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The most common photo problems fall into two categories, problems with lighting and problems with color. If you find that your photographs need a little more pop, try applying a hue saturation adjustment layer. This photo could be a really dramatic one, but it just needs a boost to its colors. I'm working here with church.jpg from the 09_04_Hue/ Saturation subfolder in the Chapter 09 Exercise Files folder. To fix this color problem, I'm going to add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer.
For that I'll come over to the Layers palette and I'll click the black and white icon at the top of that palette and I'm going to choose Hue/Saturation. That adds a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to the Layers palette and it opens the Hue/Saturation dialog box. Here I have three sliders, the first slider could be used to change the hue. I don't often use this because it's is a pretty unrealistic result. Take a look, if I drag the Hue slider, it basically changes all the colors in the image, so we're going to put that one back to zero.
The Lightness slider makes the image either lighter or darker. Sometimes I'll tweak lightness here, but when I have serious problems with the lighting in an image, this is not the first place I go, instead I might go to a Levels adjustment or a Shadow/Highlight adjustment or Curves adjustment. The real star of this dialog box is the Saturation slider. In an image like this which needs a boost to color, dragging the Saturation slider to the right will make the colors more intense. If you want to see how this looked before I drag that slider, I'll turn Preview off, and there it's just a little bit dull and here the colors are more intense.
Now let us see what happens if I pull the Saturation slider all the way to the left. That takes all the color out of the image making it a black and white. Now I'm going to put Saturation back to zero to show you that you don't have to change the saturation of all the colors in an image. Let us say, for example, that I just wanted to pop the red colors in this image without touching the rest of the image, in particular, the greens in that roof. To do that, I would go to the Edit menu at the top of this dialog box and from there I would choose Reds. To get even more specific about the particular reds I'm about to adjust. I'm going to go into the image where my cursor changes to an eye dropper and I'm going to sample the reds that I want to change by clicking right on the front of this church.
Now when I move the Saturation slider to the right, it's the reds that get more intense. When I'm satisfied I go to the OK button and click there to apply these changes to my image. Like every adjustment layer, I can go back in, reopen that dialog box by clicking on the thumbnail on the left here and tweak my adjustment. I have the option to limit the area that is affected by the adjustment by painting with black or with gray on this layer mask. Hue/Saturation is an adjustment that I think you will use a lot. Give it a try when you want to give your own photographs that little last bit of oomph.
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