tutorials > 5 Easy Color Tricks
It’s no secret that I pretty much live and die by gradient maps. But they are not the only way to achieve some cool color. Photoshop is full of tasty alternatives. So here, I will take you through a few various ways that create some cool color.
But it should also go to note that typically, I use several adjustment layers. Some are gradient maps, some are color balance or selective color or curves or other things. And they are set to different blend modes. So as with every tutorial you read, you should experiment around with what you pick and see what happens!
Also keep in mind that these are basic instructions or techniques. Most of the color tools also have eyedropper capabilities (which means you can sample a color from you main image and that color will be the only effected with the changes you make.)
Anyway, let’s start with this image:
Trick #1. Now got to Layer >> New Adjustment Layer >> Channel Mixer. Blend mode: Normal. I applied these settings:
The result brings softer hues to her face and the background gets a nice blue tinge:
Trick #2. Now got to Layer >> New Adjustment Layer >> Curves. Blend mode: Color. Opacity: 54%. And I applied these settings, note that I selected RED from the drop down menu instead of the default RGB:
The result of this bring out a lovely and rich red but it doesn’t over saturate her skin:
Trick #3. Now got to Layer >> New Adjustment Layer >> Levels. Blend mode: Multiply. Opacity: 100%. I applied settings to both RGB and RED:
This has brought the image some heightened shadows with a touch of dark red.
Trick #4. This is a little different. For this effect, go to Select >> Color Range. A dialogue box will pop up. From the drop down menu, select SHADOWS and press OK. You will see that parts of your image were selected. The shadows, obviously. Now go to Layer >> New Fill Layer >> Solid Color. Blend mode: Color. Opacity: 100%. I chose a grayish-blue color and got this:
Trick #5. More Color Range Selection. I recommend this tool. I use it frequently and there are infinite ways to use it. This time I am going to use the eyedropper tool and select the lighter gray tones just outside her body. And then I set the controls like this:
After hitting OK I create a Layer >> New Fill Layer >> Solid Color. Blend mode: Darken. Opacity: 100%. I use a soft orangey-brown and the results offer a neat mossy green color. Again, her skin still looks normal.
Okay, so this was super basic but I hope I was able to show a few cool things you might not have known! Certainly be sure to look into Color Range Selection because what I have shown here is hardly anything! I use it in almost everything I make. 🙂