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Adjusting color with a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer

From: Photoshop Elements 11 Essentials: 02 Editing and Retouching Photos

Video: Adjusting color with a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer

A Hue/Saturation adjustment in Expert Edit gives you fine-tuned control over the colors in a photograph, although you can apply Hue/Saturation as a direct adjustment from the Enhance>Adjust Colors menu. I almost always apply it as an adjustment layer, because as we've seen, adjustment layers are nondestructive and editable. To apply a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer, you want to make sure your Layers Panel is open by clicking the Layers button in the taskbar. Then I'll go up to the Create Adjustment layer icon at the top of the Layers Panel, and from there I'll choose Hue/Saturation.

Adjusting color with a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer

A Hue/Saturation adjustment in Expert Edit gives you fine-tuned control over the colors in a photograph, although you can apply Hue/Saturation as a direct adjustment from the Enhance>Adjust Colors menu. I almost always apply it as an adjustment layer, because as we've seen, adjustment layers are nondestructive and editable. To apply a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer, you want to make sure your Layers Panel is open by clicking the Layers button in the taskbar. Then I'll go up to the Create Adjustment layer icon at the top of the Layers Panel, and from there I'll choose Hue/Saturation.

That creates this new Hue/ Saturation adjustment layer and it opens the Hue/Saturation Panel. I can move this panel wherever I want it on my screen by clicking on its title bar, the gray bar, and dragging. In this panel I can adjust the three properties of colors separately: Hue, Saturation, and Lightness. Saturation is the slider I use the most in this panel. Dragging saturation to the right makes the colors in the image more vibrant or pure. Dragging to the left desaturates the colors or makes them less vibrant. Now if you want to convert a color image to grayscale, dragging the Saturation Slider all the way over to the left will do it, but it's not the best way of doing it.

I'll show you a better way later in this chapter. So for now I want to put my Saturation Slider back to 0. I could try to drag it there or I can return any of the sliders to any particular point by clicking in the Value field to the right of the Slider, highlighting the value, and typing in the value that I want. So that's the Saturation slider. The Lightness slider affects the brightness of the colors in the image. Usually when I want to control the brightness of an image I'll go to a Levels Adjustment layer, but if I just want to tweak brightness a bit, I can drag the Lightness slider to the right or to the left. And the Hue slider affects the overall color.

So dragging that to the right makes everything a bit more green in this case, to the left everything is getting more purple. And if I want to set that back to 0, I'll enter 0 as the value. By the way if I change all the sliders and I want to get them all back to their default to zero, I'll come down and click the Reset button at the bottom of the Hue/Saturation Panel. Now if you want to fine-tune colors even more, you can zero in on particular color ranges. To do that I'll go up to the Channel menu and I'll choose a range of colors. So let's say I want to saturate just the reds in this image.

I'll come down and choose Reds from this menu and then when I drag the Saturation slider to the right only the reds in the barn and the other red parts of the image are becoming more saturated. If I go to the blues--I might try to saturate the blues in the sky--and maybe make them a little darker as well. Now let's say I want the foliage to be more saturated. The foliage looks green to me, so I'll come up to the Channel menu and I'll choose Greens, and then I'll drag the Saturation slider to the right. But that's not affecting all the foliage.

So what could I do in this case to increase the range of green that's being affected by this change? One thing I can do is come down to these eyedropper tools and click the Add to Sample Eyedropper, and then click on another greenish color in the image, and that will broaden the range of greens that are affected by my sliders. Now if there were some greens that I didn't want to affect, I could get this - Eyedropper and click, and that will narrow the range of greens affected. This bar down at the bottom of the Hue/ Saturation Panel represents the range of tones that are affected at the moment.

