Today I want to talk to you about how awesome the CURVES tool can be.
Not only in Snapseed but any app which has this tool.
I use it in almost every photo.
It is very versatile and makes a lot of difference.
You can use the curves tool to lighten a photo.
You can use it to darken a photo.
You can also use it to add contrast.
Or to take contrast away and add a matte effect.
And you can even use it to add color tones to your images.
Snapseed also has one advantage with regards to other mobile apps which I will come back to later.
Now I will show you how to do that using this image here.
I will add a little pop to it and make it a lot more interesting.
So the first thing we need to do is add the curves effect by tapping the curves tool.
Now to understand how this graph works.
On the right-hand side and the top part of the graph, it represents the highlights.
The left represents the shadows in this image and everything in between are the mid-tones.
So to lighten a photo all you would do is grab the middle part of your graph, so this line here, you're just gonna tap here which creates an anchor point and drag up to the left.
This brightens the image.
And drag it right to darken the image.
Now we are gonna add some contrast.
With the point added in the middle, I will drag the upper part to the left which brightens the highlights.
As this is a curve, dragging any part of the curve also affects the curve on the other part.
So here if you want to remain the shadows unaffected, straighten the curve.
But here as we need to darken the shadows, I will move it down towards right.
With this we have applied contrast with a S curve.
Now moving to the color options in the curves.
There are three to choose here the reds, greens and the blues.
These curves act a bit different compared to the RGB curve.
Here with the red curve selected, if we move it to the left it adds reds to the whole image.
Move it to the right, it removes the reds but also boosts the color Aqua which is opposite to the red.
Similarly dragging the green curve towards left adds greens, dragging it right adds the opposite color magenta.
Dragging blue towards left adds blues, dragging it opposite adds yellows.
I will come back to these color tones later.
Now for the Luminance curve.
It acts a little different from the RGB curve.
To know the difference, first I will apply some hard contrast using the RGB curve.
Now you can notice some added saturation in addition to the contrast.
Now with the Luminance curve, if I apply the same S contrast, only the luminance values gets affected, saturation remains the same.
As I said at the start, Snapseed has one advantage over other mobile apps and that is masking.
So here we are gonna apply this luminance contrast only on some parts on the foreground.
So first I will apply this effect.
Then to go to masking.
Tap on the top right for the stacks icon, then view edits, select the latest effect applied and then brush.
With the effect hidden, also there is a eye icon which you can toggle on where the effect will be applied.
So with the brush value at 100, I will brush over the area where this luminance contrast need to be applied.
Toggle the eye icon off to see the effect.
So we have selectively applied the effect only on a part of this image.
Now we are gonna add some color tones.
To add blue tones to the shadows, that is the darker parts, first add a point around here and then drag the bottom point up.
Now you start seeing the blue tones in the shadows.
If we want to add yellows to the highlights, drag the upper part of the blue curve towards right which adds yellows to the brighter areas.
In addition to the yellows, we are gonna add some reds to the highlights.
So I will drag the upper part of the red curve towards left.
Now with both the red and yellow tones to the highlights, it has added a bit of orange tone.
Now for some matte look or a faded effect.
As the bottom point affects the blacks, when I drag it upwards, the blacks starts moving towards gray which gives the image a faded look.
Also we will drag the top point down.
Now the whites are turned to gray.
I will keep the mid-tones as it is.
So with this, we have achieved a matte finish to the image.
Now for some tricks with the RGB curves.
As you know by now, moving the bottom point up makes the blacks gray.
The more you move the point, the more it becomes lighter and eventually the complete image turns white.
Same way with the top point, dragging it to the bottom makes the image completely black.
Now with both points in the opposite parts, the image turns negative.
One more example of making a major retouch here with curves.
I will brighten the image with the RGB, add a lot of red and yellow.
Then with masking applying it selectively gives you this major effect.
So you can see how powerful the Curves tool can be.
Let me know in the comments if you need any further clarifications.
Thanks for watching!.