Photoshop's Auto-Levels

When working with the Levels adjustment layer, you may have noticed the Auto button. This command button triggers an analysis of the histogram data by Photoshop that is then used to modify the individual controls of the Levels adjustment. In many cases this results in an image that is properly adjusted for color balance and exposure issues. In others it will get you closer to a corrected image.

1. Open a photo that is too dark.

Fig 10-11 Auto Levels 1

2. Add a Levels adjustment layer by clicking the Levels icon in the Adjustments panel.
3. Click the Auto button to perform an automated adjustment for the image. The image’s levels and color are adjusted.

Fig 10-12 Auto Levels 2

Fig 10-13 Auto Levels 3

4. To refine how the automatic adjustment works, hold down the Option (Alt) key and click the Auto button again. A new dialog box opens.
5. Select Find Dark & Light Colors and Snap Neutral Midtones to create a very natural balance of colors for the image.

Fig 10-14 Auto Levels 4
6. Click OK to close the dialog box.

Fig 10-15 Auto Levels 5

Rinse and Repeat

If you have several images from the same camera or shoot, they may need the same Levels adjustment. The Save button allows you to save a Levels adjustment (to the folder that contains the image is a good place). You can then click the Load button to apply that adjustment to another image.

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