Agenda :: 3/1

Today: Color correction and replacement in Photoshop!

One of the most powerful features in Photoshop is its color correction and replacement tools. By learning the ins-and-outs of how to adjust these aspects, you can end up with some really unique photos/images. As always, sometimes the best way to learn a program is to play around with it, so here’s a few small projects you might try out today on your own to get more familiar. If you stumble across something cool that I haven’t included, let me know and I’ll be happy to share!

  • Adjusting levels and saturation
  1. After loading your photo in Photoshop, look for the adjustment layer button in the Layers Panel (it looks like a half-white, half-black circle). Select hue and saturation. Hue will change the tint of your picture as a whole, saturation takes color away. If saturation is all the way down, your picture will be grayscale, if it is all the way up it will have unnaturally vibrant colors. Click the “colorize” button, and it renders your photo in shades of one color, which you can adjust. Here’s an example of Saturation vs. Desaturation
    saturation
  • Isolating a single color in a photo
  1. Find a photo that has one element you think could be singled out as a color. Duplicate the layer so that there are two identical copies. Using the steps in the previous example, totally desaturate the top layer. Now all you have to do is take your eraser tool and erase away the parts where you want color exposed. Here’s a cat whose eyes I isolated in this same way:
    Cat-Blue-Eyes-640x400
  • Applying a gradient map to get some wild results.
  1. Also listed under the Layer Adjustment menu when you click the button, you can select Gradient Map, which will change your colors based on preset gradients. When the properties panel pops up, you can change which gradient by clicking the downward arrow to the right of the gradient bar. If you click the gear icon, even more options for gradients will pop up. If you click on the gradient bar itself, you can adjust the colors and create your own custom gradient. Here’s Bill Murry as Steve Zissou in some crazy psychedelic colors:
    zissou

That’s pretty much it for now. There are lots and lots more tools to use (maybe see if you can find the Color Replacement brush and see what it does!), but these are some basics. Play around, have fun, and see what you can do!

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