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Advanced Photoshop Compositing: Mastering Light & Color with Stock Images

  • Review
    5.00 out of 5
    4 Reviews
  • Difficulty
    Advanced
  • Length
    3.25 hours
  • Videos
    8
  • Software

Description

Get ready to dive into the fascinating world of compositing! Discover the art of seamlessly blending a person into a brand new background. Unveil some awesome techniques such as shadow blending and color matching that will take your final creation to a whole new level of realism.

THIS COURSE INCLUDES

  • 7 Sample Images
  • 1 Sample PSD
  • 1 Photoshop Brush

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 | Course Preview
  • 01 - What You'll Learn
    1:22m
Chapter 2 | Creating the Composite
  • 01 - Compositing Essentials Unveiled
    17:15m
  • 02 - Mastering Subject Integration
    24:21m
  • 03 - Crafting the Perfect Reflection
    29:16m
  • 04 - Refining Layers
    20:12m
  • 05 - Captivating Light Effects
    39:49m
  • 06 - Magical Northern Lights
    22:52m
  • 07 - Adding the Final Touches
    32:10m

Compositing Magic Unleashed

INTO ONE BEAUTIFUL SCENE

COMBINE SEVEN IMAGES

Advanced Compositing in Photoshop

Compositing is what we do best, and we’re here to help you unlock the full potential of this technique to create extraordinary visuals. Discover the art of seamlessly blending multiple images into a surreal and captivating composition using Photoshop.

Expand your Skillset

Master essential tools like Levels, Clipping Masks, Smart Objects, and Custom Photoshop Brushes to develop a seamless workflow for combining multiple images. Gain precise control over the elements you’re compositing and elevate your images to the next level.

Use Stock Images

Don’t let the complexity of compositing hinder your progress, especially when it comes to finding the right images for your creation. Our tutorial includes all the necessary images, saving you valuable time and effort.

FINAL COMPOSITE

ORIGINAL BACKGROUND

Complete PSD File

We don’t just show you how to create this stunning image, we include our own completed PSD file for you to explore and reverse-engineer. See how a pro organizes and structures a project to be able to work quickly and non-destructively.

Photoshop Brush

Using brushes in Photoshop is essential for adding artistic touches, creating unique effects, and enhancing your digital artwork. This course includes our custom Photoshop Brush for you to use and keep forever!

Compositing Learning Path

To comfortably navigate through this course, it’s necessary to have some familiarity with Photoshop and experience in compositing. If you’re new to compositing, we recommend exploring our Compositing Learning Path—a curated selection of our top-notch compositing courses that will guide you from beginner to expert. Follow this link to access the Compositing Learning Path.

Put Your Imagination to Work

Seven Photos, One Masterpiece


Join us in creating an awe-inspiring scene by blending seven stunning free stock images into a seamless and visually striking composite!

AFTER

BEFORE

Perfect Color Match

Craft a convincing composite image by flawlessly matching colors. Dive into the world of adjusting colors separately for shadows, mid-tones, and highlights to achieve an authentic and vibrant color blend that brings your composition to life.

The Power of Artificial Intelligence

With AI-powered tools, you can now achieve precise and accurate selections with just a few clicks, saving you valuable time and effort. Say goodbye to tedious manual selection techniques and embrace the convenience of AI for seamless subject extraction in Photoshop.

Sky Replacement

Learn how to easily swap out the sky in your images with a different sky from another photograph. Discover techniques and tools that enable you to smoothly integrate a new sky, effortlessly transforming the mood and atmosphere of your photos.

CREATE TEXTURES LIKE A PRO

BLEND IMAGES SEAMLESSLY

Texture Integration

Creating textures plays a vital role when blending multiple images in Photoshop. Textures add depth, realism, and cohesion to the final composite, helping to seamlessly integrate various elements.

Efficient Workflow

With almost 15 years of experience under his belt, Aaron Nace has mastered a smooth and efficient compositing workflow. Get ready to learn how to work smart, solve creative challenges, and make the most of various tools to nail your compositing projects.

Mastering Photo Compositing

Once you finish this course, try one of our other advanced compositing courses like Advanced Compositing with Stock Photos and Advanced Compositing with Stock Photos 2!

Aaron Nace

PHLEARN Founder – Class Instructor

Aaron Nace is a photographer, Photoshop artist and founder of PHLEARN. He is the #1 Photoshop instructor in the world with millions of YouTube subscribers.

View More Classes by Aaron Nace

Special thanks to Eberhard Grossgasteiger, Joshimer Biñas, Stephan Seeber, Tobias Bjørkli, and Zayceva Tatiana. Images for this PRO course were sourced from Pexels.

Reviews

  1. Yet another tremendous and detailed tutorial Aaron and a beautiful piece of art! I love the attention to detail in your compositing tutorials and how fairly random images come together to make something unique and special. The only thing that I wonder about is the reflection. It’s really well done but to my eyes it’s not totally believable because it appears too bright relative to the subject. What do you think? Thanks again!

  2. I really enjoyed this tutorial, and I got a tremendous amount out of it. I don’t do much in the way of compositing yet, but in this tutorial I was introduced to numerous Photoshop techniques that I can use in all my photo work.

  3. As always you have given us some wonderful techniques Aaron. Having gone over the individual tools many times, I find these composite exercises a very satisfying way of putting it all together.

  4. .. Love learning new things on photoshop with phlearn .Aaron make the class so fun and the project so inspiring. Really enjoying this one .thank you Aaron .Bx

  • Colorful Portraits: How to Mix Graphics & Photos in Photoshop

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Learn how create a unique artistic effect by combining a portrait with splatter effects in Photoshop. Using channels for precise selections, we select darker areas of the image and fill them with color. Position splatter effects over the subject and use layer masks to fine-tune the outcome. Experiment with layer styles and blending modes to achieve captivating results. This versatile technique adds depth and dimension to digital art, graphic design, and photography projects.

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AFTER

BEFORE

Create Vibrant Portraits

Learn how to create a unique artistic effect by combining a portrait with splatter effects in Photoshop. This technique adds depth to the image and produces an impressive outcome that cannot be achieved with simple blend modes.

1. Preparing the image and splatter effect:
Start by selecting a suitable portrait and a high-quality splatter effect. Adobe Stock is a great resource for finding appropriate splatter effects. Download the effect and import it into Photoshop.

2. Understanding blending modes:
The blending mode is essential when working with multiple layers in Photoshop. While the ‘multiply’ blending mode can provide interesting results, it may not produce the desired colors or opacity. To achieve a more controlled effect, we’ll use the ‘normal’ blending mode.

3. Utilizing channels for selections:
Channels are powerful tools for making precise selections in Photoshop. They enable you to select specific areas based on the intensity of color information in the image. To work with channels, open the Channels panel by going to Window > Channels.

4. Selecting the appropriate channel:
The goal is to select the channel that contains the most information. In our case, the green channel provides the best result. To create a selection based on the green channel, either hold control/command and click on the thumbnail or use the selection icon.

5. Creating a new layer:
Return to the Layers panel and create a new layer. The selection made using the green channel selects the lighter areas of the image. Invert the selection by going to Select & Inverse to select the darker areas instead.

6. Filling the selection with color:
Create another new layer, and then go to Edit > Fill. Choose ‘color’ for the Contents, and use the color picker’s eyedropper tool to pick the desired color from the background.

7. Utilizing the splatter effect:
The filled selection now has transparency built into it, which adds depth to the image. Make the subject visible again, and position the splatter effects over them. Duplicate the splatter layer as needed to create multiple effects. Use a layer mask to selectively hide or reveal parts of the splatter effect, ensuring that it doesn’t obscure essential features of the subject.

8. Refining the effect:
To further enhance the final result, you can experiment with layer styles such as ‘inner glow’ or ‘drop shadow.’ Additionally, you can adjust the hue, saturation, and brightness of the splatter effect using adjustment layers. Finally, consider experimenting with different blending modes to achieve a variety of interesting results.

This technique is versatile and can be applied to various projects, including digital art, graphic design, and photography.

  • How to Create Sunset Color & Light in Lightroom Desktop

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Learn to create a warm beautiful atmosphere in your images in Lightroom Desktop. Learn to adjust color and light as well as add masking to light areas to enhance the look and beauty of your photos!

Artist Credit

Special Thanks to the following artist for uploading their images and making them available for free for everyone to use.

Efecan Efe on Pexels

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AFTER

BEFORE

  • How to Adjust Colors in Lightroom Desktop

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Learn to use Lightroom’s new powerful AI Selection tools like Select Subject to select and isolate colors for more power and control. In this tutorial, we start by selecting the subject and then isolating only her dress – so we can change the color from green to purple and create contrasting colors with the environment.

We also add blue to the sky and bring more attention to the subject with a natural vignette. All of these tips are easy to do and can make a big difference in your images!

Artist Credit

Special Thanks to the following artist for uploading their images and making them available for free for everyone to use.

