The Color Mixer panel provides the power to selectively edit the hue, saturation, and luminance values of colors in an image.
- Color Mixer provides the power to selectively edit based on the colors in an image. So far, we've just explored global image edits. I like to start my editing workflow with global edits and then fine-tune with selective edits like Color Mixer. So all the images in this album have already been globally edited. Color Mixer is found in the Color Panel inside of Edit. And we can jump there with the keyboard shortcut CMD or CTRL + 2. I'll do that now. That opened the Color Panel. And then, Color Mixer, it's kind of hidden in here. You have to click on the Color Wheel in the upper right-hand corner, and that opens up Color Mixer. In Light Room Classic, this panel is called HSL. I love this tool so much that I use some amount of it on practically every image. It's a powerful way to add drama or draw attention to the subject without the need for complicated masking techniques. Let's start with this image of Stonehenge because Color Mixer is great for cloudy sky landscapes. We can adjust different colors. Right now, red is the targeted color. Well, I want to target the sky, so I'm going to click on the blue color. And then, we can adjust the hue, the saturation, or the luminance. The hue is like the color of the color. This gives you kind of a special effect. I very rarely ever use this, so I'll reset that. What I want to do is adjust the luminance to make the sky darker so that we have a more dramatic-looking sky. There's an even easier way to do this using what's called the Target Adjustment Tool or sometimes called TAT, and that's this icon here. I'm going to click on that to load that to my cursor, and then we get this pop-up. I'll drag this down out of the way of the image so that we can see. And here, we can target the hue, the saturation, or the luminance. So I'm going to switch to luminance. And then, just click on the area of the image you want to target. So if I drag to the left, it gets darker. If I drag to the right, it gets lighter. And we can do this anywhere in the image. Let's brighten up Stonehenge. Let's brighten up the grass down here. I'm going to change the view in Color Mixer so we can see what's happening. I'm going to switch this to Luminance, which will show us all of the colors. And then note when I click on the grass, it's moving both the yellow and the green sliders together. So it's super-easy to adjust this image. We can turn Color Mixer on and off to see a before and after. So with just a couple quick Color Mixer moves, we add a contrast and drama to this image. Color Mixer can be a great way to separate a portrait subject from a background, too. It's so easy to just darken the background. Because this is green, I can click on the greens and yellows and drag to the left and then click on the tiger and drag to the right to brighten the tiger. And now, with the before and after, we can see how much better the subject pops off on this image. Because Color Mixer targets individual colors, it can be used creatively to remove some colors and saturate others. So let's change this from Luminance to Saturation, and then I'll click on the building here and just drag to the left to take all of the color out of that building, leaving the orange behind. We can even click on the orange and drag to the right to saturate it a bit. We get a nice, special effect by doing that. To put the TAT or Target Adjustment Tool back, just click on this, and it puts that back so you're back to a regular cursor. So Color Mixer is a powerful way to add drama, strength and composition, bring attention to the subject in your photo, and make creative effects. With all that kind of power, it's surprising that it isn't easier to find, but now that you know where Color Mixer is and how easy it is to use, give it a try. See how Color Mixer can improve your photos.
- Understanding the histogram
- Enhancing image details
- Adding a vignette effect
- Reducing noise
- Straightening a subject with geometry
- Making creative color adjustments for drama
- Reducing distractions
- Highlighting your subject
- Adding and smoothing detail
- Exporting photos
- Selecting file options for web or print