No sitting on the fence

I've made some headway with my new e-book and I hope to have it published in a month or two from now.

This is really part 2 of of my tonal adjustment series.

Part one ' Tonal Relationships' was 'software agnostic'; I deliberately left out any 'how to' in the text and focussed more on the 'why' because image editing is an interpretive process where understanding tones and relationships is more important than figuring out which slider to adjust. Indeed the technical is something anyone can master, but the artistic interpretive side is a life-long artistic endeavour tied in with improving one's own visual awareness. Being able to 'see' what is in the image is paramount in achieving the most from your edits.

But there does need to be some kind of technical instruction if one wants to push things as far as they can. In my forthcoming new e-Book 'Photoshop Curves', I now take a look at the technical: in particular, I take you through the most powerful tonal editing tool available: Photoshop Curves.

 Forthcoming e-book about Photoshop's Curves tool. The Curves tool is, in my view, the most powerful tool for tonal adjustment available.

Forthcoming e-book about Photoshop's Curves tool. The Curves tool is, in my view, the most powerful tool for tonal adjustment available.

I know this will be highly contentious to many: but it is my view that Lightroom does not offer the fine degree of tonal adjustment / control required (at the time of writing) that Photoshop's Curve tool offers.

Lightroom is a good editing tool. It is intuitive and offers most of what we need. At present though, the tonal adjustment side of it isn't as powerful as it could be. I know many love Lightroom and feel it is all they need for photo editing, but to me, it's a bit like saying 'I'm happy with what I know, even though there may something out there that can offer a whole lot more'. If you're serious about improving your photographic editing, and thus upping your photographic style, you need to get to grips with Photoshop and in particular its curves tool. That is where all your future growth as an editor lies. Believe me.

But I realise that Photoshop isn't an easy program to learn. It isn't intuitive and this may be a reason why you will choose not to learn Photoshop. However, this point shouldn't stop you if you are faced with the knowledge of what it can provide you with in terms of tonal adjustment. There is nothing better out there.

Over the past few years that I've been running my Digital Darkroom workshop, many participants who start the course as Lightroom users often end the course wishing to defect from Lightroom to Photoshop once they have seen what I can do with the curves tool. Even with seasoned Photoshop users I still find room for improvement in their knowledge of curves and how to utilise it to really tune individual tones.

So with this in mind, I have decided to write specifically about curves. It really is the most powerful tool available to image editors.

I appreciate and anticipate that my point of view will be highly contentious to many, but since my blog is all about my point of view, that's what I'm giving you, after all, you didn't come here to hear me sit on the fence, now did you?   ;-)