Megan Ruth on Pexels

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AFTER

BEFORE

  • How to Change Background Color in Photoshop

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Learn how to easily change the background color of any image in Photoshop.

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Photo by Charles Wundengba on Pexels

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MAKE DETAILED SELECTIONS OF HAIR

BEFORE

  • Change Any Color into a Specific Color in Photoshop

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description

Learn how to use Gradient Maps in Photoshop to change the color of any object to match a specific color value! Perfect for changing the colors in a photo to match the colors of a company’s logos and branding.

Ready to learn more Photoshop? Check out The Beginner’s Guide to Photoshop and our comprehensive series of courses in our Photoshop Learning Path.

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Images sourced from Pexels.

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change any color to specific color in photoshop

CHANGE ANY COLOR TO A SPECIFIC COLOR

  • How to Use the Color Grading Tool in Lightroom Classic

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Learn how to use the Color Grading Tool in Lightroom Classic to apply a professional color grade to an image, and then apply that same coloring to an entire series of images.

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Images sourced from Pexels.

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color grade tool lightroom classic

APPLY PROFESSIONAL COLOR GRADE

BEFORE

Pro Color Grading in a Few Clicks

The New Color Grading in Lightroom Classic

Released in 2020, the relatively new Color Grading Tool promises to make the process of color grading quicker and easier without losing the control we need for a professional result.

Follow along as we explore the Color Grading Tool in Lightroom Classic, and use it to color grade an entire collection of images in just a few minutes.

Breaking Down the Color Grading Tool

Import the collection of images provided with the link above, or feel free to use a collection of your own.

Once the images are loaded into Lightroom, open the Develop module, and then open the Color Grading tab.

We’ve talked about color and lightness, but what about saturation? If you want to adjust the saturation of a range, hold SHIFT as you move the cursor within a color wheel.

Once opened, the Color Grading Tool gives us a handful of ways that we can target and adjust the colors in an image.

We can choose to make targeted adjustments, focusing specifically on the highlights, midtones, or shadows in the image.

We can make global adjustments, which will affect the entire photo as a whole. This option is faster, but we sacrifice a lot of control. If you’ve got the time, we recommend sticking with the other adjustment options.

Lastly, there’s the 3-Way adjustment option which allows us to make color adjustments across the highlights, midtones, and shadows with control of each. This is our preferred method, so let’s take a closer look at what it can do.

Notice the 3 color controls for the midtones, shadows, and highlights. These allow you to adjust both the color and the lightness for each range.

While you’re experimenting with color options, you can hold ALT or OPTN to toggle reset options for any one of the color wheels, or for the entire Color Grading Tool. This is great, as it allows you to test out a variety of coloring while being able to quickly undo a change at any point.

If you want a little more control as you move your cursor around a color wheel, holding ALT or OPTN as you drag will decrease the sensitivity of the cursor, allowing you to make finer adjustments.

Coloring a Collection with Sync Settings

If you’re working with a series of similar images from a photoshop, you may want to apply a similar look to every photograph.

The Sync Settings feature in Lightroom makes this process quick and easy.

Back in the Library module, select the image that you’ve color graded.

Then, hit CTRL or CMD + A to select all of the other images that you’ve imported.

Near the bottom right of the screen, click on the Sync Settings button. The Sync Settings dialog will open.

This dialog allows us to choose which adjustments that we want to copy from our main image to every other image that we’ve selected.

Click the Check None button to start from scratch.

Since we only used the Color Grading Tool to make our adjustments, we only need to check the box for Color Grading from the list.

Click Synchronize, and Lightroom will copy those exact adjustments from the Color Grading Tool to every other image selected.

Best of all, you can click on any image, open the Develop module, and then make more adjustments using the Color Grading Tool to give each image a more customized look.

  • How to Change the Color of Clothing in Photoshop

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Follow along as we show you how to realistically change the color of clothing in Photoshop. Learn how to use Layer Masks, Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layers, and Curves Adjustment Layers to change clothing to any color–even black or white.

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Image sourced from Pexels.

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change color of clothing photoshop

CHANGE THE COLOR OF CLOTHING–EVEN TO BLACK AND WHITE!

BEFORE

Change the Color of Clothing & Products

The Basics of Changing Colors in Photoshop

Being able to realistically change the color of something in Photoshop is an essential skill, especially when working with images of clothing, fashion, or products. Fortunately, the tools and techniques you’ll need to work with color are easy to use and master.

Using basic selections, Layer Masks, and Hue/Saturation and Curves Adjustment Layers, you’ll be able to change the color of anything in a matter of minutes.

Making a Selection

Like many other Photoshop techniques, the color change workflow starts with a selection. Selections allow us to do a number of things, like target a specific area or object in a photo that we want to edit.

Since we’re trying to change the color of the subject’s clothing, we need to make a selection of the clothing so that we can change the color without affecting anything else in the image.

There are a ton of ways to make selections in Photoshop–some are quick and easy, and others require a little more time and attention. Since the image we’re working with has a relatively simple background, we’re going to focus on the quicker, automated tools to get the job done.

Keep in mind that selections (and Layer Masks) are things that evolve and change throughout an edit. As you’ll see later, an original selection might need to be refined later in the editing process as we notice areas that the quick selection tools might have missed.

change color of clothing photoshop

To create a quick, initial selection, open the Select menu and choose the Subject option. Photoshop will try to automatically identify and create a selection around the main subject in the photo.

change color of clothing photoshop

With this particular image, Select Subject does a nice job of accurately identifying the subject and selecting them. Since we’re only trying to edit the clothing, we’ll eventually need to remove the subject’s face, skin, and hair from the selection, but that will be easier once we’ve converted the selection into a Layer Mask.

Creating a Layer Mask from a Selection

Now that we have an active selection, it’s easy to turn it into a Layer Mask. Since we’re focusing on color change, the main tool we’ll be using is a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer. Whenever you have an active selection while creating a new Adjustment Layer, Photoshop automatically loads that selection as the Layer Mask of the Adjustment Layer.

change color of clothing photoshop

With the selection active, simply create a new Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer above the image in the Layers Panel. Photoshop will apply the selection to the Layer Mask.

change color of clothing photoshop

We’re just about ready to start adjusting the color of the clothing, but first we need to remove the subject’s face, skin, and hair from the Layer Mask so that they’re not affected by the Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer.

Refining the Layer Mask

Layer Masks are very easy to edit and refine over time. The most important thing to remember is that a Layer Mask simply defines where its associated Layer will be visible. White means that that part of the Layer will be visible (in this case, the subject), and black means that that part of the Layer will be invisible (in this case, the background).

change color of clothing photoshop

Since we want to isolate the clothing, only the clothing should appear in white on the Layer Mask.

change color of clothing photoshop

Try using the Quick Selection Tool to select the subject’s face and hair. Once you have an active selection, click on the Layer Mask of the Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer, and then fill the selection with black by opening the Edit menu and clicking on the Fill option.

change color of clothing photoshop

Repeat this process for any other areas of the subject’s skin and hair.

change color of clothing photoshop

Once you’re done, only the clothing should be visible in white on the Layer Mask.

Changing the Color

Now that the clothing is separated from the rest of the image, we’re ready to adjust the color! In many cases, a single Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer will do the trick, but occasionally an additional Curves Adjustment Layer can help bring back detail in the highlights and shadows (most useful when changing the color to black or white). Since it’s handy to have a Curves Adjustment available, let’s set the project up so that we can use both.

We’re going to need the same Layer Mask for both the Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer and for the Curves Adjustment Layer.

change color of clothing photoshop

The easiest way to do this, and stay organized, is to put the Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer into a Group by selecting it and then hitting CTRL or CMD + G.

Then click and drag the Layer Mask we created up to the Group. Now everything we place into this Group will be defined by the Layer Mask of the Group.

change color of clothing photoshop

Create a Curves Adjustment Layer and place it into the Group with the Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer.

Working with Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layers

To change the color of the clothing, double-click on the Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer to open the dialog.

change color of clothing photoshop

Make sure to check the Colorize box just below the three main sliders. Then adjust the sliders to change the color of the clothing!

change color of clothing photoshop

While changing the color, you may notice other areas you might have missed while creating the selection and Layer Mask. You can use a variety of selection tools, or just the Brush Tool set to black or white, to further refine the Layer Mask.

Changing the Color to Black or White

Our initial color change turned the clothing from lavender to green, which was pretty easy. But what if we wanted to change the clothing to black or white?

Changing the color of something to black or white can be tricky as it’s easy to lose important details in texture or in the highlight and shadow information.

That’s where the Curves Adjustment Layer can help. For example, let’s try changing the color to black.

change color of clothing photoshop

Drag the Saturation slider all the way to the left. Then, drag the Lightness slider in the Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer dialog to near black. Don’t drag it all the way to the left, as you will lose almost all of the detail you’ll need to make it look realistic.

change color of clothing photoshop

Then, double-click on the Curves Adjustment Layer dialog. Make the darks a little bit darker, and the highlights a little bit brighter. This will help to recover some of the original highlight and shadow information, creating a much more realistic effect.

change color of clothing photoshop

You can follow the same steps if you want to change the color to white. The only difference being that you want to reverse the Curves adjustments, instead making the highlights a little bit darker and the shadows a bit brighter.

