Adaptive Contrast

Adaptive Contrast

Learn a better way to increase contrast using Photoshop. This Photoshop technique protects your image from having blown out highlights and shadows while you increase contrast. Follow this Photoshop tutorial to learn how to apply this new technique.

Adaptive Contrast Photoshop Tutorial

Step 1: Load a photo into Photoshop

To open an image, choose File > Open. Browse for the image file then click OK.


Step 2: Increase contrast

First, we'll increase the contrast as we usually would. There are many ways to increase contrast but we'll show you how to do it using Curves. Choose Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves. In the Curves tool, create a slight S curve like the image below.


Step 3: Create a new 50% gray layer

Now we'll create the mask for the Curves adjustment layer. The mask will specify how visible the Curves adjustment layer is according to the brightness of the area. To do this, we first need to create a layer with a 50% gray fill. Create a new layer then choose Edit > Fill.

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