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Q&A

Q.

If Levels and Curves are interchangeable, how do I decide which I want to use?

A.

In theory, you can achieve pretty much the same results with Levels and Curves, although Curves is more powerful. In practice, I tend to use Levels when there’s a color cast in the image—to fix it, click with the appropriate Eyedropper tool in an area that should be white, gray, or black. I use Curves when I want to modify only a small range of colors.

Q.

What’s the best way to add a sepia tint to an image?

A.

You’re right in assuming that there’s more than one method—doesn’t Photoshop have multiple methods for everything? You could use Hue/Saturation or make a duotone, but my favorite method is to use a Black & White adjustment layer. That way, I can always restore the image’s color by just deleting the layer.

Q.

Can I apply more than one adjustment layer to an image?

A.

Sure, you can have as many as you want, and you can edit their layer masks so that the adjustments apply to the same parts of the image or to completely different areas. If you want to restrict the effects of an adjustment layer to the contents of one other layer, place the adjustment layer immediately above the other layer in the Layers panel and Option-click/Alt-click the line between the two.

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