Photoshop Curves Workshop

Several weeks ago I offered to host an Advanced Photoshop Workshop for an in-depth, run-through of the Photoshop Curves Adjustment layer.

My apologies for taking so long to run the session but household issues took more of my time than I would have wished thus the preparation of the details kept getting pushed back.

I am about as ready as I ever will be so I will run the workshop on Zoom this Friday, 5th June, at 9 am. (Please note, this replaces the Friday Lightroom Workshop for this one session.)


I have 14 members who previously expressed an interest in the workshop but am happy for anyone else to join in. This Thursday I’ll email the Zoom link to everyone on the list, if you haven’t already done so but would now like to join in please let me know, Ian Whiting at, by Thursday lunchtime.


Do not let the term “Advanced Photoshop Workshop” put you off. By “advanced” I simply mean a raw novice to Photoshop may find it confusing but if you understand what layers are and appreciate a pixel is composed of red, green and blue channels you will know enough to enjoy it.

The Curves Adjustment layer is a versatile tool and is often the hidden, underlying architecture to many other tools in Photoshop. As is often the case, for any given task there are several tools in the PS toolbox that can be used to accomplish that task. As an example, the Brightness/Contrast Adjustment Layer makes adjusting the contrast very easy, but the Curves Adjustment Layer will do the same thing and give you so much more control that you would rarely want to use the simpler tool again.


I will start with the very basics of what a Curves Adjustment layer actually does and how it can be used in some different situations. Along the way, we might use some impressive words like Bezier (no, I don’t understand it either), delve into a little colour theory, mixing and channel manipulation. Hopefully, if you can’t already, you will know how to “read a curve” and quickly grasp how a curve will affect an image just by looking at the curve. We will end with a surprisingly weird application.

I expect it will last for an hour but we can continue for longer if necessary. It is a Workshop, not a straight tutorial, you are welcome to ask questions whenever you wish. 

By the end of the session you will know more than most Photoshop users know about this important tool.

Lightroom users will also gain an understanding of the “cut down” curves panel in the Lightroom development module or Adobe Camera Raw, but we won’t be demonstrating those.

I will be using the latest version of Photoshop although I suspect many older versions of PS will have most of the same features.

Who Isn’t this Workshop for?

If you are already very familiar with the Curves Adjustment layer then this may well not be a session for you.

I understand the Colour Curves Adjustment tool in Photoshop Elements looks nothing like the Curves Adjustment layer in Photoshop so Elements users will find little of interest in this workshop.