Photo Edit Friday - Adjusting Colors

The Program - Photoshop Elements 10Objective - Adjusting saturation in just part of an image.

I often find myself adjusting colors in the images I take.  I never have a set enhancement that I do, as each photo typically needs something different done to it.  Here we are going to look at how to adjust the saturation of just a small portion of an image.  In this case, the original was too saturated and I want to lessen the color.

[pictureframe image="http://www.jlauritsen.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/BigK.jpg" align="center" lightbox="false" title="" link="" width="500" height="352"]

Here is my wife, Amanda, and I on top of Katahdin in Maine.  This was the end of our 2175 mile journey along the Appalachian Trail.

I love the photo for the memories it brings however, it was a gray rainy day.  Not the best for a summit photo.  Amanda's jacket is just a bit over saturated for my tastes.  So, lets bring down that saturation a bit.

In Photoshop Elements, open up the photo and the first thing you want to is create a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer.  Click on the New Adjustment Layer in the Layers Panel and select Hue/Saturation.

[pictureframe image="http://www.jlauritsen.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Adjustment.jpg" align="center" lightbox="false" title="" link="" width="276" height="181"]

This brings up a new layer in our layers panel and allows us to make changes to the image.  The great thing about adjustment layers is you can come back to them later if you want to adjust that specific thing later.  I want to lessen the saturation on the jacket, so we take the saturation slider and bring it into the -negative range.

[pictureframe image="http://www.jlauritsen.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/AdjustmentLayer.jpg" align="center" lightbox="false" title="" link="" width="275" height="356"]

Now here is where the fun begins.   I don't want to desaturate the entire image, just the jacket.  Anytime you create an Adjustment Layer, it automatically creates a layer mask with it. We use this mask to either show, or hide parts of this layer.  In this case, showing the desaturated jacket.

[pictureframe image="http://www.jlauritsen.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Mask.jpg" align="center" lightbox="false" title="" link="" width="273" height="175"]

The saying goes, Black Conceals and White Reveals.  This means that on a mask layer, what you paint with white, will be what is shown, and what you paint with black will be the part hidden.  Since I only need to show the jacket, I fill the whole mask with black and then grab my paintbrush ad paint with white over only the jacket.

The result is a more equal look to the image with the jacket slightly desaturated. [pictureframe image="http://www.jlauritsen.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/BigK-Edit.jpg" align="center" lightbox="false" title="" link="" width="500" height="331"]