Last week I showed you how to brighten your pictures in Photoshop. That’s the first step I take with my pictures, and an awful lot of the time with my new camera, that’s all I need to do. With my old point and shoot, that wasn’t the case. For whatever reason, the colors on my old camera just weren’t great, so I felt the need to tweak them.
Today I’ll show you how.
We’ll use this picture of G from Denver as our example. See how it has a slightly blue tint and the colors are all kind of muddy? We’re going to fix that.
Now, as I said, usually adjusting my levels would be the first thing I’d do, but today I’m going to skip that step so you can see how much we can change the picture just by adjusting the colors.
First, to get rid of that blue tone, we’re going to use a photo filter. This is useful for if your whole picture has an overall color you don’t like.
Once your filter options pop up, choose the option that is the opposite of your problem color. If your photo has too much blue, go with a warming filter, too much orange/yellow use a cooling filter. You can also try out the color name filters, but typically the warming (81)/cooling (82) filters do the job for me.
My filtered photo now looks like this:
Now lets get some of those muddy colors a little clearer.
When your options show up, begin adjusting your individual colors.
Typically I start by adjusting my blacks and whites first. They’ll have already gotten a boost from changing the levels, but this makes our darks even darker and more crisp and our whites even brighter without having to worry about blowing out the whole picture.
I strongly suggest taking advantage of your ability to check and uncheck the box next to “preview” during this stage. It can make the difference between great, saturated colors and Oompa-Loompa-land technicolor nightmares.
A comparison of the finished (left) and original pictures (right):
Again, normally I would have worked with my levels before I did this process, which would have made this an even brighter, more crisp picture, but you can see how much sharper an image you can create simply by working with your colors.
Play around with this until you find your personal style when it comes to your pictures. You’ll find that once you do you’ll be able to adjust pictures taken on your camera quickly and easily with only a little bit of fiddling to find the “right” amounts of color to add or subtract. A lot of this is just personal taste, so keep playing until you’re happy with it!