I can also click-and-drag the edges of that bar to change the tones affected. There is one more control in the Hue/ Saturation Panel to know about and that's the Colorize checkbox. If I click that checkbox, the image gets a monochrome tint. And I can control that too with the Hue slider, the Saturation slider, and the Lightness slider. And if I want to see all the colors again, I'll uncheck Colorize. In all other respects a Hue/ Saturation adjustment layer is just like any adjustment layer. I can come back and re-edit it in the future. So for example if I close that panel, I can open it again by double- clicking the Layer thumbnail on my Hue/Saturation adjustment layer and making another change.

I could delete the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer altogether by dragging it to the trashcan. I could reduce its strength by clicking and dragging the Opacity slider, and if I had multiple layers here, I could limit its effect to just the layer immediately below it by clicking the clipping icon. All as we've seen in other movies in this chapter. But later in this chapter we'll look at some more automatic broad brushed ways of affecting color, like Auto Color and Remove Color Cast. But when you want the kind of fine- tuned control over different properties of color, then give the flexible Hue/ Saturation adjustment layer a try.

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This video is part of

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  1. 6m 14s
    1. Welcome
      1m 10s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 30s
    3. Overview of the editing workspaces
      3m 34s
  2. 43m 14s
    1. Touring the interface
      4m 21s
    2. Making the most of the tools in Elements
      4m 6s
    3. Arranging the panels
      4m 32s
    4. Zooming and panning
      4m 3s
    5. Viewing multiple photos
      3m 51s
    6. Undoing
      5m 15s
    7. Cropping
      3m 46s
    8. Resizing
      7m 18s
    9. Saving images and examining formats
      6m 2s
  3. 19m 23s
    1. Understanding layers
      7m 59s
    2. Managing layers in the Layers panel
      4m 33s
    3. Creating new layers
      6m 51s
  4. 38m 28s
    1. Why use selections?
      4m 20s
    2. Selecting with the marquee tools
      3m 56s
    3. Selecting with the lasso tools
      6m 40s
    4. Selecting by color and tone
      6m 22s
    5. Refining a selection
      4m 51s
    6. Selecting hair
      5m 42s
    7. Hiding content with a layer mask
      6m 37s
  5. 46m 54s
    1. Why use adjustment layers?
      5m 15s
    2. Adjusting color with a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer
      4m 32s
    3. Correcting lighting with a Levels adjustment layer
      3m 32s
    4. Adjusting part of an image with an adjustment layer
      5m 19s
    5. Exploring auto adjustments
      3m 55s
    6. Improving shadows and highlights
      2m 14s
    7. Removing a color cast
      1m 47s
    8. Fine-tuning with Color Curves
      3m 16s
    9. Converting to black and white
      2m 26s
    10. Correcting camera distortion
      5m 32s
    11. Reducing noise
      2m 56s
    12. Sharpening
      6m 10s
  6. 20m 51s
    1. Creating a panorama
      5m 6s
    2. Merging bracketed exposures
      6m 0s
    3. Removing people from a scene
      5m 25s
    4. Combining group shots
      4m 20s
  7. 29m 24s
    1. Removing blemishes
      3m 42s
    2. Reducing wrinkles and circles
      4m 16s
    3. Enhancing eyes
      5m 19s
    4. Removing red-eye
      3m 15s
    5. Adjusting skin tone
      2m 21s
    6. Removing dust spots
      4m 7s
    7. Removing content
      6m 24s
  8. 52m 36s
    1. What is Camera Raw?
      5m 18s
    2. Using the latest Camera Raw controls
      3m 16s
    3. Camera Raw basics
      6m 22s
    4. Making use of the histogram
      3m 45s
    5. Setting white balance
      3m 44s
    6. Adjusting lighting
      4m 28s
    7. Adjusting color saturation
      2m 9s
    8. Cropping and straightening
      3m 58s
    9. Reducing noise
      3m 33s
    10. Sharpening
      3m 38s
    11. Synchronizing edits to multiple photos
      3m 36s
    12. Outputting from Camera Raw
      6m 14s
    13. Using Camera Raw with JPEGs
      2m 35s
  9. 48s
    1. Next steps
      48s

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