  • Create a Bright & Beautiful Color Grade in Photoshop

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Learn how to add a bright and beautiful color grade to your photos with the Camera RAW filter in Photoshop!

Ready to learn more Photoshop? Check out The Beginner’s Guide to Photoshop and our comprehensive series of courses in our Photoshop Learning Path.

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bright beautiful color grade photoshop

BEAUTIFUL COLOR IN JUST A FEW MINUTES

  • How to Change Black into Any Color in Photoshop

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Learn how to use Levels and Hue/Saturation Adjustments to turn black into any color in Photoshop!

Ready to learn more Photoshop? Check out The Beginner’s Guide to Photoshop and our comprehensive series of courses in our Photoshop Learning Path.

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turn black into any color in photoshop

TURN BLACK INTO ANY COLOR

  • How to Change the Background Color in Photoshop

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Learn how to quickly change the color of almost any background in Photoshop!

Ready to learn more Photoshop? Check out The Beginner’s Guide to Photoshop and our comprehensive series of courses in our Photoshop Learning Path.

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change background color photoshop

QUICKLY CHANGE THE COLOR OF A BACKGROUND

  • Change the Color of Plants & Foliage in Photoshop

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Follow along as we change the color of plants and flowers in Photoshop! Learn how to use Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layers, Layer Masks, Groups, and more.

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BEFORE

Change the Color of Plants & Flowers

Change the Color of Anything in Photoshop

Photoshop makes it fairly easy to select particular colors, or even objects, in a photograph and make change to the hue, saturation or brightness.

And changing the colors of plants and flowers is a great way to add more visual interest to an image or just to create an eye-catching effect.

change color of plants and flowers in photoshop

Let’s see what we can do with the plant and flowers in this photo to make the image a littler darker and more dramatic.

Changing Colors with Hue/Saturation

We have some great courses on the power of Adjustment Layers in Photoshop and, if you want to master these useful tools, the Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer is a great place to start.

change color of plants and flowers in photoshop

You can add Adjustment Layers to the Layer Stack vie the Layer menu at the top of the screen. Hover over New Adjustment Layer and a list will appear with all of the available options.

Since we want to focus on changing the colors in our image, create a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer. Once selected, the Hue/Saturation Adjustment dialog will appear. This dialog provides a number of options to both select and change any color in a photo.

Let’s begin by changing the colors of leaves. The easiest way to do this is by selecting the greens in the image. Click on the drop-down box that’s currently set to Master, and then change it to Greens.

change color of plants and flowers in photoshop

Then, for even more precision, you can use the eyedropper tools to select the specific hues of green that you want to adjust.

change color of plants and flowers in photoshop

Once the colors you want to adjust have been selected, move the Hue, Saturation, and Lightness sliders to the left and right to see how those changes affect the image.

We chose to change the green leaves to be more of a dark blue/purple color.

We’ll move on to change the color of the flowers in a moment, but first we need to take care of some spots that the Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer missed.

Refining Hue/Saturation Adjustments

While the selection tools within the Hue/Saturation Adjustments are very helpful, they won’t always provide a perfect result.

change color of plants and flowers in photoshop

Zooming in, notice that some small areas, like flower stems, were missed by our original selections.

Fortunately, this is a pretty simple fix and we have a few options as to how we approach it.

change color of plants and flowers in photoshop

One method is to simply double-click on Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer to open the settings window, and then adjust the feathering of the effect using the slider at the bottom of the panel.

change color of plants and flowers in photoshop

By increasing the feathering, the Adjustment will expand out to affect a wider range of hues.

While this can sometimes solve the problem, it didn’t do very much for us in this particular example.

change color of plants and flowers in photoshop

Another more manual approach is to create a new Layer, select the Brush Tool, Sample a color from the surrounding area (hold ALT or OPTN and click on any color to sample it), and then paint over the spot that we want to change to the sampled color.

Select the Layer that you painted on, locate the Blending Mode options at the top of the Layer Panel, and change the Blending Mode to Color.

change color of plants and flowers in photoshop

Notice that Photoshop used the color of where we painted to change the color of the photo information below it.

We’re done with the leaves, now let’s try and change the color of the flowers to complete our new look!

Changing Multiple Colors

Since we’re changing the color of multiple objects in the image, we’re going to need multiple Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layers to finish the job.

change color of plants and flowers in photoshop

Using the same process as when we started, created a new Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer on top of the Layer Stack.

change color of plants and flowers in photoshop

Since our goal is to change the color of the flowers, choose Yellows from the drop-down box in the Hue/Saturation dialog.

change color of plants and flowers in photoshop

We chose to go with a pretty saturated red to make the image a little more dramatic. But there’s an issue.

Notice that the new adjustment affected the skin tone of the subject. This is a pretty common issue when working with images of people. Any time you adjust reds, oranges, or yellows–any warm color tones–you’re going to end up changing the skin tones of any people in your photo.

change color of plants and flowers in photoshop

As long as you know to look out for this issue, it’s another easy fix.

Simply Group all of the Hue/Saturation Adjustments together by selection all of them and hitting CTRL or CMD + G. Add a Layer Mask to the Group and, using a soft, round brush, use the Brush Tool to paint with black on Layer Mask over the subject and their skin.

change color of plants and flowers in photoshop

This will remove any color changes from affecting the colors in the subject’s skin, hair, and clothing.

You should end up with plants and flowers appearing in the colors that you chose, and a subject that looks perfectly natural.

  • How to Match Clothes to Any Color Background in Photoshop

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Learn some easy Photoshop techniques to change the color of clothing and fabric to match any background!

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match clothing color to any background in photoshop

match clothing color to any background in photoshop

MATCH CLOTHING COLOR TO ANY BACKGROUND

BEFORE

Change the Color of Clothing

Changing Colors in Photoshop

Creating a more cohesive color palette in an image can make for a more pleasing and impactful photograph. Take, for example, a photo of colorful clothing in front of an equally colorful background.

match clothing color to any background in photoshop

The colors are what make this image pop, but what if we could take it a step further and match the color of the subject’s clothing to more closely match the mural in the background? Let’s give it as try!

Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layers

We often talk about the power of Adjustment Layers in Photoshop. And when you want to change the color of anything, there’s no better tool than the Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer.

match clothing color to any background in photoshop

Create a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer above the background image. Notice that there are a variety of tools that allow us to define color ranges that we want to affect.

match clothing color to any background in photoshop

In this particular example, we want to change the color of the subject’s shirt to more of teal color to match the circles in the background.

Using the top drop-down box, we can select Blues to try and target the blue colors in the shirt.

Once you’ve finished defining the Layer Mask, you’re done! You’ve successfully changed the color of the clothing so that it better matches the background.

But we’re not quite done. Let’s take a look at another technique that uses the Brush Tool to remove some bright colors that might be a little too distracting.

Color Change with the Brush Tool

match clothing color to any background in photoshop

Now when we move the Hue Slider, the blues in the subject’s clothing change. But you’ll also notice that the background colors change as well. Don’t worry too much about this, as we can use a Layer Mask to prevent the Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer from affecting areas that we don’t want it to.

match clothing color to any background in photoshop

Fill the Layer Mask of the Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer with black, and then use the Brush Tool to paint white on the Layer Mask where you want the color change to appear–in our case, the subject’s shirt.

The Brush Tool & Blending Modes

You can also change the color of almost anything in a photo by simply painting with the Brush Tool and using Blending Modes to affect the color.

match clothing color to any background in photoshop

Sample a teal color from the background and, on a new Layer, paint over a small area of the subject’s bright yellow socks. We’ve got the color we want, but not the effect–it clearly looks like we just painted over the fabric.

match clothing color to any background in photoshop

To refine the effect, we’ll first need to make a fairly accurate selection of the areas we want to affect. Since we’re targeting the only bright yellow objects in the image, Select Color Range is the perfect tool for the job.

match clothing color to any background in photoshop

Once you’ve got a selection of the yellow socks, go back to painting over them with that sampled teal color.

Change the Blending Mode of that painted Layer to Color, and you’re good to go!

match clothing color to any background in photoshop

You should be left with clothing that more closely matches the background, and a more cohesive color palette overall!

  • Easy One-Click Color Correction In Photoshop

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Learn how to color correct any photo in just a few easy clicks using Curves in Photoshop!

Ready to learn more Photoshop? Check out The Beginner’s Guide to Photoshop and our comprehensive series of courses in our Photoshop Learning Path.

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INSTANT COLOR CORRECTION

  • Testing the New Colorize Neural Filter in Photoshop

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Instantly add color to any black and white photo using the Colorize Neural Filter in Photoshop!

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Videos sourced from Pexels.

