An Image

What You'll Do

In this lesson, you'll make color adjustments to a specific layer.

Revitalizing an Image

You may find that you are working with an image that looks fine except that it seems washed out or just leaves you in the doldrums. You may be able to spice up such an image by adjusting the color settings. By modifying the color balance, for example, you can increase the red tones while decreasing the green and blue tones to make the image look more realistic and dramatic. After you select the layer that you want to adjust, you can make color-correcting adjustments by clicking Image on the menu bar, pointing to Adjustments, then clicking the type of color adjustment you want to make.

Making Color Adjustments

So, the image you're working with seems to need something, but you're not quite sure what. Until you become comfortable making color corrections, do everything in your power to provide yourself with a safety net. Create duplicate layers and use adjustment layers instead of making corrections directly on the original layer. Before you begin, take a long look at the image and ask yourself, "What's lacking?" Is the problem composition, or is it truly a color problem? Do the colors appear washed out rather than vibrant and true to life? Is the color deficiency really a problem, or does the image's appearance support what you're trying to accomplish?

Assessing the Mood

Color can be a big factor in establishing mood in an image. For example, if you are trying to create a sad mood, increasing the blue and green tones may be more effective than modifying specific imagery. If you decide that your image does need color correction, start slowly. Try balancing the color and see if that gives you the effect you want. Keep experimenting with the various color correction options until you find the method that works for you.

In this lesson, you'll make color adjustments to a specific layer.

FIGURE 10

Hue/Saturation dialog box

Correct colors

FIGURE 10

Hue/Saturation dialog box

FIGURE 12

Hue/Saturation modified in image

FIGURE 12

Hue/Saturation modified in image

Adjusted pixels created from selection

FIGURE 11

Brightness/Contrast dialog box

FIGURE 11

Brightness/Contrast dialog box

FIGURE 13

Layers palette

Brightness/ Contrast adjustment layer

Hue/Saturation adjustment layer

FIGURE 13

Layers palette

1. Click Layer 1 on the Layers palette.

2. Click Layer on the menu bar, point to New Adjustment Layer, then click Hue/Saturation.

3. Select the Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask check box, then click OK.

4. Change the settings in the Hue/Saturation dialog box so that they match those shown in Figure 10, then click OK.

5. Click Layer on the menu bar, point to New Adjustment Layer, then click Brightness/Contrast.

6. Select the Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask check box, then click OK.

7. Change the settings so that they match those shown in Figure 11, then click OK.

8. Save your work, then compare your image to Figure 12 and your Layers palette to Figure 13.

You adjusted the hue/saturation and brightness/ contrast in the layer created from a selection, making the image of the swimmer's face stand out. You made color adjustments using adjustment layers, which you grouped with the Swimmers layer.

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Photoshop Secrets

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