The Sponge tool

The Sponge tool is the cousin of Dodge and Burn. It varies the saturation level in an image

E Using the Sponge tool couldn't be easier. It's a very simple tool that makes pixels either less or more Saturated. By saturation,we mean how colourful a pixel is. More saturated colours are vivid,while less saturated ones are washed out.

You can of course perform this kind of action using the Hue/Saturation command or an Adjustment Layer. But the Sponge tool does the same thing in a more hands-on way. Here,we've painted on the image with the Sponge tool in Desaturate mode to make the girl stand out from the background more.

B 3 | Switching to Saturate mode,you'd think it would be easy to increase the saturation of the girl to enhance the effect. However as you can see even when we lower the strength setting,the result is uneven,and in some places the colours have'flattened'out due to over-saturation.

EA better way to go about this is to apply Hue/Saturation to the whole image before you desaturate it with the Sponge.This lets you see how much saturation to apply, rather than flatten out the colours.You can even control the saturation of the colours independently using the pop-up menu.

Spray the sponge

The Sponge tool has an Airbrush mode. You can click and hold to continually apply the effect.

Colour Range

Make a selection using Color Range to focus the Sponge tool on certain colours in the image.

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