Mastering Curves: Adjusting Tonality, with Ben Willmore

Just as layers are the most powerful feature in Photoshop, curves are the most powerful adjustment.

Just as layers are the most powerful feature in Photoshop, curves are the most powerful adjustment. So powerful, in fact, that many adjustments you normally use (such as brightness and contrast, levels, and color balance) are actually simplified versions of curves. With that in mind, if you can master curves, you can master adjustments – and Ben Willmore will show you how.

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Course Lessons:

Lesson 1: Introduction (Duration 10:46)

Lesson 2: Adjusting Images (Duration 09:28)

Lesson 3: Adjusting Contrast (Duration 17:22)

Lesson 4: Making Your Image Look Weird (Duration 07:31)

Lesson 5: Preventing Color Shifts (Duration 03:47)

Lesson 6: Curves in Camera Raw (Duration 12:17)

Lesson 7: Using Selections and Adjustments (Duration 13:57)

Lesson 8: Complex Examples (Duration 20:08)

Lesson 9: More Complex Examples (Duration 11:20)

Lesson 10: Random Tips (Duration 17:06)

Lesson 11: Conclusion (Duration 02:18)

Meet Your Instructor: Ben Willmore

Photoshop Hall of Famer, Ben Willmore, has taught over 100,000 Photoshop users on five continents. His bestselling books, DVDs, and hit seminars have established Ben as one of America's favorite…

70 Comments

  1. Even though I don't use Photoshop yet, I thought this course was one of the best I've seen so far. Tone curves are no longer a big mystery. Well done.

  2. I really enjoyed Ben's course on curves!!!! I enjoy using curves and Ben made it so clear on how effective it is to use. His teaching technique is really good and I learned a number of points I didn't realize and better ways to use curves. Thanks to Ben and Kelby Training!!! I look forward to more courses from Ben!!

  3. Excellent course and instructor. Learned a lot about curves that allows me to apply the adjustments with some degree of confidence. Looking forward to moving onto Ben's next lesson regarding color. BTW, Ben mentioned that you could follow along with his sample pictures. They do not seem to be posted ....

  4. After many different courses and years of playing with Curves, I'm very pleased to finally have found a training session that really explains it in a way that is meaningful and easy to understand. Thank you.

  5. I have been using Photoshop and curves for years. This course has brought me to a new level in using Photoshop and accelerated my post production with much better results. Everyone who uses Photoshop should check this out.

  6. Wow, Ben Wilmore has done a really fantastic job of presenting the curves adjustment to the user in a very simple and easy to understand way. I now feel 100x more comfortable with this tool based on this course. Thank you Ben and if anybody out there is considering taking this course, I think it's a must for any serious Photoshop/Lightroom user.

  7. Another wonderful course from Kelby training. Ben's clarity, thoroughness and consistency in his explanations is perfectly helpful and illuminating. Thank you so much.

  8. What a great course. This is the best course I have seen on the subject of curves. Ben gives a very in depth and concise view of the curves adjustments. He also sticks closely to the subject at hand. This is a great learning tool..

  9. Ben is far and away the best instructor I have viewed a course from on Kelby Training. He keeps it simple and is very clear in expalining a concept. His voice level is consistent and he has a voice tone that makes him easy to understand. Something that is very important to me because I am hearing impaired. Another thing I like about Ben is he talks to you, not down to you, hey he simply has every quality any instructor at any level should have.

  10. Ben's class was one of the best I have take here. He explains things in a way that makes it easy to understand and even though I just finished it a few days ago, I have used his quick techniques several times. His other course on color correction fits right in with the techniques here also. More classes from Ben please!

  11. This course was superb. Ben Willmore is articulate and explains things exceedingly well without throwing in a lot of superfluous information. Learned a huge amount, specifically how little potential of curves I was using...despite using it all the time. Please have more tutorial by him. How about an in-depth one on masking? Thanks for the excellent course.

  12. I finally understand curves! Awesome course and taught at just the right pace. I look forward to the next session above curves and color. Thanks Ben! ---- No, I'd keep it between us

  13. This course, along with its sister course on color correction, provides some of the most meaningful content available on the subject of Photoshop image processing. If you're looking to render more beautiful, powerful images, listen to everything Bill Willmore has to say.

  14. Thank you for this course. Ben did an amazing job presenting it. I now understand curves; I mean I really understand them now. I have played around with curves for about a year, but never quite got the results I wanted in my images and certainly did not understand why. Now, after I watched and tried the lessons and tips he presented, it works and it finally makes sense to me. I watched all the lessons and gained great information from each one. Each video built upon the previous one which resulted in understanding the complex examples towards the end. They were my favorite along with the additional tips video. I think the analogy of curves being like a dimmer switch was brilliant. Because of that and the way the videos were presented it all makes sense to me now. Thank you so much. I can't wait to get into the color adjustment lessons with curves.

  15. Simply brilliant!! Very explanatory and lots of different style pictures were used to illustrate all kind of points. It took the guesswork and fear away from using curves. I think I will start using curves all the time from now on. Thanks Ben, you kept my interest throughout the course. Dimitri

  16. This course was excellent. Not only did I learn a lot, but he was a fantastic teacher. He did an incredible job making the concepts simple and easy to understand

  17. Excellent course and instruction given by Ben Gilmore. Obviously knows his subject and is very experienced. I was very excited when I noticed that images were available to use along with the course but then was absolutely deflacted when I downloaded the zip file and found there were no images inside the zip file.

