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Color adjustments

From: Up and Running with HDR Efex Pro 2.0

Video: Color adjustments

One of the things you'll likely notice as you're working with your images in HDR Efex Pro is that the tonal adjustments you apply can have a dramatic impact on the color. For example, darkening down some of the brighter tones within the image, can really bring out a lot of color. Of course, at times you'll also want to apply some other adjustments that effect the color of the image. And there are a few options for us in the color section on the right panel. I'll go ahead and click on that section in order to expand it. And you can see, we have saturation adjustments as well as temperature and tint.

Color adjustments

One of the things you'll likely notice as you're working with your images in HDR Efex Pro is that the tonal adjustments you apply can have a dramatic impact on the color. For example, darkening down some of the brighter tones within the image, can really bring out a lot of color. Of course, at times you'll also want to apply some other adjustments that effect the color of the image. And there are a few options for us in the color section on the right panel. I'll go ahead and click on that section in order to expand it. And you can see, we have saturation adjustments as well as temperature and tint.

The saturation adjustment allows us to adjust the intensity of colors in the image, in effect modifying the purity of colors. As we increase saturation, we're increasing the purity of colors within the photo so that they're closer to the primary colors and just more intense, more vibrant. As we reduce the value for saturation, we're toning down those colors. We're reducing the purity, ultimately to the point that the image appears as grayscale with no color information at all. Of course, this can have a dramatic impact on the interpretation of your HDR image.

In some cases, you might want to create exagerated color by using a high value for saturation. And in other cases, you might want to tone down those colors just a little bit in order to really emphasize on the tonality of your HDR image. Perhaps even going so far as to create a grayscale version of the image. We can also adjust the overall color balance in the photo with a temperature and tint sliders. The temperature slider allows us to shift the balance from yellow to blue. So we can make a very cool image, perhaps looking like moonlight, or we can create a very warm image. Of course in most cases the aim is to create colors that are realistic, or perhaps slightly warmer or cooler, then the scene really was. And so the adjustments tend to be relatively subtle. The tint slider allows you to shift between green and magenta and in most cases I would think of this as a purely corrective adjustment. Although in certain cases, such as with this sunset, you might actually want to shift things a little bit toward magenta, a little more of those pink color values. So, you can see the adjustments in the color section are very straight forward. Simply adjusting the intensity of color with saturation and then the overall color balance with temperature and tint.

And yet, these adjustments can be very, very important. So, while we tend to focus most of our attention on tonal adjustments with HDR images, it's worth spending some time exploring the color adjustments for your photos as well.

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Up and Running with HDR Efex Pro 2.0

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Tim Grey
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