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colorize neural filter photoshop

colorize neural filter photoshop

AFTER COLORIZE FILTER

BEFORE

Instantly Colorize Any Black & White Photo

Neural Filters in Photoshop

Colorize is one of the latest features introduced to Photoshop’s growing suite of Neural Filters. Powered by machine learning with Adobe Sensei, Neural Filters help to take otherwise complicated workflows and simplify them to just a few clicks.

colorize neural filter photoshop

You can find the Neural Filters under the Filter Menu.

colorize neural filter photoshop

Since many of the Neural Filters are still works on progress, most are located under the Beta Filters tab. Each Filter can be downloaded locally to use at any time, but some require an active network connection as they utilize cloud-based services. Depth-Aware Haze is one such Filter, so make sure that you’re connected to the internet if you want to give it a try.

The Colorize Neural Filter

One of the most commonly requested tutorials we get is how to colorize black and white images in Photoshop. While we do cover it in How to Restore Old & Vintage Photos, the manual process can be time consuming and involve a lot of trial and error.

colorize neural filter photoshop

The Colorize Neural Filter promises to make this complicated workflow as easy as a few clicks.

colorize neural filter photoshop

By simply toggling the Colorize Filter, any black and white photo will be instantly colorized.

colorize neural filter photoshop

However, there are several options and sliders that can help dial in the exact look and colors you want. You can use the sliders to adjust the overall amount of cyans, reds, blues, yellows, magentas, and greens in an image. This is especially helpful if you’re working with a portrait and you want to make sure that skin tones look warm and natural.

Focus Points

Since the Colorize Neural Filter is using A.I. to identify what colors should be present in the image, it might not always hit the mark. But the Focus Point feature can help!

colorize neural filter photoshop

You can select multiple Focus Points in a photo and assign a color to each.

colorize neural filter photoshop

We attempted to use a Focus Point to color the rose in our example photo, but Photoshop had some trouble differentiating the rose from the background. You can try to use multiple Focus Points to dial the right colors in, but we found this feature to be hit or miss.

We recommend using the general adjustments for now and then, if you do want to make further changes to the colors, to combine the Colorize Filter with other Adjustment Layers.

Output the Colorize Filter

Like the other Neural Filters, you can choose how you want to output the effect. This will largely depend on your own preferences and workflow, but we would suggest not outputting the effect to the Current Layer. This will affect the original image and make things difficult, or impossible, to go back and fix later on.

colorize neural filter photoshop

Once the effect is applied, you can continue to edit an image normally using any of the hundreds of tools available in Photoshop.

colorize neural filter photoshop

Since the focus is on color, you might want to use Hue/Saturation or Color Balance Adjustment Layers along with Layer Masks to dial in the exact look you want.

  • Color Grade Video in Photoshop

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We know what Photoshop can do for our still images, but what can it do for our videos? The answer might surprise you! Learn how to add beautiful color to your videos using the Video Timeline, Adjustment Layers, and color-grading LUTs.

Download our free sample LUT pack that you can start using to color your photos and videos right away. And be sure to check out our ever-expanding library of LUTs.

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Videos sourced from Pexels.

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color grade video photoshop

COLOR GRADE VIDEO IN PHOTOSHOP

Color Grade Video in Photoshop!

Wait… Video? In Photoshop?

It sounds crazy, we know, but Photoshop has a lot of surprising features that support video editing. While we still recommend sticking with programs like Adobe Premiere for major cutting and editing, Photoshop is a viable option when you want to add some quick color grading to your footage.

color grade video photoshop

Loading a video in Photoshop is just as easy as opening an image. Simple drag and drop the video file into the work area or use the File Menu to open the video from the directory. Once the video is loaded, it will appear as a normal Layer within a Video Group.

Edit Video with Adjustment Layers

When it comes to color grading in Photoshop, Adjustment Layers are the best tools to quickly create a wide variety of looks. And using Adjustment Layers on videos is exactly the same as using them on still images. Create an Adjustment Layer of your choice, make sure that it’s above the video in the Layers Panel, and adjust the settings until you achieve the look you want.

color grade video photoshop

Like images, you can use any number of Adjustment Layers you want to dial in the perfect color grade.

Using LUTs in Photoshop

LUTs are a type of Adjustment Layer in Photoshop that appear in the Adjustment Layer Menu as Color Lookup. While they may sound a little confusing, it’s easiest to think of LUTs as a combination of Adjustment Layers and settings combined into a particular look and then saved as a singular file. For example, you could create a dark and moody look using a dozen different Adjustment Layers, and then save those adjustments out as an LUT. Then, if you wanted to apply that same look to another image, simply load the LUT file and it will apply of the adjustments necessary to create it.

color grade video photoshop

We have a ton of LUTs available in our PRO library and we continue to add new looks every week! But if you want to get started right away, and if you’re not a PHLEARN PRO member, you can grab our free sample pack! Simply import the LUTs using the Color Lookup dialog, and then you can add them to your photos and videos in just a few clicks.

LUTs make the process of applying complex looks much easier and they can help you create a more consistent look across any number of video clips.

Export Videos in Photoshop

Once the look is applied, you’ll want to export the clip with the new color grade. Navigate to the File Menu, open the Export Menu, and select Render Video.

color grade video photoshop

Adjust the export settings to what you need, click Render, and then give Photoshop some time to do the work.

color grade video photoshop

You’ll end up with a new video file with your beautiful coloring applied.

  • The Secret to Dark & Moody Coloring in Photoshop

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Going for that dark and dramatic look? Then follow along and learn how to create moody and mysterious coloring in Photoshop. And best of all, it can be done using just a single Curves Adjustment Layer!

If you enjoyed this short tutorial and want to take a deeper dive into dark and moody looks (or just color grading in general), check out our PRO course Dark & Moody Coloring in Photoshop! Or if you’d rather lighten the mood, we also have courses on Bright & Airy Coloring and Film & Vintage Coloring.

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Image sourced from Pexels.

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dark and moody coloring free tutorial

dark and moody coloring free tutorial

CREATE DARK & MOODY LOOKS

Add Drama & Mystery to Any Photo

Getting Started with Dark & Moody Coloring

Before you can start creating a certain style using the color grading tools in Photoshop, you need to make sure you’re pairing that style with the right image. We’re going for a look that’s dark and mysterious, so it should go without saying that a photo of bright and sunny portrait might be a tough sell.

dark and moody coloring free tutorial

In our example, one of the images seems to fit the style we’re going for perfectly and the other, while still a great photo, does not.

Before color grading any photo, it always helps to sit back and take a long hard look at an image. Study it and ask yourself some questions. What is the lighting and color like in the scene? What sort of style would enhance the mood that the photo already evokes? Answering questions like these will help you determine a color grade that will ultimately elevate the feelings that are already present in an image.

What Makes Dark & Moody so Dark & Moody?

So what sort of things should you look for to determine if a photo would benefit from dark and moody color grading? Well, it certainly helps if the image is already on the darker side. Images with a lot of shadow and only splashes of light usually works great for this sort of style. We’re going to end up enhancing any contrast so natural contrast in the original image helps.

Taking the content of the scene into consideration, look for subjects that aren’t happy and smiling at the camera. If a subject’s face and expression are hidden, whether in shadow or they’re turned away from the camera, it adds an extra sense of mystery to a scene. And those feelings can be enhanced using color grading tools in Photoshop.

Coloring with Curves

Color grading doesn’t have to involve a ton of tools and adjustments to get the look you want. And oftentimes a single tool is all you’ll need to get the job done. So what’s are do-it-all trick to getting a dark and moody look in Photoshop? Curves!

Curves is a powerful Adjustment Layer that checks a lot of boxes in the editor’s workflow. Exposure adjustments? Check. Coloring? Check. Non-destructive? Check. And the list goes on. How does it manage to do so much? Let’s take a look.

Working Curves Adjustment Layers

You can create a Curves Adjustment Layer by opening the Layer menu, hovering over New Adjustment Layer, and selecting Curves.

dark and moody coloring free tutorial

The Curves dialog will open and Photoshop will place a Curves Adjustment Layer in the Layers Panel above the background image. While it might look daunting at first, Curves are pretty easy to use once you understand the information they provide and allow you to edit. At the heart of the Curves dialog is a histogram–a chart of the lighting and color information in the image.

dark and moody coloring free tutorial

The histogram displays information from left to right, or from pure black values through pure values white respectively. Looking at the histogram for our example image, we can see that the majority of the information in the photo sits on the darker side of the spectrum. Running through the histogram diagonally from the lower left to the top right is a line that we can add points to and move to make parts of the image lighter or darker or even adjust colors.

For example, if you create a point near the bottom left corner of the line and drag it lower, it will take those dark shadowy areas and make them even darker. Conversely, if you create a point near the top right of the line and move it up, the highlights in the image will get brighter.

To enhance the dark and moody qualities of the image, this is exactly what we want to start out with. By making the darks darker and the highlights a little brighter, we can carefully increase the overall contrast of the image to get the effect that we want.

