Extreme Curves Adjustments

Antique Solarization

Have you ever experimented with curves in post-processing? You might be surprised at some of the results that curves can produce. Here are a few examples to whet your appetite.

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(Click any image to enlarge it.)

Here’s our starting image and the default curves –

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For a wild extreme, change the curves as shown here. This is an effect that resembles solarisation photography.

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Solarisation images are most often shown in B&W. Here’s the above image after B&W conversion. This version makes it easier to see what the curves changes did. Note the dark (left) end of the modified curve has been changed to convert black area to white – you can see this in the fireplace frame (black in the original and white after solarisation). Similarly, the modified curve doesn’t do anything as radical at the white (right) end of things – just brightens them a bit. In the mid tonal range the curve changes produce a darkening effect and tones in the mid-dark gray area are actually made black. Overall – whites have little change, blacks are made white, and mid tones are darkened.

And – a conventional B&W for comparison.

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Or retain a little selective color from the original color solarisation –

and on and on….

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It’s winter and cold – at least here in the northern hemisphere – so use the forced indoor time to experiment and expand your post-processing knowledge. You may not want to go overboard as shown here, but it helps to know what’s possible.