We’ve all been there: you sit on a picture forever, bored of retouching, and then when you do get around to it strange things start to show up in it. Like odd rings of graduated color.
These rings of color are called banding. They are nothing more than tonal breaks but before I explain where these obvious changes in tone come from–and how to avoid them–let me show you an example:
If you look at the background on the right-hand side of the image you can see what resembles a staircase of brightness, getting darker as it moves away from the model. That’s banding.