Jul 30, 2014

PHAN WEEK: How to Make Colors POP in Photoshop

Make Colors Pop in Photoshop

In today’s episode we show you a quick tip for making colors pop in Photoshop. This technique is perfect for a photo that is dominated by one or two colors, especially if those colors are complimentary. Here are some complimentary colors that will always look great when used together.

  • Red and Green – One of the images in today’s episode uses these two colors together to create separation between the subject and her background.
  • Blue and Orange – Aaron’s personal favorite color combination. You will see this combination often in portrait lighting and skies.
  • Violet and Yellow – You won’t see this combination often in nature (except flowers and sunsets), but it is no less stunning than other combinations.

Select a Color Range

The first step in making a color stand out is selecting the color range. In this episode Aaron shows you how to use the Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer to select a color. After selecting a color, adjust the sliders on the bottom of the adjustment layer to include the entire color range.

To make sure you are selecting the entire color range try cranking up the hue and saturation sliders. This will highlight the selected colors and allow you to see the selected area better.

After making the right selection bring the hue and saturation down to zero and adjust from there. You will be amazed at what you can do by bringing up the saturation and changing the hue slightly.


user image You
(will not be published)

  • user image

    Great tutorial!! Would it be possible to have the same tutorial but then for editing clouds with channels? 🙂

  • user image

    With Topaz Remask 4 just being released its a great way to quickly produce cut outs but the problem I still have in making the image look realistic is to put back a shadow. I have done this in the past by using a copy of the main image and adjusting it but is there a better way of doing this?

  • user image

    Occasionally I need to convert a RGB image to a very specific CMYK format and this always pulls out my reds and greens and I have to tweak for hours sometimes to get it even close to the original image colors and it’s never the same. Is there a way to do this and get the same coloring back or is it hopeless?

    I absolutely LOVE your tutorials! I have been using Photoshop for years (self taught) and watching your tutorials as taught me things I never knew existed! Thank you SO MUCH!

  • user image

    First look, I thougth it is head without a body. 🙂
    Great turtorial. Again.

  • user image
    Joshua Pheneger

    So awesome to see one of my images in your video Aaron, thanks! You guys are awesome, do you plan on releasing any new Pro tutorials soon?

  • user image

    Great video Aaron, I’m just starting out and your website has been a blessing! Do you know if this is easy enough to do in Lightroom?

    • user image

      Hey Steve! Lightroom is a pretty powerful tool as well and you can do a LOT in there, but it may not give you the micro controls that Photoshop will.

      There is in fact, an entire section of the Lightroom Develop Panel dedicated to Colors, and Hue/Saturation! Take some time and play around with them in there. You can do some pretty incredible things! 🙂

  • user image
    John Stanley

    Hi Aaron,
    Once again you have shown me the light (pun intended) .

    My question, how do I create a Jigsaw effect, then your best way to cut of pieces, and present your work?
    CS5 had one, CC does not?

    Just one more, can you explain how to set up keyboard keys to do specific tasks.

    Thank you again for some life changing tutorials. I really liked you 10 tips on starting a business, I liked your honesty.

    Kind regards to you and the whole team..

    John Stanley

  • user image

    Hi! I love your tutorials, especially this one. However why do you use this method opposed to selective coloring? Does one have more advantages than the other?

  • user image

    At 7:22 I can’t understand what you said. Something about a “stamped visible” ? Then you do some complicated keyboard shortcut. Can you clarify this?

    • user image

      PC: Shift+Alt+Ctrl+ E
      Mac: Shift+Option+Cmd+E

      It creates a snapshot of what you’re actually see on your canvas and paste it onto the layer that you’re working on.

  • user image

    There are a lot of different blurs in Photoshop. You’ve made a video about “Blur Gallery” in CC, but I couldn’t find a video where you compare blurs that are, for example, in CS6. My question is- what are the differences between those blurs? When “should” we use which?

  • user image
    Chelle S

    Aaron, you’re like a Photoshop Wizard! I love watching you make magic in Photoshop. I’ve learned sooooooo much! Thank you for sharing your time with all of us.

  • user image

    Thank you for being awesome!! I just started in photoshop and am learning so much. Your attitude and ease of listening is also on point. You have a new fan.

  • user image
    Terry Carew

    Very enjoyable videos. You have a nice easy going style and pass on lots of learning and tips. Thank you.

  • user image
    Maya Ivanova

    Hi Aaron,
    you are just amazing!! I have learn so mach from you!
    I would like to know haw to make a retouche like this on a pic, especaily the skin tone. Thanks. 🙂

    • user image

      yeah, i also want to know how we can make a photo like above. it’s not playing dodge & burn tools only i thought. its more than that. Aaron, can you explain? Tq! 🙂

  • user image

    Hi – the image “behind” the comment by Karima near the beginning looks really striking and I’d like to see it properly. Who took it and is it online anywhere?