Demystifying Curves & Contrast

Take control of the Curve Tool

How much importance do you give contrast when working on your photographs? Is it really important, kind of important, or is it something you don’t even give much thought to?

The truth is, contrast is the essence of a photograph. It’s through contrast that we translate what we see before the camera into an expression of what we want to say. Contrast is what defines shapes, textures, even the loudness or softness of the subject.

In my video series, I’m going give you a vital understanding of contrast and how it’s created, using the same techniques and approaches I’ve used at my studio to help produce Museum and Gallery shows for some of the world’s most noted photographers.

The key to controlling contrast is learning to use Photoshop's Curve Tool.

Curves scare many photographers because of their apparent complexity. But my unique and powerful approaches will help you not only understand curves and contrast, but enable you to take control of them to better achieve your vision.

What makes curves so complex is that you can change contrast, brightness, and exposure all on the same curve, and at the same time. But what makes them complex makes them very powerful. The slider tools in Photoshop are still using curves, it’s just that they’ve hidden the curve from view and limited your control over it.

That dumbing down limits your control of contrast, and does not give you the control you need.

Contrast is so important to a photograph that you are limiting yourself if you don’t learn to use curves. It’s like trying to ride in the Tour de France with training wheels. They may have helped in the beginning, but there is no way you are going to be the top rider if you keep using them.

If you are ready to get started making your photographs better, sign up at the link below, or at my website Rich Seiling dot com. Once you sign up, you’ll have access to all of the articles and videos in this seminar, along with bonus content that shows how I’ve applied it to my own photographs. I can’t wait to share this knowledge with you and help you take your photography to the next level.

Your Instructor


Rich Seiling’s passion for capturing light and beauty with photography has led him on a series of adventures that have shaped his vision and view of the craft. From a stint at The Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite as an assistant curator, to his pioneering work in digital printmaking, founding of a leading fine art printing studio, and 22 years living in and photographing the Yosemite region of the Sierra Nevada, Rich has deeply explored the vision and craft of photography while continuing to express his own vision.

Combining his darkroom knowledge with digital tools led to a process for making color prints of museum quality that pushed the process to new heights. His reputation for making vibrant yet realistic digital prints allowed him to help photographers like Galen Rowell, Jack Dykinga, Robert Glenn Ketchum, and many others, make the transition to digital fine art printing. With his team at West Coast Imaging, he has helped produce numerous museum shows, supplied prints for leading galleries, and done prepress for art books from publishers like Taschen and Houghton Mifflin.

His simple yet powerful Photoshop workflow, tested on tens of thousands of prints at WCI, is in use by many top professionals, and has been taught to countless students across the country through workshops and lectures.

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