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So, if I had to pick one adjustment layer as my favorite, it may actually end up being Hue and Saturation, because it turns out to be a very, very handy tool, because you don't have to actually make selections before you can make choices in changing color. What do I mean? So, take a look at this image here. I've got a very red flower in the center, and I want to make it less red, or I want to make the sky bluer, or the green of the leaves a little bit more green and less yellow. Those are all perfect examples of why and when you would want to use Hue and Saturation to shift those colors around.
Now, new users of Photoshop, they tend to think I have to make selections first. If I want to make this flower less red, I have to somehow figure out a way to select the flower first. They will start out with saying something like the Magic Wand tool. Then they'll start Shift+Clicking to try to get a selection of that flower. That's just a waste of time. You don't need to do that. Let's do a deselect, Command+D, Ctrl+D. It turns out that Hue and Saturation has built-in selection tools for you. So, let's go to the Adjustments panel, and we'll click on Hue/Saturation. A lot of people don't discover them at first because they're not paying attention to this word up here where it says Master.
So, you've got Hue, Saturation and Lightness sliders. The default is set to Master. So, if I take that Saturation slider and drag it right or left, what I'm doing is I'm increasing the overall saturation of the entire image. So, Master means global. Change the saturation of every color in the image by the same amount. So, if I take it all the way to the right, you can see - whoa! I get some really toxic colors because they're becoming oversaturated. So, I'm going to ahead and click the Reset button at the bottom right of the Adjustments panel, to get us back to where we started.
I don't want to do a global adjustment for this particular image. I just want to change specific colors. So, your first way to do that is to click where it says Master, and you can see I have access to individual colors in the image. So, if I want to change the intensity of the sky, make it even more cyan or blue, I'm going to go ahead and choose Cyans from the list. So, now when I take the Saturation slider and start dragging it to the right, Photoshop knows to only increase the Saturation of any pixels that are cyan in the image.
It ignores all the other colors. So, here, I'm just boosting the color of the sky and not changing the Saturation anywhere else in the image, and notice I did not have to make a single selection or create a mask or anything of that sort. Very cool! Now my goal was to decrease the saturation of that flower. Well, what color is the flower? It's red. So, let's go change the pop- up list from Cyans to Reds. You've just learned that you can actually change multiple colors in the same image with the same adjustment layer. You just switch back and forth between the different colors that you want to adjust.
So, when I switch to reds in the Saturation slider now, I'm able to adjust just the reds in the image. Now if I want to not only decrease the Saturation of that flower, but also shift its Hue from Red to say more Magenta, I have a separate slider for that. That's the Hue slider. Where it gets a little confusing for new users is, take a look at where the Hue slider is currently positioned. It looks like it's under Cyan. This is just a generic label on this little color strip here. It's just kind of generic strip of which direction the colors are on the color wheel.
What you really need to be paying attention to is the color ramp at the bottom. This is actually showing you the color range that's currently going to be adjusted when you start messing and using the Hue and Saturation sliders. So, you can see where the dark gray of this little ramp is, this color strip, that's showing you the before color, so it's really dialed in on the Reds. As I start adjusting the Hue slider up here in the top, you'll see that bottom strip of color is showing you what the colors they're shifting to. So, if I take this over to say Purple, you can see above this middle gray strip, it was Red, and it's shifting to Purple.
So, look down here to see what reality is. This is just kind of a generic label. So, you can see here, on Reds, now it went to Purple. So, I'm going to take that Hue slider back to the right and get it more towards a Magenta. Then I can play with the Saturation in conjunction with that, to really dial in the color change I want. Now you'll see in this image there were other areas that had some red in them, not just the center of the flower. So, there was this bottom right-hand corner of some leaves here of another plant, and then there's this color strip here in the background of the building that's behind this that also has some red.
So, those adjusted colors as well, and you probably didn't want that to happen. Well, again, the benefit of an adjustment layer is that all adjustment layers have built-in layer masks. So, if you want to limit where this adjustment is being taken place on this particular image, we just need to get our Brush tool. I'm going to press the letter B for brush, and it gives me a nice big brush here. I can make the brush a little bit bigger with my Right Bracket key. As long as I paint with black on this adjustment layer, I can hide where that red shift was happening in that particular area. So, I've just painted over that right- hand corner, and now I'm back to the original color of those particular pixels, and same thing with that strip of color in the building here.
