Two Easy Ways to Change Color in Photoshop | Lesson | Photo, video, optics


How to change eye color from normal to magical yellow? How can I tone down the saturation of a bright building in the background to focus on the model? How to turn summer into golden autumn?

We tell and show with detailed screenshots how to quickly change the color of an object in a photo in Photoshop.

By changing the color, you can make the photo more harmonious or, on the contrary, defiant, add magic and gently influence where the viewer is looking / Photo: Elizaveta Chechevitsa, Fotosklad.Expert

What color consists of — three parameters

The same color can look different:

  • attract attention by acting as a bright detail;
  • merge with the background, thereby bringing the model to the fore;
  • create a calm melancholic mood if it is muffled and desaturated.

To change color more consciously and create beautiful harmonious combinations in the frame, you need to know what color consists of. Color is formed by three parameters:

  • Color tone. This is a shade of color. For example, red can be more crimson or, conversely, go to yellow-orange.
  • Saturation. Otherwise — the richness of the color. This is the amount of pigment in a color, its difference from gray. If you completely remove the saturation from the photo, you get a black and white picture.
  • Brightness. It is also called lightness. This is a parameter that indicates the amount of black or white in a color.

This triad is shortened to the abbreviation HSL — Hue, Saturation, Lightness.

The same color can change beyond recognition and give a huge variety of shades, even if you just change the brightness and / or saturation / Illustration: Elizaveta Chechevitsa, Photosklad.Expert

Let’s take a look at Photoshop’s tools to quickly change the color of any element in a photo, from eye color to background.

Change the color of an object with the tool Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation)

Tool Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) allows you to change the hue, saturation and brightness of the entire photo as a whole and each color separately. Moreover, you can choose the desired color from the list or let the tool determine it yourself if you are not sure.

What the Hue/Saturation Hue/Saturation tool consists of / Illustration: Elizaveta Lentchevicha, Photostore.Expert

one. Presets/Presets. Settings prepared in advance by developers. For example, themes have sepia or “antique” tinting, which is called that — old style.

2. If you select this tool and click anywhere in the photo, it will determine what color it is. Now you can change the hue, saturation or brightness of the selected color. The rest of the colors in the image will not be affected.

In the common people, the instrument is called Finger, Hand or Paw.

3. Dropdown list Master/Master. If you click on it, all colors available for correction will appear. There are six of them: Red, Yellow, Green, Cyan, Blue, Purple.

By selecting any color from the list, you will only affect it. For example, if you want to change the color of the foliage, just choose yellow or green.

4. Basic sliders for color adjustment — Color tone or Hue / Hue, Saturation / Saturation, Brightness / Lightness (in some translations Lightness or Luminosity).

5. Pipettes. The first eyedropper determines the color in the same way as the tool number 2 — just select it and click on the object in the picture. Pipette+, if you click on the photo, it expands the correction area. For example, you change the color of the skin, but because of the sculpting and blush, it has many different shades. Pipette- narrows the correction area.

6. Colorize / Toning. If checked, the entire photo is uniformly tinted with one color, removing all but one color.

7. Top rainbow bar shows default colors. As you start changing the hues in the photo, the bar at the bottom will change. Generally speaking, the bar at the top shows the original color, and at the bottom — what this color turned into.

How to Change Eye Color in Photoshop Using Hue/Saturation

The same method can be used to recolor foliage, clothes, hair, buildings, wool, background and other objects in the frame.

Important disclaimer: change white, black or gray colors will not work.

1. In the palette Layers find the adjustment layer tab and select the tool Hue/Saturation.

Adjustment layers tab in the Layers palette. If this palette does not exist, add it via the menu Window / Window — Layers / Layers or the hot key F7 / Illustration: Elizaveta Lentchevicha, Photostore.Expert

2. Select the desired color.

Find a color in the drop-down list or take an eyedropper/paw and point to the desired object in the photo. In this case, you need a blue color / Illustration: Elizaveta Lentchevicha, Photosklad.Expert

The smoothness of the color change can be fine-tuned using the sliders between the rainbow stripes. The closer the sliders, the less similar shades will change their color, saturation or brightness.

3. Move the slider Hue/Hueto change the eye color. If the iris needs to be made more pronounced in color, move the slider to plus Saturation / Saturation.

The color of the eyes changed to purple, but the skin, lips and hair remained intact / Illustration: Elizaveta Lentchevicha, Photostore.Expert

4. If other similar colors in the photo change along with the color of the eyes (in this case, the background, snow on the hair), erase them using a mask.

Using a black brush over the mask, the color remained only in front of the eyes / Illustration: Elizaveta Lentchevicha, Photosklad.Expert

For this:

— click on the mask;

— take a tool Brush (hot key B);

— switch the brush to black. To do this, just click on the two black and white squares above the palette;

— walk the brush over those places where you do not need a change in color.

How to change colors in Photoshop using the Selective Color tool

Tool Selective Color Correction changes the composition of the color, increasing or decreasing the number of primary colors in it. For example, in red, you can reduce the presence of yellow, and then it will change its shade to a colder one. That is, the tool not only removes the color, but also adds the opposite to it.

Selective color correction is not always able to change the color as drastically as it does Hue/Saturation. Also, it cannot be used to make the picture black and white. But it changes the shades of colors more accurately.

What the Selective Color Tool consists of / Illustration: Elizaveta Lentchevicha, Photosklad.Expert

one. Presets/Presets. Preset settings. By default, the dropdown is empty, but presets can be saved or loaded.

2. Colors To get started with a specific color, select it from this drop-down list of 9 colors.

3. The main four colors, the amount of which is adjustable in the selected color — Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black.

When you reduce the amount of one color in a color, its opposite is added to it. This screenshot shows what color will be added if Cyan, Magenta and Yellow are removed / Illustration: Elizaveta Lentchevicha, Photostore.Expert

4. Color mixing patterns.

Relative / Relative. Changes the proportion of a color based on its quantity. That is, a percentage of the current color percentage is added. So, if the color is 70% yellow, and add another 10% of the current value to it, then you will get a color in which 77% yellow.

– Absolute/Absolute. It does not calculate percentages, but simply adds the current value on top. So, if you add another 10% on top to a color with 70% yellow, then in total you get a color with 80% yellow.

What this means in practice is that absolute correction changes color more than relative correction, which is softer.

How to Change Foliage Color with Selective Color Correction

1. Open the desired photo. In the palette Layers find the contribution with adjustment layers and click on the line Selective color correction / Selective Color.

Adjustment layers tab in the Layers palette. If this palette does not exist, add it via the menu Window / Window — Layers / Layers or the hot key F7 / Illustration: Elizaveta Lentchevicha, Photostore.Expert

2. In the list of colors, find the one you need. Unlike Hue/Saturation here you can not click on the photo with the eyedropper so that Photoshop itself finds the desired color.

In this case, the yellow color was needed to correct the color of the sheet. In order for the shade not to “creep” onto the skin, you will have to erase it with a black brush over the mask / Illustration: Elizaveta Lentchevicha, Photosklad.Expert

3. Use the sliders to change the amount of each specific color in the selected color to change its hue. To adjust the Brightness, use the slider with Black color / Black.


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