Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
Here we'll working with two different photographs and we're going to take a look at a really powerful yet often underused adjustment, which allows us to change color. It's called Selective Color. You can find this adjustment in your Adjustments panel. Let's start off with this photograph here. You can click on this icon in order to open up Selective Color. What Selective Color allows you to do is to navigate to specific colors. For example, we could go to our Reds. Let's say, we want to change the color characteristics of this red boat.
Here we have different controls, which allow us to change the color of that red and also to change its overall brightness. You can see that we can change these color characteristics by combining these different controls together. Now sometimes what you'll do is, especially with Reds, is you'll need to perhaps change their overall brightness or darkness. That's because with digital capture Reds, the Red channel, it's really sensitive, so this can easily be over exposed. So you can use Selective Color in order to correct situations like that with this Black slider.
You can also change the amount of red with the Cyan slider here, and you can see I'm modifying that. Well with this image, I just want to get creative. It's not necessarily corrective. So I'm going to go ahead and make a few changes here to this boat. I'm just going to change the way this overall red looks a little bit, just by modifying the sliders. This is a subtle adjustment, but here you have it, before and then after, just bringing out some of those reds. I want to create a color palette, which is almost perhaps a little bit surreal.
Well next, I'll go to my Colors pulldown menu and I'll go to the Blues. With the Blues, I want to darken those up and make them a deeper blue. So I'll use that Black slider. I also want these Blues to have a little bit more Cyan in them. Rather than being purple, like this, I want the blues to be well kind of Aqua or Cyan. Perhaps I can work with a little bit of Magenta in there or maybe add that. So again, we have that nice blue color palette and I'll just move the sliders until I see the way that this image looks, and I kind of like it.
Well here if we click on the eye icon, you can see we have that before and then now our after. We were able to target and to boost these specific colors, and you're able to do this in some really powerful ways, and I think this Selective Color is underused, because at first glance, it's kind of confusing. It's more confusing than Hue/Saturation or Color Balance, yet it's really powerful. It allows you to target those colors and make some interesting changes. Let's take a look at one more image so we can really understand this.
This is a photograph of an old neon sign and again, let's clicks on our icon for Selective Color. What I'm going to do here is start off with my Yellows. I want to bring out the yellow of this neon sign here. So we can use these values, you can see I can really change the way that that yellow appears. If I wanted a little bit more Red, I can add that, or if I add Cyan and Magenta, well now it's almost kind of glowing. I can change how dark or bright that is as well, and also of course, we can use that Yellow slider to boost those yellows.
Now as you make these adjustments, sometimes you think, did I really change anything, because once you see the new color, it just looks a good. Well you always want to click on this eye icon to look at your before and then after, and here we can see it's like we're lighting up that part of our image. We could also target other elements. Let's go to the Cyans. Well here in the Cyans, we could change those blues that we were seeing there, and again what I want to do, is try to change the overall look of this photograph, and I want to do that, just in kind of a fun way to make this almost a little bit painterly with these bright vivid colors.
And so again, just using the sliders creatively to make some changes. I'm also going to go to my Reds and Magentas, and here we can change the reds that we're seeing there. I want to bring a little bit more of that red in and try to change the color that we're seeing there in the background and this peeling paint. We'll go to Magentas. And as I move in these sliders, I should just point out that really, it's just about swinging it one way or another. You don't necessarily need to know the science of these controls, because it's all about trying to create that visual impact, and as you swing them and mix them together, it can help you come up with different options for your photographs.
Here we can see with this picture, here is our original and now here's our after. A completely different interpretation of this file. And so as you can see here, by using Selective Color, well it opens up this whole new possibility, this whole new way of working with color, and many times, Selective Color can help us come up with some even more creative ways to work with color on our photographs.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
164 Video lessons · 49882 Viewers
64 Video lessons · 84748 Viewers
86 Video lessons · 54531 Viewers
148 Video lessons · 91606 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.
Your file was successfully uploaded.