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Photoshop – Improving Specific Colors

Level: Very Easy

Here’s an easy trick to make a specific color more vibrant in your photographs using Photoshop’s Selective Color adjustment tool.

Here I have a photo of a classic postal box. The saturation’s not as good as it should be due to the flat, overcast lighting.

The colors are pretty accurate to the actual scene, but let’s make it a little more interesting and punchy, make the reds stand out more from the rest of the scene without it looking nuclear.

Here’s the video tutorial

1. Open the image in Photoshop.

2. Go to Layer >> New Adjustment Layer >> Selective Color, the Selective Color window appears:

Photoshop Adjusting Selective Colors

3. Select “Reds” from the Colors: drop-down menu and adjust the Red slider until you’ve reached your desired effect. Adjust the other sliders as you see fit, try dragging the sliders all the way to the left and right to see the main colors being affected.

Photoshop Adjusting Selective Colors

4. The image already looks good, you can stop at Step 3 if you wish. I want to add some more contrast and saturation, we do that by changing the Blend Mode of the Selective Color adjustment layer to OVERLAY. You can reduce the effect by adjusting the Opacity slider to a lower value.

Photoshop Adjusting Selective Colors

5. Finally, I added a Levels adjustment layer to bring up the midtones a little, this step is PURELY optional.

Photoshop Adjusting Selective Colors

There you have it, our before and after photos.

Photoshop Adjusting Selective Colors

Just remember to pick the appropriate primary color when using this tool. It’s very easy to use and results are very pleasing.

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