Levels Adjustment Tool

Our digital age makes everything a whole lot easier than it used to be. Every typo can be corrected, and every photo can be retouched, darkened, brightened, or otherwise fine-tuned to perfection. Well… usually. Levels, meanwhile, are an important, yet often forgotten tool that can rescue more photos than you’d think. So you should learn to work with them well.

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Comments (5)

  1. An excellent article for those who have wondered what these controls do. Sometimes I like to work “back to front” and go straight for the black eyedropper, especially with close up and near field images of flowers and particularly where the backdrop is a bush embracing the full frame. The backdrop must cover the whole image, as otherwise the technique does not work that well. Basically, it means working with a completely green background with varying levels of shadow to play with.

    By experimenting with the eyedropper placement in the various shadow areas it is often possible to significantly enhance the contrast between the subject and its background. This is not the same effect as using the contrast enhancer function as this will impact on the bloom itself, and other highlights, not an effect that I want.

    Depending upon the shadow area selected, the effect can be quite dramatic, and with red/orange/yellow blooms working particularly well with this treatment.

  2. Yes very excellent examples of using those sliders. Believe me I like Zoner but have passed on the sliders just due to speedy mentality upon trying them. Now I know their value and usage. Manual & site just didn’t do it for me. But seeing examples in action works. That one using both grey & white on guitar is real grabber as is the wood shop shaver going darker. More such fine articles please.

    1. Thanks, Frank, we’ll try to do more photo-editing articles. It makes us happy that you like it! :)

  3. I enjoyed the article, thank you for clarifying these tools, I noted in the images used as examples the histograms appeared to be identical, I was looking for the subtle variations that reflected the changes described?

    1. Thank you, Mike, for your comment. The histograms shown are only simplified histograms in the tool itself and they show the original diagram. If you open the Levels tool, you can see the changing histogram of the picture above the tool settings:

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