In many Photoshop 101 lessons they say that any adjustment to a photo can actually be achieved via a manipulation on the curves tool. While this may seem true, it is not really trivial to understand how each of the adjustment layers changes the curves. In fact some of the adjustment layers (like photo filters) don’t seem to be curves related at all.
While the file just seems to be a boring gray file, it packs some serious power. So say for example, you use the “brightness/contrast” adjustment layer. It is pretty trivial to see the relation between contrast and the amount of curvature in the matching curves application:
Or how playing with the channel mixer effects the curves?
But what about more complex layers? Wanted to see what a cooling filter adjustment layer does? TADA!
Here is a quick explanation from retoucher Pratik Naik:
I think that the exciting thing about this tool, is that it will allow for better understanding of what every adjustment layer is doing to a photo, both as a learning tool and as a creative tool. You can download the PSD here, or head over the original post and read a bit more about it.