Color

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The Color blending mode is another variation of the Hue, Saturation, and Luminance group, and may be a little easier to understand intuitively than either Hue or Saturation. Color generates the output color by combining the base color's luminance and the blend color's hue and saturation. Its effect is stronger than Hue, and rather than tinting the image, Color colors it with the blend color. As with the other HSL modes, it has no neutral color.

Original image.

KEYBOARD SHORTCUT

Windows: Alt+Shift+C Mac: Option+Shift+C

The Color blending mode really colors the underlying image, unlike Hue, which just tints the image.

A popular use of the Color blend mode is to hand-color a photograph, often a black-and-white one As usual, Photoshop provides more than one approach If you're good at painting, you might select a brush, set its blend mode to Color, and then paint directly onto the image That's fine, providing you never want to adjust your work afterward I can't draw or paint and am always changing my mind later or using an image for another purpose, so I prefer to add a new Color blend layer for each color I use. Maybe weeks later I can reopen the image, Ctrl/Cmd click any layer, and fill its pixels with a different color, change its opacity, or fine-tune my work in a way I never imagined when I first worked on the image

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Color

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Color + RC6 14a las 189

Another use of the Color blend mode is controlling the effect of adjustment layers For instance, a Curves adjustment layer can tune a photograph's colors, but you may not care for the resulting image contrast Switch the blending mode to Color and the base layer's luminosity is restored For now, I'll only mention the idea We'll look into it again in the section on Luminosity (see page 60-61), as my experience is that it's more likely you'll want to do the opposite—fix contrast without color shifts The same principle applies

In montage work, the component pictures may have been shot under different lighting conditions A common color cast can help hide their disparate origins To achieve this, use Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Color and before clicking OK, set the mode to Color Next, choose a subtle unifying tone This technique works especially well when you want to add a natural color to monochromatic images The silhouette of the man was shot in southern Italy, but the color came from a trip to southern Africa and so long ago that I can't recall if it was shot at sunrise or sunset It only took a few minutes to crop the scanned slide, drag it onto the coastline, and set its blend mode to Color.

A scanned transparency of a sunset taken at Victoria Falls was dragged onto the Italian coastline image. I then switched its blending mode to Color and added a mask so that the silhouette's shadow tones remained grayscale.

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Hand-coloring is easy to adjust if you paint onto Color blend mode layers.

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Victoria Fall! Sunset

Italian Silhouette

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