  18. Ben: This and the other Mastering Curve lectures are the most helpful and practical ones among the all the lectures in KelbyTraining.com. Certainly, I have to watch many times and practice on my own photos for me to get good control of these skills. Thanks! Yuan Lin

  19. Ben explained curves in a very easy to understand format and with greater success than any other lesson on curves I've taken. Thanks Ben.

  20. Fantastic! I'd always looked upon Curves as a great way to screw up an image, and had used the relatively simpler Levels control instead. You have de-mystified Curves and given me a whole new perspective on Photoshop. Many thanks! ---- No, I'd keep it between us

  21. What a valuable course! I've really enjoyed the concise and time-saving teaching. I can recommend this class to every PS user to understand what PS can do to improve any picture.

  22. I'm a novice at PS , and so am availing myself of the training videos as much as possible. While there are numerous instructors (people who know this material well) there aren't as many who can explain concepts easily to people who don't. I think Mr Wilmore is definitely one who can. The guy's a born teacher. Often , people who are experts at something assume a level of knowledge on the part of the student that he may not have. Mr. Wilmore explains and points out things that many would assume one already knows. I have watched his two courses several times and find him easy to follow , informative, and straight to the point. I am hoping to see more courses by Mr Wilmore in the future.

  23. I've always been intimidated by the notion of curves, but after watching this course, multiple times, I can see the precision of curves. Ben's explanations and the way he patiently repeats different concepts, with different pictures, really helped me. Thanks. I'm looking forward to color curves course after I practice tonal curves for a while (and re-watch this course again).

  24. I thought Ben did an excellent job; he thoroughly explained everything he was doing and repeated the more complex steps multiple times so they are more clear. Excellent Job!! I learned a tremendous amount and will use his techniques many times going forward.

  25. This course is a must for all those using Photoshop. It is full of excellent tips and advice, easy-to-follow examples, and a great pace and segment breakdown that allows you to absorb at your own rate. Highly recommended!

  26. I watched a few different videos that were instructed by Ben Wilmore. I really liked the way Ben explained the different video tutorials. He was very easy to understand and his directions were very simple to understand. The tone of his voice along with his verbal delivery made it enjoybale listening to him explain things. Great instructor (at least for these video tutorials).

  27. Since I will be at PSW in a couple weeks, you just got one more attendee for your classes there. Anyone who can make curves that simple and straight forward is worth listening to. Thanks!

  28. Brilliant. I was lucky enough to jag a 24hr freebie and got to view various interesting videos. All very enjoyable and informative however Ben's curve lessons .... well presented. You done good dude! :)

  29. Ben, The best course in Kelby training. You seems to have a through knowledge of "curves". But having the knowledge and trying to pass that knowledge to others, is another ball game. You have mastery in both and I throughly enjoyed reviewing over and over again. We need more video like these. Thanks a lot.

  30. I used to think that I knew how to use curves. After watching this course, I realized how wrong I was! This was an EXCELLENT course for learning how to use/apply curves. Ben does an incredible job explaining the material so the novices like myself understand the concepts of curves. I really liked the fact that Ben stuck to the course subject, and didn't go off on tangents trying to explain, for example, the details of making selctions, etc. After watching this course, I'm excited to go off and try to apply the concepts to my own pictures. Well done, Ben!!

  31. For months I have been struggling with curves, so i got stuck to a trial and error method. This video is so instrumental ann well explained that in no time I got the swing of it. If I only would have know this earlier, it would have made my live much easier. To conclude; I can only say thank you for this explanation. It was clear and down to the point.

  32. Excellent explanation of the difficult to understand Curves adjustments for non-professionals, like me. Ben clearly knows his subject and shows how to use the functionality of Curves in an easily understandable way.

  33. Just like Ben's course on color correction (with curves), this course gives someone a great understanding of what's happening when you edit an image. This course and Ben's course on color correction are definitely my 2 favorite courses. I really want to know what is going on when I edit and what I can really do to make changes to my images in Photoshop. These courses gave me that understanding. Just to be clear though, these courses are not for very casual image editing, but anyone wanting to go beyond basic editing would benefit from this and the color correction class. Thanks very much Ben. The classes were great and very easy to follow!

  34. Ben's course is among the very best on Kelby Training. Not only is he very knowledgeable, he explains the concepts in a way that makes them easy to understand. Thanks Ben

  35. Probably one of the best tutorials on Kelby Training. Ben takes a very complex subject, i.e., curves, and deconstructs it in a methodical way that anyone can follow.

  36. Excellent course. Clear, logical, well presented. I've been working with curves for years and didn't realize how little I knew about this valuable tool. Well done.

  37. Absolutely amazing! The highly graphic way things are being explained is hard to forget. This course adds so much understanding to what I am doing with images in Photoshop. Thank you! And can't wait to learn more...

  38. This was a really great course. The instructor presents the information in a logical, helpful and entertaining way. I'm making the transition from editing in Lightroom to editing in Photoshop and this course really increases my knowledge and confidence. Highly recommended.

  39. One of the most valuable courses I’ve taken here. I always wonder how curves worked. I'm glad I took this class. Keep it up Ben.

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