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There is something that's incredibly invigorating about traveling. In this particular image, it was captured on one of my travels and while I really like this image, one of the things that I'm noticing is that it will be fun to work with the color. And what we're going to do here is take a look at how we can combine some of our other skills of selections and of masking, and combine those with making some color adjustments in order to improve this image in some subtle, yet perhaps significant ways. One of the first things that I want to do is I want to add to this golden light that we have here.
I love sunset light. I love the way it's lighting up these statues here, and this sculpture is actually 50 or 60 feet tall. It's really big, quite stunning. Let's go ahead and warm this up a bit. We'll do so by clicking on the Color Balance Adjustment in the Adjustments panel. And then what I want to do is, in my Midtones, I'll add some Red and some Yellows. In my Highlights, again I'm just going to add some Yellows and also some Reds. I'm going to exaggerate this just a bit, but I'm going to do this in order to illustrate this idea. What's happening is while the sculpture looks good, the background looks horrible.
So what we'll need to do, at this point, is to create a selection. While I have actually already created a selection using the Quick Select tool, and we're going to load that here and then take advantage of it. Let's navigate to Select and then choose Load Selection. From this contextual menu, we'll select the sky selection, and then we'll go ahead and click OK. Now if you haven't already created this selection, you're not able to load it this way. And if you're not familiar with how to create selections, go ahead and head on back to the chapter where we talk about making selections.
Yet, here what I want to do is focus in on once we have the selection, how can we then use that to enhance color? The next step is going to be to do something with this. In other words, I want to limit this adjustment, so it's not affecting the sky. In order to do that, all that we need to do is to navigate to our Edit pulldown menu, and then we're going to choose Fill. Next option is going to be to fill this with black, which will then conceal the edit from affecting the background. Click OK. All right! Well, now we're talking. Now this image is starting slowly to come to life. Let's deselect.
We'll do so by going to Select and choosing Deselect. Let's take a look at the before and after. Click on the eye icon. Here is our before. Click again. There is our after. I'll zoom in a little bit so you can actually see those characters there. Here we have our before and then after, just nicely lighting this area up. Let's say that what we would like to do is we want to mute out the Blues of the background. Well, how can we do that? Well, of course, we can use Hue/Saturation. Let's click on the Adjustment layer icon and choose Hue/Saturation, and then let's desaturate.
This time I'm going to desaturate all the way, just to illustrate how this next step will work. Well one of the things that you can do is you can actually use a mask you've already created in order to copy and paste that mask onto a new layer. The way that you do this is you hold down a shortcut key and then click and drag and you replace the Mask with the one that you have. Here's how it works. So on a Mac hold down Option. On a PC hold down Alt. Then click and drag this mask to the new layer.
Do you want to replace this one? Heck yeah. Click Yes. Well, now we have a Mask which is just desaturating these characters here. Well, that's the opposite of what I want. No big deal. All we need to do is to navigate to our Mask panel and then click on Invert. Well, now when I invert, you can see that what's happening here is this is affecting the background, and it's not affecting the characters, at least it's not affecting them that much, a few little areas, but for the most part it's just affecting the background.
Let's say that we want to change this. We don't want to completely desaturate a background. Double-click the icon for Hue/Sat, and that will then reopen this Adjustment panel where we can make these changes. So here what I'm going to do is simply just bring my Blues down just a bit. Again, I'm looking for a little bit more of a subtle tone in the background. I also want to do the same thing on the golden color on the statue. I'll click in Color Balance and here either modify my controls or simply lower the Opacity.
I'm just going to lower the Opacity a bit. And let's take a look at the before and after. We can do so by holding down the Option key on a Mac, Alt key on a PC, and then clicking on the Eye icon at the background layer. Here's our before, and then our after. Let me zoom in a little bit more so you can see this, and I'll reposition here. Here we have our before and then now our after. So in this case, these adjustments are subtle, yet nonetheless really help enhance the overall color in this photograph.
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