Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Changing colors with adjustment layers, part of Photoshop for Photographers: Creative Color.
- [Voiceover] We are going to begin our adventure with creative color by talking about how we can use adjustment layers, in particular, hue saturation adjustment layer. In order to modify the overall color or specific color in our photograph, I'll start off with some basics and then we'll move on to some more advanced topics. Well, here you can see we have layer document. If I click on the eye icon this is the original image as I captured it. I did some retouching and color work and we have this layer here. Now, I'll talk about how we can create this color later.
We'll do that in another movie, but for now we're going to work with this layer. And let's say that we want to remap or change the colors throughout the entire image. Well, one way that we could do that is click on the layer. Then, next go to the image pull down menu, choose adjustments, and then select hue saturation. So, again, you target the layer, image adjustments, hue saturation. Yet, this approach isn't the best approach, and let me show you why. When we approach it this way, you can see we have hue saturation, and we can drag the slider around in order to make a change.
And when we click okay, we have some surreal and really loud colors, yet our hands are kind of tied. We're stuck. We can't finesse the color. We can't change our mind or fine tune it very easily. So, rather than making color adjustments this way, what we'll be doing in this movie, and throughout this course, is using adjustment layers. Here, I'll undo this by pressing Command + Z on a macro Control + Z on Windows. A more flexible approach is to go to our adjustments panel and here we'll click on color adjustment, like hue saturation, or any of the others for that matter.
In here though, lets talk about these settings and controls. What we have here is our hue slider, and I can drag this slider around and I can make a color adjustment to the entire image, because I am currently working with what's called the master channel. Now, what exactly is happening here? If I zoom in on this control for just a moment, you can see that we are remapping color as we drag the slider around. Well, down below we have two color spectrums. This is the original color, and then down below, is the new color.
Notice that we have the red for our umbrella and the blue for the ocean right here. As I drag this slider over to a new area, we have whatever was red, the umbrella, is now green. Whatever was blue has now become red. So essentially, it's just remapping the color in the entire image. And sometimes this can be a fun way to come up with a unique color combination. Other times you may wanna get more precise, have more advanced control. How do you do that? Well here I'll click on the reset button just to reset everything back to the default setting.
When it comes to getting precise, you have a few options. You can either click on this pull-down menu and choose a particular channel or color, like I could go to the reds, or, if you wanna be even more precise you can use a tool which is called the targeted adjustment tool. It's right here. Yet there's a step that most people miss when they're working with this tool, and it has to do with the option for this. Once you've selected it, you want to go to the options bar and change your sample size. Rather than point sample, you wanna choose something like five by five, or maybe even 11 by 11.
What this allows you to do is to click on an area of an image, to click on a color, and rather than just using the sample of where you exactly clicked, it averages out the surrounding color and gives you a more accurate sample of the colors that you want to change. So, again, you select the tool, you choose your sample size, and once you do this once it will always remember it, and then you click on the color that you wanna change in the image. Now, you'll notice in hue saturation it's taken us to the red channel and down here it's showing us which reds it selected.
We'll talk more about that in another movie. But for now let's just move our hue slider and what we can see is that we now have control over the umbrella color because we targeted that, and now we can make changes there. We can make changes to the saturation, the hue, the lightness, you name it, we can customize them. Now let's say after we make that change, we decide, well hey, I wanna modify the ocean color, the blues in the photograph as well. Well, how can we do that? Again with the targeted adjustment tool, just click on the color that you wanna modify, then move back to those controls, notice I'm now in my blues, and here I'll make a change to that portion of the image.
And by changing it in this way, you can see how we can come up with unique color combination. Now, let's say that we decide, well, I actually don't know if like the color of the umbrella. How do we get back there? Well, here we can use this tool as we've done before and just click on that, or you can also just click on this pull-down menu and you can choose these various channels here in order to go to the settings for that area. In this case it takes us to the reds, and we can say rather than that, we wanna take this perhaps to a blue or some other type of a color, I don't know, purple, or something like that.
As you can see, we have a lot of precise control over how we make these type of adjustments. The other great thing about this is that this is an adjustment layer. In other words, we can always change the layer's opacity or blending mode, or we can turn the visibility of this on and off if we decide that we don't like these adjustments. No loss, it's nondestructive, we can always change our mind. If we do like them, we can come back here and turn that eye icon back on. Well, now that we've covered some of the basics with how this works, let's continue our progress, and let's do that in the next movie.
- Changing colors with adjustment layers
- Masking in color changes
- Changing eye, clothing, and background colors
- Changing color with Camera Raw
- Removing color
- Fine-tuning color
- Building color looks, such as vintage or sepia tones