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Fine-tuning the colors

From: Enhancing a Sunset Photograph with Lightroom and Photoshop

Video: Fine-tuning the colors

In this movie, we'll take a look at how we can fine tune the colors Alright, well, after having made that adjustment, let's make one more.

Fine-tuning the colors

In this movie, we'll take a look at how we can fine tune the colors that we have in this photograph, and we'll do so by creating three different adjustment layers. We'll start up by creating a curves adjustment layer in order to increase the color saturation and to deepen some of the darker tones. We'll also explore how we can work with the vibrance adjustment layer in order to increase color variety and saturation. And then last but not least, we'll work with hue/saturation to target specific colors, either to increase or decrease their values.

Well, let's begin by clicking on the curves adjustment layer icon. You can find that here in the Adjustments panel. Go ahead and click on that icon, and it will open up our Curves dialog. Now, if you click on the curves area in the darker region down here and drag up, this will brighten up those darker tones and also decrease color saturation. If we drag this down even just a little bit, you can see how it's making those colors more vivid, more brilliant. And you can see how it's darkening the overall photograph. Now, if you're worried about darkening some of the brighter tones, you can always click in this area and drag that back up in order to bring back some of the original brightness in some of those other areas.

Click on the eye icon and you can see, here is before, and then here's after. Now, this is a subtle adjustment. Yet, keep in mind what we're doing here is fine-tuning the color. Again, we can modify this. We can make it more subtle if we want. Or we can increase this in other ways as well. Alright, well, after having made that adjustment, let's make one more. This time, we're going to reach for the vibrance adjustment layer. So go ahead and click on that icon. This gives us controls to increase color variety and to boost the saturation of the weaker colors as we drag the vibrance slider to the right.

Then, we can also add just a little bit of saturation there as well. Again, these are small adjustments. Yet, sometimes it's all of those little adjustments which can help you achieve really stunning and interesting results. You know, sometimes as you get near the end of a project, you may realize that there's a certain color which is too strong, or which you want to scale back, or maybe you want to tweak or modify. One great way to target a specific color is to work with hue/saturation.

Let's go ahead and click on the hue/saturation icon right here in the Adjustments panel. Now by default, when you make a change to hue/saturation, you're working in the master channel and it affects all of the colors. Well, rather than affecting all of the colors, let's say we want to decrease the intensity of our blues. Well, here we can use the targeted adjustment tool. Click on that icon. And then, go ahead and click into the color that you want to change. In this case, the blues. Notice how it brought us to the blue channel.

And it also gave us a range of blues that we can then change. Now with these blues, we can change their color, we can make them more purple, or we can also make them more cyan, or we can change their color in, in really extreme ways. Yet, rather than doing anything like that, what I want to do is simply decrease their saturation just a little bit. And I want to do this while I'm removing some blue, I also want to just maintain the bright, vivid, sunset colors that we have here. Now in certain images, you may need to do this more or less. Or, sometimes, you may need to make an adjustment like this after you print the photograph and realize, gosh, those blues are just too saturated.

No big deal. You can always scale that back by working with this technique here. Now in this particular photograph, one of the ways that this image is going to be displayed is it's going to be displayed in a box which is backlit, so it will be illuminated. And so in this case, I actually want to keep the saturation up a little higher, so I'm going to go ahead and bring that back up. Yet either way, I want it to highlight or show you how you can further fine tune the color by working with different adjustment layers, whether that's working with a curves adjustment, vibrance, or hue/saturation.

Alright, well here, this is our before we worked on this image in this movie. And then now here, we have the after.

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