But Curves can do more than just change highlight and shadow levels. Clicking on the drop-down box near the top of the dialog that says RGB, you’ll see a list of the different individual color channels.

dark and moody coloring free tutorial

By selecting each channel and going through a similar process as we did when adjusting the highlight and shadow levels, we can introduce more or less of each color into the highlights and shadows of the image.

dark and moody coloring free tutorial

If you select the Red Channel, create a point near the top right, and then move it up, you’ll add more reds into the highlights of the image. In this case that’s exactly what we want since it will make sure the subject’s skin tones, which are in highlight areas, will stay warm and natural. If you were to move the red point down, it would reduce the reds in that area and add complementary cyan coloring.

All that’s left to do is to go through each color channel and make subtle adjustments, pushing and pulling color values until you get a dark and moody vibe that you like.

Advanced Photoshop Compositing: Mastering Light & Color with Stock Images

  • Review
    5.00 out of 5
    18 Reviews
  • Difficulty
    Advanced
  • Length
    1.25 hours
  • Videos
    5
  • Software

Description

Color grading is one of the most expressive parts of the photo editing process. With the power to make an image feel dark and mysterious, light and airy, cool and tranquil, or warm and kinetic, color can take your images to surprising places.

In this course we take a look at the advanced coloring tools in Lightroom Classic. From the Tone Curve and HSL controls to workflow enhancers like Lightroom Presets, we break down everything you need to tell wonderful stories with color.

THIS COURSE INCLUDES

  • 4 Sample Images
  • 3 Lightroom Presets

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Table of Contents

Course Preview
  • 01 - What You'll Learn
    1:58m
Advanced Color Grading
  • 01 - Tone Curve
    19:59m
  • 02 - Range Masking
    17:56m
  • 03 - Color Grading Tool
    12:15m
  • 04 - Working with Presets
    12:52m

Advanced Color Grading

advanced color grading lightroom

PRECISION COLOR GRADING IN LIGHTROOM

Master the Art of Color


Professional color grading requires care and precision. Learn how to create beautiful looks by controlling highlights, shadows, hue, saturation, lightness, vibrance, detail, and more.

advanced color grading lightroom

advanced color grading lightroom

AFTER

ORIGINAL

What is Color Grading?

You’ve probably heard the terms ‘color correction’ and ‘color grading’ before, but what do they mean? And what’s the difference? Color correction is about helping your images look balanced and natural. It’s important to have a steady, neutral foundation before adding more stylistic adjustments. Color grading, on the other hand, is all about stylistic adjustments. In this course we show you how to use coloring and color tools to give your images a stunning, evocative look.

Color Grading in Lightroom Classic

Lightroom has a robust suite of tools to help you color and tone your images with precision and care. From basic adjustments like white balance and exposure to more advanced options like the Tone Curve and HSL sliders, we break down each and every tool you can use to take your images to the next level.

Professional Color Grading

Professional color grading is all about precision, control, and taking ownership of every color in an image. We show you how to analyze colors, target specific areas of an image to apply color, and use basic color theory to create beautiful looks.

advanced color grading lightroom

advanced color grading lightroom

AFTER

ORIGINAL

Change Colors in Lightroom

Getting the exact look and feel we want sometimes requires us to completely change the colors of objects in our photos. Learn how to accurately select and change any color in Lightroom

Range Masking

Range Masking is one of the most powerful and advanced editing tools Lightroom has to offer. Learn how to use Range Masking to target specific areas of an image to make extremely accurate, localized edits for a polished and professional result.

The Tone Curve

Similar to Curves in Photoshop, the Tone Curve in Lightroom is a workhorse for making advanced adjustments to exposure and color. By the end of this course you’ll be a master of this important tool and you’ll feel confident using it to make a wide variety of edits to your photos.

Professional Color Grading Tools

advanced color grading lightroom

advanced color grading lightroom

AFTER

ORIGINAL

The Color Grading Panel

Relatively new to Lightroom Classic, we cover the appropriately-named Color Grading Tool. This tool has everything you need to apply beautiful coloring to an image faster than ever before.

Highlights, Midtones & Shadows

Light and shadow are the defining features of any photograph. We show you multiple tools and techniques that allow you to edit those areas of light and dark independently–carefully sculpting your edits for a more professional finish.

Lightroom Presets

Want to share your looks with others? Try looks from your some of your favorite artists? Apply consistent coloring across an album of images? Speed up your workflow? Lightroom Presets can do it all and more. Learn how to create, save, and load Presets into Lightroom Classic. Best of all, we include 3 exclusive Presets in the course! And if you’re looking for more, check out our growing library of Lightroom Presets and Color Grading LUTs.

Class Instructor

Aaron Nace

PHLEARN Founder – Class Instructor

Aaron Nace is a photographer, Photoshop artist and founder of PHLEARN. He is the #1 Photoshop instructor in the world with millions of YouTube subscribers.

View More Classes by Aaron Nace

Reviews

  1. Thank you so much for explaining color grading, which used to be a little difficult for me. Now I understand that very well.

  2. After those long time using Lightroom, now I finally have a good knowledge of using the powerful HSL through range masking. Thank your for your great lesson!

  3. Another Great Lesson!!!!

  4. Ur lessons are superb,funny and super easy to follow. Thank you.

  5. Thank you so much. I love and learn a lot from it.

  6. Wonderful and to the point. Everything you need when it comes to color grading in LR and managing your presets!

  7. Great and up-to-date section in Phlearn. It was my excuse to subscribe for another year 😉

  8. Perfect quick explanation of the tools and always something new to learn.

  9. Another great tutorial! It has made me want to learn more about color theory now. Would love to learn about cinematic colors like teal and orange and why they work so beautifully together.

  10. Great tutorial as usual. I actually prefer to use LR to PS. I get that PS is much more powerful than LR and I do use it for individual edits but I just find LR so much more intuitive and user friendly. Looking forward to more LR tutorials as this has improved my workflow greatly. Thanks a lot Aaron,

  11. Thanks a lot Aaron. Clear and essential.

  12. Excellent demonstration of latest LR capability.

  13. Hi Aaron, Thanks for a great tutorial. I’m a big fan of your way of teaching. Personally I don’t use Lightroom a lot, but I picked up a few great skills that I intent to use. One tip (you probably figured out yourself by now or already know): When you double-click a slider it resets. It’s faster than right clicking. Jurjen de Boer (Netherlands)

  14. Thank you for this! Learned a ton just in the first section. It’s an eye opener!

  15. You the best, Aaron Nace! This is so well explained that I have no problem understanding even though I’m not a native English speaker. Awesome job!! I’m off to the next lesson!

  16. Great…as always! Short, concise, with examples. 3 different techniques to gain assurance with colour grading.

  17. Wow Aaron! This is gold!!! I had a basic understanding of some of these tricks before, but you filled in all of the puzzle pieces for a complete picture. I love how you relate it to Photoshop as well. I am probably in Lightroom more often so I greatly appreciate these tutorials. Ultimately I want to be proficient with both programs. Your way of teaching has really enhanced my editing!

  18. Great class, Aaron! With Lightroom Classic’s new color grading capabilities, what are the scenarios that you would still color grade in Photoshop? A better way to ask this: Are there limitations in using Lightroom for color editing? Thanks!

Artist Credit

Special thanks to Maria Orlova, Rachel Claire, Tony Schnagl, Ivan Samkov. Images for this PRO course were sourced from Pexels.

Advanced Photoshop Compositing: Mastering Light & Color with Stock Images

  • Review
    4.80 out of 5
    10 Reviews
  • Difficulty
    Medium
  • Length
    45 mins
  • Videos
    5
  • Software

Description

Have you ever looked at the color in a photograph or a movie scene and wished your images could look like that? Well, now they can! Learn how to match the color between photos in both Lightroom and Photoshop.

THIS COURSE INCLUDES

  • 8 Sample Images

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Table of Contents

Course Preview
  • 01 - What You'll Learn
    1:32m
Chapter 1 | Lightroom
  • 01 - Using Curves in Lightroom
    21:01m
  • 02 - Using Color Grading in Lightroom
    8:59m
Chapter 2 | Photoshop
  • 01 - Automatic Process in Photoshop
    2:59m
  • 02 - Manual Process in Photoshop
    8:43m

Course Downloads

Recreate the Color from Any Photo

match colors in lightroom and photoshop

match colors in lightroom and photoshop

MATCH THE COLOR OF ANY REFERENCE IMAGE

Match Colors from Photos & Movies


Now you can recreate looks from any photo or movie using the tools in both Lightroom and Photoshop! Master professional color grading techniques while matching the style of any other image or scene.

match colors in lightroom and photoshop

match colors in lightroom and photoshop

AFTER COLOR MATCH

ORIGINAL

Match Color in Photoshop

Photoshop has a wide variety of color grading options that we can use to match the color between images. Whether you want to get the job done quickly with an automated tool or take your time with a more careful, manual approach, we’ll show you the tools to make it happen.

Match Color in Lightroom Classic

Lightroom and Photoshop each have their own strengths when it comes to photo editing, but both programs have powerful tools for color correction and color grading. That’s why we also show you the many options Lightroom has to offer for matching colors and creating beautiful styles. And if you’re new to Lightroom, work through our Lightroom Learning Path and learn about all of the major tools and features.

