Curves vs. Selective Color

Dan Margulis <76270.1033@...>

Dave writes,

When I want to pull color out overall from low contrast images (for
example, glassware), I have a tenancy to use Selective Color
Neutrals-Whites-Black instead of Curves.>>

For a picture of glassware it probably won't matter. But for the average
image this is not a good procedure.

If you feel that you need to take color out of something that should be
neutral, there's probably an overall cast to the image. If so, it will
apply to colored areas as well, although it may not be as obvious as in the
neutrals. The Selective Color approach won't attack the cast in the colored

Selective Color and its close relative, Hue/Saturation, are best used
*after* curves have established correct basic numbers. The assumption is
that if all the numbers are OK, the color will be also. If they're OK and
you still think you see something you'd like to do, then by all means use
one of these commands. But in this case, the basic numbers *aren't* correct

I know when you pull a curve down, your decreasing the steepness of the
curve and reducing the change in tones from one step to the next, i.e.
reducing contrast even further. But is Selective Color Neutrals (a misnomer
as it affects all colors) doing same thing or is it likely to hurt the
contrast less?>>

When you pull a curve down you are decreasing the contrast of everything
below that point and increasing contrast of everything above it. So, you
place the point lower than the interest object, if possible. Selective
Color, OTOH, is going to give a random result as far as contrast is

Dan Margulis