Think you’ve got banding? Photoshop may be fooling you!

Have you ever worked on an image in Photoshop, adding multiple adjustment layers and then found that your image displays some horrible banding. While banding is a real problem that occurs in some situations, it may also simply be Photoshop that’s playing tricks on you. In this tutorial, I will show you why this happens and what you can do to prevent real banding instead of fixing it.

In an nutshell…

Not everything Photoshop displays is actually correct. The software needs to do a hell of a lot of stuff under the hood and still remain fast enough to give users the best possible experience. Sometimes, it achieves that by “cheating” and displaying an approximation of the image.

So, there you have it! Before you try all sorts of crazy stuff to fix the apparent banding in your image, try to check if it’s real banding or just a display issue.

If you do have banding, which does indeed happen, it’s in most cases a result of a low bit-depth. In the video, I show you how to make sure that you import your images into Photoshop in 16-bit to make sure you have all the tones necessary for smooth gradients without banding.

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