Professional Color Grading

Working with color is both an art and a craft. We show you the tools and techniques that professionals use to create stunning looks while also helping you recreate your favorite coloring from other images.

match colors in lightroom and photoshop

match colors in lightroom and photoshop

AFTER COLOR MATCH

ORIGINAL

Understanding Curves

Curves might be the most powerful tool for color grading at our disposal. If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed looking at the Curves tools in either Lightroom or Photoshop, we’ve got you covered. Learn how to adjust exposure while precisely adding color to the highlights, midtones, and shadows of any photo.

Hue, Saturation & Lightness

Coloring is all about three variables: hue, saturation, and lightness. We break down how to control and shift these important options while explaining how each affects the overall look of an image.

Lightroom Color Grading Tool

There are a lot of tools that we can use for color grading, but there are only some that are made for it. Come along on a tour of the powerful Color Grading panel in Lightroom which makes coloring and styling images easier than ever before.

Professional Color Grading Tools

match colors in lightroom and photoshop

match colors in lightroom and photoshop

AFTER COLOR MATCH

ORIGINAL

Automated Tools in Photoshop

Matching colors doesn’t need to take a ton of time. That’s why there’s quick and easy tools like the Match Color option in Photoshop. Learn how to use this automated tool to instantly match the style of any photograph.

Adjustment Layers

Adjustment Layers are the backbone of photo editing in Photoshop. We show you the most useful Adjustment Layers for color grading and matching color, from Curves and Hue/Saturation to lesser known options like Color Balance and Selective Color. Want to learn more about Adjustment Layers? Check out our PRO tutorial that covers each and every one!

Recreate Popular Styles

These techniques will help you recreate the color from any reference photo or video. So whether there’s a photographer whose style that you’ve been dying to try, or it’s a scene from one of your favorite movies, we show you how to replicate any look using a single image and some photo editing savvy.

Class Instructor

Aaron Nace

PHLEARN Founder – Class Instructor

Aaron Nace is a photographer, Photoshop artist and founder of PHLEARN. He is the #1 Photoshop instructor in the world with millions of YouTube subscribers.

View More Classes by Aaron Nace

Reviews

  1. I really hope you can translate such a good video. It’s a very necessary function for a foreigner. Otherwise, it’s hard for them to understand.

  2. Wow! Color grading is something I’ve generally avoided in the past, this has demystified a lot of it for me. Thank you!

  3. Aaron is really . . . what’s the word? . . . . like a savant. that’s the best way to describe him. Pro grade PS lessons? Check. Handsome, engaging host? You bet your ass.

  4. I have been waiting for so long for these tutorials. Thanks, Aaron. Please more tutorials talking about colour grading 🙂

  5. Overall very informative, though I prefer to work with numbers in ACR instead of “eyeballing” that there is magenta in the shadows and yellow in the highlights. I completed the exercise by sampling various darks/midtones/highlights on the source and then matching the RGB values with similar color sampling locations on the destination image.

  6. It’s like Aaron has red my mind. As always, he’s an excellent teacher, teaching not only how using the different functions, but explains what’s behind each of them, their role and how to apply them. Aaron teaches how to look at the picture, how to see the different colours and understands what we look for. Great tutorial! Really came out right on time for me! Adding to my favourites classes. Worth every penny

  7. Great detail on the manual and more complex methods however I would have liked to have heard more info on the sliders and impacts of them in the photoshop color match auto panel. I attempted to use the second image set with the auto method and the out of the box results were poor. With tweaking, it did get better. Some more discussion here would have been helpful.

  8. Fantastic tutorial! This is something I have been wanting to learn for a long time. This is so easy!

  9. Great to learn new ways to color grade–and lift colors from one image to apply on another. Too bad ACR doesn’t have that feature that you show in Lightroom. I don’t use Lightroom and this is one of the few things Lightroom has that ACR doesn’t. But I can use Photoshop’s tools as you show

  10. This is another tutorial worth adding to my ‘Repeat often’ file. These essential techniques need to be practiced. Thanks for the bright and to-the-point explanations Aaron.

Advanced Photoshop Compositing: Mastering Light & Color with Stock Images

  • Review
    5.00 out of 5
    11 Reviews
  • Difficulty
    Easy
  • Length
    1.5 hours
  • Videos
    5
  • Software

Description

If you want colors that pop off the screen, you came to the right place! Join as we show you how to create bold and vibrant looks in both Lightroom and Photoshop.

Learn how to target and enhance specific colors, make subtle adjustments to exposure, and protect delicate skin tones so that your subjects look their best while you dial up the colors around them. We even include Lightroom Presets so that you can get started right away!

THIS COURSE INCLUDES

  • 4 Sample Images
  • 2 Lightroom Presets

Share

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 | Introduction
  • 01 - What You'll Learn
    1:26m
Chapter 2 | Lightroom
  • 01 - HSL/Color in Lightroom
    22:32m
  • 02 - Adjustment Brush in Lightroom
    13:57m
Chapter 3 | Photoshop
  • 01 - Hue/Saturation in Photoshop
    30:21m
  • 02 - Curves and Color Fill in Photoshop
    12:18m

bold and vibrant coloring in photoshop

bold and vibrant coloring in photoshop

BOLD & VIBRANT COLORING

Bright, Bold Looks


Learn how to enhance the colors in your photos using professional tools in both Lightroom Classic and Photoshop. Whether you’re working with beautiful landscapes or powerful portraits, we’ll show you how to help the colors pop off the screen.

Color That Stands Out

bold and vibrant coloring in photoshop

bold and vibrant coloring in photoshop

BRING ANY PORTRAIT TO LIFE

ORIGINAL

Bold & Vibrant Coloring in Lightroom & Photoshop

This course is all about finding the colors in our images and using Lightroom and Photoshop to bring them to life. Learn to use powerful tools to target specific colors and then control hue, saturation, and lightness to help them stand out. Best of all, these techniques will work no matter what kind of photos you work with!

Lightroom Presets Included

Lightroom Presets are a great way to find inspiration while also saving some time. We include two Lightroom Presets that you can use to get a jump start on your edits. Learn how to use the included Lightroom Presets to quickly add beautiful coloring to any photograph!

Create Beautiful Looks from Scratch

Coloring is one of the most creative processes in a photo editing workflow. Follow along as we show you how to take any photo and build your own beautiful looks from scratch using a combination of professional tools and techniques in both Lightroom and Photoshop.

bold and vibrant coloring in photoshop

bold and vibrant coloring in photoshop

FIND ALL THE COLORS IN A SCENE

ORIGINAL

Bold Looks in Just a Few Minutes!

More images are taken now than ever before and when you need yours to stand out from the crowd, coloring is a great place to start! We show you how to create looks that take advantage of the naturally-occurring colors in a photo by enhancing them and making slight shifts in hue. This allows you to create beautiful, eye-catching palettes that are equal parts bright and bold.

Basics of Color Theory

Colors are at their best when they work together. We show you some basic approaches to identifying and creating looks that take advantage of some of the most powerful color combinations. Want to learn more? Build a foundation in color and color theory in How to Master Color & Tone in Photoshop!

Brighten Images, Lift Shadows

Most images can benefit from some level of general brightening or just lifting up the shadows. We show you how to brighten any photo in Lightroom and Photoshop using precise, non-destructive tools. Learn how to target just the shadows to recover important details that were lost, or brighten a specific part of an image to draw more attention to the things that matter most.

Enhance the Colors in Your Photos

bold and vibrant coloring in photoshop

bold and vibrant coloring in photoshop

PORTRAITS THAT LEAVE AN IMPRESSION

ORIGINAL

Warm Skin Tones

Skin is one of the most beautiful things to photograph, but one of the most delicate things to handle in the editing process. We show you how to enhance the colors in an image without damaging the natural oranges and reds in skin so that your subjects look great and the colors jump of the screen.

Tone Curves in Lightroom

Learn all about the most powerful coloring tool in Lightroom Classic: the Tone Curve! From targeting the highlights and shadows of a photo to targeting specific colors and color ranges, this amazing feature can help you dial in the perfect look with professional results.

Adjustment Layers in Photoshop

When it comes to general photo editing in Photoshop, Adjustment Layers should be your go-to tools. Allowing everything from exposure adjustments to detailed coloring, they can be combined and mixed in ways that can create beautiful, unique looks. And best of all, they’re entirely non-destructive, meaning you can get back to your original, unedited image in a snap.

bold and vibrant coloring in photoshop

bold and vibrant coloring in photoshop

UNFORGETTABLE COLOR, UNFORGETTABLE PHOTOS

ORIGINAL

Adjust Exposure

The brightness and exposure in a photo has a lot to do with how the colors turn out. If an image is underexposed, the colors will look muted and desaturated. If an image is overexposed, the colors will look a little too intense. We show you how to balance exposure and then dial in the coloring for a balanced and powerful final image.

