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Curves Test

Self administered test on Curves

Sample images

Figure 1.

Curves dialog boxes

Figure 2.

Question 1.  In Figure 1 above are five variations of the same image labeled A, B, C, D and E.  Each is different because of a curves adjustment.  In Figure 2 above are five curves labeled 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.  Match the curve in Figure 2 to the resulting image in Figure 1.  The original image and its original curve are also shown.

Hint.  Image A compared to the original has more whites and more blacks (increased contrast).  Look for a curve that converts some of the input tones to white and black.  Image B is darker overall.  Look for a curve that takes the input tones and shifts them into darker tones.  Image C has distinct bands of tone, often called posterization.  It no longer has the smooth tonal gradations of the original.  Look for a curve that divides the input tones into bands of output tones.  Image D is lighter overall.  Look for a curve that takes the input tones and shifts them into lighter tones.  Image E has whites where there were blacks and has blacks where there were whites.  Look for a curve that reverses the tones.

  1. Answer
    1. Image A and curve 4.  Image B and curve 3.  Image C and curve 1.  Image D and curve 5.  Image E and curve 2.

Question 2.  In Figure 1 above, which image has more contrast?  Image A or image D?

  1. Answer
    1. A is the correct answer.  Contrast is how far apart on the tonal scale are the lightest and darkest areas of an image.  The further apart, the more contrast.  The tones in image D are closer together on the tonal scale than the tones in image A.

Question 3.  In Figure 1 above, which image has more contrast?  The original or image E?

  1. Answer
    1. In terms of tones, the original and image E have opposite tones.  In terms of contrast, both images have identical contrast.

Question 4.  In Figure 3 below are two curves labeled A and B.  If we wanted to open up (lighten) the shadow areas of an image, which curve would be the most appropriate one to use?

  1. Answer
    1. B is the correct answer.  Curve A will take some of the darker tones and remap them to solid black.  This will result in shadow areas becoming darker.  Curve B takes black and some of the darker tones and remaps them to tones not as dark as originally.
Anchor points

Figure 3.

Question 5.  In Figure 4 below are four Curves dialog boxes.  Listed below are four descriptions.  Match the description to the Curves dialog box that best represents the description.

  1. Darken image, increase contrast
  2. Darken image, decrease contrast
  3. Lighten image, increase contrast
  4. Lighten image, decrease contrast
  1. Answer
    1. Curve A and description 3.  Curve B and description 4.  Curve C and description 1.  Curve D and description 2.

Figure 4.

Move white anchor

Move black anchor

Move black anchor

Move white anchor