Black Point

Setting the Image's Black Point

Setting the black point is critical to setting the tonal range of the image. The black point setting places the maximum black for the image and adjusts the image's tonal range to the black point of the printer/media combination. If this step is performed in the Normal mode it will also change the color of the shadow areas.

Info Palette

Make sure the info Palette is visible on your screen. If it is not visible, select Window, Info.

 
 
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White Point moved to show shadows

Determining the Image's Black Point

While still in an Adjustment Layer Curves Dialog Box, make sure the value readout is set to Ink Percentage. Drag the White Point to the right until only the darkest areas in the image are visible. Make sure the Preview box is checked. This should help you visualize the shadow areas. Pick a black point that is as neutral as possible and the darkest part of the image. You can hover the cursor over parts of the image and compare the value readouts in the Info Palette. For more information on selecting white points see Black Point Parameters.

 
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Determining the Black Point

Pick a black point that is as neutral as possible and the darkest part of the image. You can hover the cursor over parts of the image and compare the value readouts in the Info Palette. For more information on selecting white points see Black Point Parameters.

 
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Proper Black Point Selection

Set the Black Point

Once you have determined the area for your black point, move the White Point back to the far left.

Now click on the Black Point Eyedropper and use it to select the black point area you have determined.

Click OK and the Black Point is set.

Note: You may feel that the image looks too flat or too light in the shadows. Remember that you are viewing transmitted light from your monitor. Monitors can display more tonal range than reflective prints. In most cases, you'll want to process images used on websites and other electronic displays with a lower black point (0 to 10) and higher white point (252 to 255)  than you do for reflective inkjet printing.

On the next page we will compare the Black Point adjusted image with the original.

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