Vibrance & Saturation

You might have noticed that some photo editing programs offer two different tools that give you control over the intensity of colors: saturation and vibrance. Learn the differences between saturation and vibrance and when to use each when you want colors that look both amazing and natural.

More Coloring Styles

If you enjoyed this course, we have an entire series on creating different styles and looks in both Lightroom and Photoshop. From Dark & Moody, to Bright & Airy, to a little more old-school feel, we’ve got stunning looks and techniques for everyone!

Class Instructor

Aaron Nace

PHLEARN Founder – Class Instructor

Aaron Nace is a photographer, Photoshop artist and founder of PHLEARN. He is the #1 Photoshop instructor in the world with millions of YouTube subscribers.

View More Classes by Aaron Nace

Reviews

  1. Great. Simple and clear

  2. Great tutorial 🙂 just find it so stupid that you can’t use a tablet on camera raw. they better fix that or imma go nuts.

  3. Awesome tutorial, presented in a easy to understand manner.

  4. Awesome tutorial, easy to follow and understand. Such powerful tools explained very simply. Really enjoyed this.

  5. Yet another great tutorial that is made for beginners and pros as well. Your explanations and different ways on how to achieve a result are easy to understand. Love, that you always explain why you do what you do. That way I learn for what I have to watch out and how I can replicate it on other images. If you learn the how and not the why you’ll be at a loss to use what you learned – not happening with your tutorials on phlearn 🙂 And like always I learned something new (or get reminded of a function I forgot about). I kinda neglected hue/saturation and used curves instead to (try to) change colors. Thanks for reminding me of the powerful tool and how to use its magic 🙂

  6. Always, always excellent instructions and easy to follow! I have been using these tools but not really fully understanding them until now. Such wealth of information! Thank you so much!

  7. Watching these videos I know I don’t make enough use of the colour tools at all. Loved the Range Mask parts as I’ve always had problems using this tool, your explanation was really clear, thanking. Jules

  8. I have been way watching you for hears and whenever I I find something new there is always something to learn from beginner though pro. Finding new ways of approaching editing is always interesting and you provide a very detailed but fun way to learn. Thank you for the years of education you have given me . Dan Lane Wiliams

  9. Short and to the point. Not hard but essential. Tutorials like this go into my ‘Do again’ list. And again, and again.

  10. I am happy to see that you are using Lightroom in more of your teaching. I find that I am able to use Lightroom for Tone, Color, and Sharpening. Therefore, I rarely need to use Photoshop, and I have the advantage of working with raw files and having files around forty times smaller. Photoshop is still great for compositions.

  11. Yeah…what a great tutorial…put that pop in your pics. I really liked the LR bit as that is much easier to understand as I use LR a lot more than PS. Great…keep the LR tutorials coming…..thank you Chris.

  • How to Apply Duotone Coloring in Photoshop (in Under 5 Minutes!)

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Creating your own duotone looks has never been easier! Learn how to use Channels to select both the highlights and the shadows in an image, and then use simple Solid Color Fill Layers to change the color of each for the perfect duotone effect.

Artist Credit

Images sourced from Unsplash.com.

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duotone coloring photoshop

duotone coloring photoshop

CREATE STUNNING DUOTONE LOOKS

BEFORE

Convert Any Photo Into Two Colors

What is Duotone Coloring?

Duotone coloring is a popular style that involves simplifying the colors in an image down to only two hues; one hue present in the highlights, and another in the shadows.

duotone coloring photoshop

duotone coloring photoshop

This is a great technique when you want to create something both graphic and eye-catching, like an image for a banner, advertisement, or poster. It’s also a great way to integrate a client’s color scheme into an image if you’re working on promotional photos for them.

Duotone Coloring in Photoshop

There are a lot of ways to approach duotone coloring in Photoshop. But all of them will involve some method for coloring the highlights and shadows independently from one another. When it comes to making detailed selections of highlights and shadows, Channels are our tool of choice.

Making Selections with Channels

Channels might be one of the most underrated and underutilized tools in Photoshop. Capable of making ultra-detailed selections, they’re great for everything from coloring to cutting out hair from a background. You can find Channels next to the Layers tab in the Layers Panel. Clicking on the Channels tab will open a list of all of the available color channels in the document you’re working on. Since we’re working in RGB, there’s an RGB Channel and then individual Channels for red, green, and blue.

duotone coloring photoshop

Viewing each Channel individually will show you a black and white version of the image. Not only that, the black and white preview also shows how much of that color is present in the image, where lighter areas mean there’s more of that color in an area and darker areas mean there is less of that color present. Say, for example, you had an image of a pure blue sky over a wheat field. If you were to look at the blue Channel, the sky would appear almost pure white and the ground would be a deep dark gray. Why? Because the blue channel is showing you where blues are present in the image, representing them as lighter areas in the black and white preview.

So how does this help us with duotone coloring?

Since we need an accurate way of selecting the highlights and shadows in an image, we can use the RGB color information in Channels to help us out. Loading the first example portrait we’ve provided, we need to go through each Channel and determine which one has the most contrast while also displaying the highlights and shadows in a way that looks most natural. Since we’re using this for coloring, choosing the right Channel is more of a subjective process, so choose the one that you think looks the best.

duotone coloring photoshop

We decided to go with the blue Channel since it struck the right balance between contrast and having a more balanced look between the highlights and shadows. Now we just need to convert the blue Channel into a Selection.

duotone coloring photoshop

You can do this by holding CTRL or CMD and clicking on the thumbnail of the blue Channel. Perfect! Now that we have our selection ready, let’s get into process of coloring our image!

Duotone Coloring with Solid Color Fill Layers

You might think that detailed and accurate coloring requires a full suite of ultra-detailed tools. In reality, once we have an accurate Selection of the highlights, we only need very basic tools to add a beautiful duotone effect to the image. Enter the Solid Color Fill Layer.

duotone coloring photoshop

Solid Color Fill Layers are, by default, large blocks of a single color. But since we have a Selection active, it will automatically load as a Layer Mask in any Solid Color Fill Layer we create.

duotone coloring photoshop

That means that the Fill Layer will only appear in highlights we isolated with Channels. Create a Solid Color Fill Layers and choose any color, but make sure it’s a lighter color since we’re working on coloring the highlights of the image first.

duotone coloring photoshop

Once the highlight color is set, we need to color the shadows. Create another Solid Color Fill Layer underneath the first, choosing any color you want (just remember to keep it on the darker side). And that’s it!

Since we’re using Adjustment Layers, it’s easy to go back and change the colors at any time, or get back to our original image. Duotone coloring made easy!

Advanced Photoshop Compositing: Mastering Light & Color with Stock Images

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  • Length
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Description

Give your photos a timeless feel with soft and subtle coloring in Lightroom and Photoshop. Learn how to lift shadows to recover detail, reduce contrast for a softer look, and add subtle color toning to the highlights and shadows with our included presets and LUTs.

And best of all, we show you how to do everything in both Lightroom and Photoshop! So no matter what program you call home, you’ll be able to create soft light looks in an instant.

THIS COURSE INCLUDES

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 | Introduction
  • 01 - What You'll Learn
    1:05m
Chapter 2 | Lightroom
  • 01 - Split Toning in Lightroom
    11:59m
  • 02 - Tone Curve in Lightroom
    13:00m
Chapter 3 | Photoshop
  • 01 - Adjustment Layers in Photoshop
    15:33m
  • 02 - LUTs in Photoshop
    11:25m

soft light coloring in photoshop

soft light coloring in photoshop

SOFT LIGHT COLORING

Soft Film Looks


This course is all about subtle changes to coloring and light that make a big impact. Learn how to brighten an image, reduce contrast, and add just a hint of color to the highlights, midtones, and shadows.

Coloring in Lightroom & Photoshop

soft light coloring in photoshop

soft light coloring in photoshop

REDUCE CONTRAST & RECOVER DETAILS

ORIGINAL

Soft Light Coloring in Lightroom & Photoshop

Join as as we show you how to create 4 soft light looks! You’ll learn how to use powerful photo editing tools like the Tone Curve in Lightroom, Adjustment Layers in Photoshop, and even take advantage of our growing library of Lightroom Presets and custom LUTs to create your own beautiful styles.

Lightroom Presets & LUTs Included

Whether you’re looking for some inspiration, want to save some time, or just want to preserve a look that you’ve created, Presets and LUTs are amazing tools for any photographer and photo editor. Learn how to use the included custom LUTs and Lightroom Presets to quickly add beautiful coloring to any photograph!

Create Beautiful Looks from Scratch

Coloring is one of the most creative processes in a photo editing workflow. Follow along as we show you how to take any photo and build your own beautiful looks from scratch using a combination of professional tools and techniques in both Lightroom and Photoshop.

soft light coloring in photoshop

soft light coloring in photoshop

ADD SUBTLE COLORING

ORIGINAL

Reduce Contrast

Contrast can be great for enhancing details and adding drama to an image. But that’s not what we’re going for with these soft and subtle styles. Reducing contrast can give a photo a softer, more intimate feel. Learn how to control the highlights, shadows, and overall contrast in a photo to create the look of soft film.

