Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
In this movie, I will show you how you can use the Hue/Saturation command to summon colors from an image that you would swear don't exist at all. This is a low-angle photograph that I shot of this delightfully creepy tree-house that's actually near my house, and looking at the image, it appears for all the world, black and white. You can perceive a little bit of color going on in the sky, but that's about it. I'm going to switch over to the Channels panel, so I can show you how the channels compare. So there's the Red channel, and here is the Green channel, and here is the Blue channel.
So the three channels are almost identical to each other. When the channels are absolutely identical, you have a grayscale image. It's only when you have differences between the channels that you get color. So let's go ahead and switch back to the RGB composite, and I'm going to switch over to the Layers panel as well. Now I will bring up the Adjustments panel, and click on the Hue/Saturation icon to switch over to the Properties panel and gain access to my Hue and Saturation controls. Now I'm going to start things off just by cranking the Saturation value all the way to +100, and you can see, sure enough, there are colors inside the image, and now they are absolutely electric.
The problem is I'll go in and zoom in here. You can see all this color noise, that is, random variations in color between neighboring pixels, that are non- representative of the actual scene and that invariably happens when you crank the Saturation value up to its maximum. But if I start nudging the value down, you can see that the color noise starts to disappear pretty quickly. So if I take the saturation down to +90, there's some lingering color noise to be sure that's not nearly so obvious as it was before, and once we go ahead and zoom out, it's pretty darn minimal.
Now at this point, the woods struck me as being a little too red. So I clicked in the Hue value, and I press Shift+Up arrow in order to make it a little more orange and you can tell which direction to go by taking a look at that Color slider, because if we were starting with something that was too red in the first place, and we want to scoot it over to orange, then obviously, we want to make a positive change because orange is to the right of red inside the slider. Now I figured I wanted to make some selective changes using that Target Adjustment tool.
So I'm going to start things off by reducing the color of the sky because after all, the sky was more colorful portion of the image in the first place, and now I think it's a little overwhelmingly so. So I'm going to drag to left and that's going to automatically switch me to the blues there inside the Properties panel. I will see that I've now managed to reduce the Saturation value to -40. Now the sky strikes me as a little bit too purple, well if you look at the Hue slider once again. If we want to make it more blue, then we need to reduce the Hue value, and I'm going to do that by pressing the Ctrl key or the Command key on the Mac and dragging slightly over to left until I arrive at a Hue value of -10.
I end up with a pretty decent effect here. I'm going to hide the Properties panel and zoom in just a little bit. Now let's take a look at the altogether different channels. I will switch over to the Channels panel. Here is the Red channel with this bright tree trunk in the foreground, here is the Green channel, and you can see that the sky is brightening up at this point, and then here is the Blue channel with much darker tree details. The tree house is darker as well and the sky is quite bright, and it's those differences between luminosity levels inside the three channels that are generating the actual color saturation in the full color RGB composite.
That's how you use a Hue/Saturation Adjustment layer to draw forth colors from a seemingly colorless image. So just imagine if the image appears to have a little bit of color in the first place, how much work you can get done. In the next movie, we're going to make this image that much more vivid using the Vibrance command.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
119 Video lessons · 50925 Viewers
117 Video lessons · 38646 Viewers
113 Video lessons · 81564 Viewers
65 Video lessons · 11573 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.