Join Tim Grey for an in-depth discussion in this video Isolating colors with Hue/Saturation, part of Photoshop CS6: Restoring Photos.
As older photographs fade or experience color shifts over time, you might find that some of those changes impact certain colors more than other. For example, in this photo, the blues and cyans have shifted quite a bit, so that the shorts here and the stripes on the socks, look a little too cyan, rather than blue. And a bit oversaturated, whereas the rest of the colors, albeit a little faded with time, appear relatively normal. In this type of a situation, we can use the hue saturation adjustment to focus an effect on specific colors within the photo.
I'll go ahead and get started by adding a Hue Saturation Adjustment layer. So, at the bottom of the Layers panel, I'll click on the Add Adjustment Layer button. The half-black, half-white circle icon, and then choose Hue saturation from the pop up menu. That will add a Hue Saturation adjustment, and you can see we have the Hue Saturation controls on the Properties panel. Normally when you get started with Hue Saturation, you would be working on all of the colors in the image. And so you'd be working on the master channel perhaps increasing or decreasing saturation for all colors within the photo.
In this case though, I want to focus my attention on those blues and cyans, and so I'm going to change the channel using the pop-up here to the blues channel. I can then make an adjustment to the image affecting only the blues. But of course I might need to first change the definition of blue. What Photoshop has identified as the range of colors that are considered blue is represented by the two vertical bars between the gradients here. The trapezoids to either side represent the degree of transition between the areas that are being effected and those that are not.
But the colors that will be affected most fall in between these vertical bars. I'll go ahead and reduce saturation completely, so that we can get a better sense of the effect on the image. And you can see that while I've reduced the saturation for the blues and the cyans in the photo. I need to expand the definition of the blues so that it includes all of the values found within the shorts and the stripes on the socks. To do that, I'll want to move the left vertical bar over to the left. But I also want to take that trapezoid that reflects the transition, over to the left as well. And so, to move both at the same time, I'll place my mouse in between the two controls.
And then click and drag, and that will allow me to narrow or expand the range of colors that I'm currently effecting. I'll go ahead and drag over to the left, all the way until the shorts become completely gray. And that tells me that I've successfully expanded the range of colors to include all areas of the photo that I want to have an effect on. Now I've used an exaggerated adjustment completely reducing saturation and it's not really what I want to do. I don't want grey shorts, I just want the shorts to not be quite so cyan and not quite so saturated.
So, now that I have successfully adjusted the range of colors for the blues here, I'll go ahead and bring that saturation back up to a more appropriate level. I can also adjust the hue, I'll go ahead and bring the saturation up to a relatively high value and then I'll shift the hue. You can see that I can change the hue, the basic color of blue, to any color of the rainbow I'd like. In this case, the shorts were a little bit too cyan, so I'll shift over toward more of a blue color and then I'll further reduce the saturation in that area of the photo.
And I can continue fine-tuning as I see fit, adjusting the overall hue to shift the color a little bit and adjusting the saturation to change the intensity of color. But as you can see, by choosing a specific color channel that I want to work with and then as needed fine tuning the range of colors to be affected. I can focus my adjustments to impact the overall color and the intensity of that color for a specific range of colors within the photo.
- Choosing your source image
- Adding metadata
- Image restoration strategy
- Working with layers
- Evaluating before and after
- Tonal and color adjustments
- Image cleanup
- Adjusting detail
- Saving the master image
- Creating a print or online version