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There are certain photographs where you take what you have and you bring it out. You draw it forward. Then there are other situations, like with this photograph, where you want to add something to it. You want to bring to this image, new colors, Reds and Oranges and Yellows. That's exactly what we are going to take a look at, how we can do so here using Color Balance and Curves together. Well, this particular image was captured in Austin, Texas and here you can see all of these bats, hundreds and hundreds of bats taking flight at sunset.
So I want to add to the drama. I want to change the color. So first, let's start off with a Color Balance Adjustment layer. We will click on that icon in the Adjustment panel, and I am going to start off in my Highlights. I am going to increase the Reds and the Yellows, again just looking to try to really bring out some interesting colors. Bring a little bit of Magenta in there as well, go to the Midtones. Same thing again, Reds and Yellows just bringing out these colors. A little bit more Red there than Yellow and also my shadows. Again I want some neat, deep Reds there.
Here we can see we are starting to come to something which is kind of interesting. Well, at this juncture, I have kind of pushed this as far as I can with Color Balance. I have some great color there, but you know what I really need to do is I need to add a different type of adjustment. This is going to take using a Curves adjustment. So here, we will click on our Adjustment layer icon, then we will select Curves. In the first curve, the RGB composite view, we are going to do a classic S-curve. This will increase our overall color saturation.
Next, we will go in that Red channel, and we will simply click in the middle and drag up a bit adding some bright Reds there. Green, magenta, let's bring in a little bit of that Magenta into the sky. Then we will go down to that Blue/Yellow channel and here add a bit of Yellow as well. So at this juncture, we have just added this color which is surreal, but kind of fits the overall intent of this image. Working with color in this way, using Color Balance and Curves together can be a ton of fun. If you haven't ever tried this you just have to try this out in some of your images.
Well, let's take a look. Here we have it, our before and then our after, simply using Color Balance and Curves together in order to create vivid and exciting color.
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