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Photoshop Curves
Eyedroppers

 

Eyedropper Tool

Curves dialog box

Before

After

Figure 1.  Mouse over, or click, to see the original dark and light gray chips

The Eyedroppers are used to set the black, mid and/or white points of the tonal scale to specific areas in the image.  This, in effect, stretches the tonal range of the image to the full 0 - 255 range.

In the example in Figure 1, the black eyedropper Black eyedropper was clicked on the dark gray chip on the left and the white eyedropper White eyedropper was clicked on the light gray chip on the right.  By using the black eyedropper and clicking on the dark gray, we are telling Adobe Photoshop this tone and anything darker is now black.  By using the white eyedropper and clicking on the light gray chip, we are telling Photoshop this tone and anything lighter is now white.  Mouse over Figure 1 to see the change.

The eyedroppers are a good way to set black, mid and/or white points when we want to use specific areas in the image.  In addition, they can be used to help neutralize a color cast in an image.  Correcting color casts using Curves is discussed on the Curves Color Correction page.