I can just wipe over here, so that I'm dialing in that effect to only be occurring where that flower is occurring, pretty handy! All right. Let's change the intensity of the leaves as well. So, those, you'll find out that most greenery is actually made up of yellow and green. So, if I take the Greens and shift their Saturation slider, you'll see only a part of the leaves are going to be changing. You can see that there. Now if I switch over to Yellows as well and play with that Saturation, you can see the other part of leaf is changing.
So, trees, grass, leaves like this, typically, it's not just green. It's actually made up of yellow and green, and you can dial it in and adjust it. Again, if I want to make the leaves more green and less yellow, then I can take the Yellow colors and shift the Hue slider right or left. I'm going to switch it back over toward the right to make it more green and less yellow. I'm going to go ahead and reset this to get us back to where we were at the very beginning. To do that, I'm just going to delete the entire adjustment layer. It says, "Do you want to do this?" Yes, I want to get rid of it. Let's do the Hue and Saturation adjustment layer one more time.
Because now that I have taught you that there are these individual colors from the Master pop-up list here that you can choose from, there's an even easier way to adjust the image directly using something called the Targeted Adjustment tool. In the Adjustments panel, in Hue/ Saturation, there is this little tool that gives you the finger. It gives you a cursor with a double arrow on it. I'm going to go ahead and click that, and now I have a new tool that can be used in conjunction with the Hue/ Saturation adjustment layer. What this tool lets you do is click and drag in the image directly to adjust the color.
So, for example, I don't really know, is this sky cyan or is it blue? If I go to the Master list, I have to choose one or the other and hopefully guess right. With the Target Adjustment tool option chosen, which I've got here, all I need to do is click and start dragging in the image directly, and Photoshop will figure out if it's Cyan or Blue. You can see, I've got my mouse down and my finger is showing there, the Targeted Adjustment cursor. But if you take your eye and look over the Adjustments panel, you'll see the Master switch pop-up turned to Cyans. So, it automatically knew that that was the cyan that I clicked on, not blue.
Now if I want to increase the Saturation, I just start dragging right or left. If I drag to the right, I'm increasing the Saturation. If I drag to the left, I'm decreasing it. So, I can actually convert it all the way to grayscale if I want. Take all the Cyans in the image and desaturate them. Drag it to the right to bring back some color boost just to the sky area. That was just a lot easier than having to figure out which color to choose from that pop-up list and how far to use the individual sliders below it. I can just click and drag in the image directly. Now without having to switch anything, I've still got the Targeted Adjustment tool.
I'm going to click right on the red of the flower and again, Photoshop looks at that and says, "Oh! You must want me to start changing the Reds!" I'm going to click and start dragging to the left to desaturate the red of the flower, and then same thing with the green leaf. If I click and drag in the middle of the green leaf, if I drag it to the right, I'm increasing the Saturation. If I drag it to the left, I'm decreasing Saturation. What about Hue changes? I want that red flower, again, to go to be more Magenta instead of Red. Here you need to hold down a modifier key. So, on the Mac, you would hold down the Command key, and on Windows, you would hold down the Ctrl key.
Now when you click and drag with the Targeted Adjustment tool, instead of shifting Saturation, you're shifting Hue. So, I can drag left or right, just like before, and you'll see that Hue slider moving in the Adjustments panel there. I can just drag it left or right to change the color of that particular region that I initially started clicking and dragging on. So, I'm going to drag this to the left and make it more purple-ish magenta. Great! I want those leaves to be more green, less yellow. So, again, I'm holding down the Command key on Mac, Ctrl key on Windows and clicking and dragging in the leaf itself, and dragging it to the right to make it more green or drag it to the left to make it more yellow.
So, I think this is actually the most intuitive and fun way to be working on your images directly using that Targeted Adjustment tool. Then you don't have to think about the UI as much. You're just doing direct manipulation. It's actually kind of fun!
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