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- Isolating color
- Removing and highlighting color
- Selectively desaturating an image
- Hand painting in color in a specific area
- Posterizing an image
- Creating a sepia-toned look
- Colorizing an entire image
- Changing the background color
- Creating vibrant color with adjustment layers
- Copying and reusing color adjustments to a new photo
Skill Level Intermediate
In this project we'll be working with these two photographs that I captured of a famous actress, Isabel Lucas. And these two photographs were captured down at the beach and I like the overall windswept feeling of these photographs, yet I want to enhance the colors, I want to make them more vivid and alive. One of the things that I notice is that the images are a bit too cool. So here, we're going to explore how we can enhance the colors in one photograph, and then apply those adjustments to another photograph as well. Let's begin by selecting one of the pictures.
I'll go ahead and select this one. Then, I'm going to tap the F key to go to full-screen mode, and then zoom in a little bit, so we can focus in on this photograph. Well, in order to enhance the colors in this image, we're going to take four different steps and create four different adjustment layers beginning with creating an adjustment layer which will allow us to change the color. We'll start off by clicking on our Color Balance Adjustment Layer icon and what I want to do is warm this up. Notice how there's a bit too much blue here. I want this to have a really nice beachy feel, so I'm going to go ahead and Increase the yellows and also a little bit of the reds and what that does is it creates a little more warmth in the photograph.
Yet one of the problems, of course, is that if effected the eye color. Here if you look at the before and after, it made the eye color a little more yellow or hazel. I don't want that. So we'll click onto this mask, grab our brush tool, we want to paint with black. And we want to paint with a nice small brush, so we'll go ahead and decrease our brush size, so we can have a nice small brush there and just paint this away from the eyes. Next, we want to decrease the opacity a touch. Let's bring it down to about 70%. And then just go and click and paint over these areas a few times and what this will do for us is it will help us to maintain the original color that we had there in the eyes.
All right, so far, so good. Our next step is going to be to bring out even more color in the eyes. To do that, we are going to reuse this mask which we just created. Do you remember, one of the techniques to reuse a mask? Well one is to hold down the Cmd key on Mac, Ctrl on Windows, and then click on the layer mask there. Once you've done that, you can then select another adjustment layer, for example like curves, and you can make an adjustment. Now the only problem with this adjustment is that it's going to effect everything except for the eyes.
That isn't what I want to have happen. So we need to invert our mask. To do that, press Cmd + I on a Mac, or Ctrl + I on Windows. Or you can also go over here to the mask area and click on the Invert button. Now, what I'm interested in doing here is to go into the curb area and I want to brighten up the eyes, I want to add a little bit of life to that area of the photograph. I also want to subtlety change the color. To do so we'll click into this RGB pull down menu here we have access to these different channels.
The red channel allows us to add red or cyan. Green that's green or magenta. Blue, blue or yellow. Let's begin in the red If we drag up towards the word red, the eyes will become more red. That doesn't look good. But if we drag away, they'll become more cyan. If we go too far, of course, it isn't going to look very good. So we just want to add a little bit of color there. And then we'll also go into our blue/yellow channel by clicking on this Pull Down menu. So go ahead and click on this, and select blue. And then we'll drag that up to add a little bit more blue.
So here we are not only brightening the eyes but we're also adding in a little bit of color. Next, I want to clean up my mask a little bit. So I'll grab my brush here. I'm going to decrease the opacity. Now I'm just going to paint with black around the edges. It looks like on mine this effect was spilling over in a few little areas. I want to make sure it looks really nice and natural so I'm just going to paint that away from a few of those areas. All right, so far here are our adjustments. Here's the before and then now here is the after. All right, well this adjustment here again, I feel it's a little bit too heavy handed, so I'm just going to take this back.
Now, it's tricky when you're making subtle adjustments like this for you to be able to see it, so sometimes I like to exaggerate it. On your own screen, you'll need to make your choice as far as how far you go with this. How far do you actually brighten up those eyes until it looks really good to your own liking. Now that we've done that, we've made some good progress. The next thing that we're going to do, is work on the overall color in this image. But I think this is a pretty good breaking point. So let's go ahead and pause, here. Leave both of the images open, because we will work on those in the next few movies.