Getting Brighter, Darker, or More Contrast-y

Getting Brighter, Darker, or More Contrast-y

We have been trying for years to be brighter, and now Paint Shop Pro has shown us the light. But just what is brightness? If you increase the brightness of an image, it basically looks whiter. You are, in effect, telling Paint Shop Pro

“More white, please.” This whitening affects all shades uniformly, sort of like using bleach in mixed laundry: Lights get whiter, and so do the darks. (Decreasing brightness does the opposite — like washing a new pair of black jeans with your laundry.) This effect also changes your colors — noticeably, if they’re very light or dark. Brightness alone rarely does the job you want.

Because brightness alone rarely does the job, Jasc puts the Paint Shop Pro adjustments for brightness and contrast together. Contrast is a bit like a laundry brightener that makes the lights lighter and the darks darker. (It isn’t too picky about keeping your colors exactly right, though.)

If brightness and contrast adjustment sounds like the answer to your needs, you have two alternative solutions:

  • Choose AdjustBrightness and ContrastBrightness/Contrast: The Brightness/Contrast adjustment dialog box shown in Figure arrives, bringing enlightenment.

  • Choose LayersNew Adjustment LayerBrightness/Contrast: This option adds a Brightness/Contrast layer. The Layer Properties dialog box appears, with the Adjustment tab displayed. See Chapter 14 for help with using layers.

Adjust the Brightness and Contrast % values up or down to see whether you can achieve the results you want. Brightness ranges from –255 to +255; Contrast % ranges from –100 to +100. In Figure, we turned up both brightness and contrast.

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