Brighten Images, Lift Shadows

Most images can benefit from some level of general brightening or just lifting up the shadows. We show you how to brighten any photo in Lightroom and Photoshop using precise, non-destructive tools. Learn how to target just the shadows to recover important details that were lost, or brighten a specific part of an image to draw more attention to the things that matter most.

Subtle Color Toning

Sometimes you want coloring to be bold and vibrant. And sometimes you want just a hint of color to help tell a softer, quieter story. Learn how to add coloring to the highlights, midtones, and shadows of an image, and then dial it back for the perfect balance of style and subtlety.

Soft & Subtle Looks

soft light coloring in photoshop

soft light coloring in photoshop

BEAUTIFUL, SOFT PORTRAITS

ORIGINAL

Split Toning

Split toning is a great way to give any image stunning color. Learn how to independently color the highlights and shadows of a photo using Adjustment Layers and Blending Options in Photoshop, and the Split Toning tools in Lightroom.

Tone Curves in Lightroom

Learn all about the most powerful coloring tool in Lightroom Classic: the Tone Curve! From targeting the highlights and shadows of a photo to targeting specific colors and color ranges, this amazing feature can help you dial in the perfect look with professional results.

Adjustment Layers in Photoshop

When it comes to general photo editing in Photoshop, Adjustment Layers should be your go-to tools. Allowing everything from exposure adjustments to detailed coloring, they can be combined and mixed in ways that can create beautiful, unique looks. And best of all, they’re entirely non-destructive, meaning you can get back to your original, unedited image in a snap.

soft light coloring in photoshop

soft light coloring in photoshop

COLOR PEOPLE & ENVIRONMENTS

ORIGINAL

Recover Details

Sometimes important details can get lost in the darkest shadows and brightest highlights of a photograph. Whether you’re working with dark hair or a bright sky, we’ll show you how to use exposure adjustment tools to rescue those details and restore natural textures to your images.

Warm Skin Tones

Coloring is a powerful creative tool, but it can easily cause skin to look unflattering and unnatural if it’s not used carefully. These looks use a combination of reds and oranges, colors that naturally occur in skin, as well as precision coloring techniques to make sure yellow, greens, and blues don’t interfere with your subjects.

Customize Presets & LUTs

We use a combination of looks built from scratch and looks created from pre-made LUTs and Lightroom Presets. So whether you want to create coloring that’s truly original, or you want to modify an existing look that you love, we’ll show you how to do it.

Class Instructor

Aaron Nace

PHLEARN Founder – Class Instructor

Aaron Nace is a photographer, Photoshop artist and founder of PHLEARN. He is the #1 Photoshop instructor in the world with millions of YouTube subscribers.

View More Classes by Aaron Nace

Reviews

  1. Great tutorial!

  2. WOW total game changer – the Image-adjusments-shadows/highlight. I’m in love! Thank you so much! WOOHOO

  3. Aaron uses a simple language and breaks down information in small chunks. He is a fabulous teacher. The way I learn better is by stopping the video and using a tool right after Aaron explains it.

  4. Great tutorials .. I’ve been using Photoshop for 20 years yet I always learn something new from Aaron. Phlearn is worth every penny.

  5. Great tutorial. I love that they are about 15 mins each so that I can practice what Aaron went over without becoming overwhelmed. I’ve been a member for over two years and I’m always learning new things .

  6. Always The Best I watch.

  7. Great short tutorial, Aaron is the best teacher when it comes to photoshop and lightroom. If you’r not a Phlearn member, you really should become one.

  8. This was great! I have been needing to up my PS color skills and this opened up several new tools for me. I am just curious if there are certain types of composition / subject matter that Soft Light Coloring works on. For instance, 3 of the 4 images in this tutorial were portraits. So would that be the best subject matter to explore using something like this?

  9. Very nice and simple editing. I just did a photo shoot that i wanted to have a soft nice coloring with a bit of dreamy look to them. This course was great in getting that look to the photos!

  • Change the Color of Anything with the NEW Hue Adjustment in Lightroom

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When we’ve needed to make precise color changes in the past, Photoshop has been our go-to software for both its accuracy and flexibility. But with the latest updates to Lightroom Classic, Adobe’s photographer-friendly program has a brand new tool that makes it possible to change the color of almost anything in a photo.

Learn how to use the new Hue Slider in Lightroom Classic alongside Graduated Filters, Radial Filters, and the Adjustment Brush to precisely target and change colors in just a few easy steps!

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change hue in lightroom

change hue in lightroom

CHANGE COLORS IN LIGHTROOM

Change the Color of Anything in Lightroom

New Tools in Lightroom Classic 2020

The latest round of updates to Adobe’s Creative Cloud suite has brought some new, powerful tools to their flagship programs. Lightroom Classic continues to see major improvements and overhauls, making this photographer-friendly software even more versatile and robust. While Photoshop certainly has its place in a Lightroom-centric workflow, we always get excited to see tools that help us get the job done without leaving Lightroom.

Changing colors is a relatively common request for photo editors. You might be working on product photos where the products come in a wide range of colors. As a photographer, you don’t want to have to photograph each and every color option from each and every angle. It’s often much more effective and efficient to photographer one of the neutral color options and then create the color variety in post-production. It’s relatively easy to use color change tools to carefully match the color options to their real-life counterparts.

Until now, this has mostly been the sort of job best handled in Photoshop. With precise selection tools, Adjustment Layers, and Layer Masks, targeting colors and changing colors is extremely precise, flexible, and non-destructive. But wouldn’t it be great if we could tackle color changes in Lightroom Classic?

Enter the new Hue Slider!

The New Hue Slider in Lightroom Classic

At first glance, the new Hue Slider could be an easily overlooked edition to Lightroom. Located under the Develop Tap in the right-side tool panel, and only with a local adjustment filter applied, it appears below all of the basic adjustments options. Move the slider to the left or right, and all of the hues in the selected are will change.

change hue in lightroom

Great! Now we just need a way to make it as precise as the process would be in Photoshop. So let’s take a deep dive into Lightroom Classic’s tools for making changes to smaller, specific parts of a photo.

Local Adjustments vs. Global Adjustments

Let’s quickly talk about what local adjustments are. When we first described the Hue Slider as being able to change the hue of everything in a photo, we described a global adjustments. That is to say, an adjustment that effects every single pixel in an image. Sometimes we want global adjustments to make subtle shifts in exposure and light levels, and maybe color temperature, but the art of photo editing usually happens in the local adjustments. And some adjustments, like color changes, are just not helpful as global adjustments.

So what are local adjustments? If global is about editing the whole shebang, local editing is about the individual elements and smaller pieces that make a up a photo. If you want a subject’s face to be brighter and then use tools to lift the shadows and exposure of only their face, then you’re editing locally.

Local adjustments are how we can separate different elements in our photos, create clear focal points and subjects, and add depth and definition. And when you have a photo where you need to change the color, of let’s say a small product, local adjustments allow us to do that without damaging the colors in the rest of the image.

Local Adjustment Tools

In order to make local adjustments, you need a set of tools that allow you to select precise areas of an image. If you want to make adjustments to a subject’s face, you need a tool that will let you select and work on only their face. If you want to change the color of a product or object, you need a tool that will let you select or the object or product (or even just parts of the object or product) to change the colors.

Luckily, Lightroom comes equipped with some flexible selection tools that help you to break your images up and adjust different areas separately. They are:

  • The Graduated Filter
  • The Radial Filter
  • The Adjustment Brush
  • Range Masks

The names may sound a little cryptic, but they’re pretty easy to understand once you try them out. The Graduated Filter and Radial Filter allow you to adjust areas either along straight lines (graduated) or within elliptical areas (radial). You simply create your line or ellipse, add some feathering to help blend the effect, and then apply your adjustments. In one of our color change examples, we have a relatively circular piece of candy that we want to change the colors of. This is the perfect time to use a Radial Filter since we can create an adjustment area in almost the exact same shape as the item we’re trying to adjust.

change hue in lightroom

When the Graduated Filter and Radial Filter aren’t precise enough, you can always turn to the Adjustment Brush. Whereas the Graduated and Radial Filters are constrained by using lines and ellipses, the Adjustment Brush simply allows you to paint over anything you want to apply adjustments to. In our candy example, the Radial Filter got us most of the way there, but not entirely since the candy is not a perfect circle or ellipse.

change hue in lightroom

Fortunately, we can add to the selected area using the Adjustment Brush to paint over any areas of the candy that were missed. In the image below, we’re painting over areas of the candy that were missed by the Radial Filter. This will apply the color adjustments we made to those areas.

change hue in lightroom

And when you need maximum precision, look no further than the Range Masking Tool. Range Masking allows you to only apply adjustments to certain areas within a selection, determined by light and color values that you can set.

change hue in lightroom

In this example, we want to change the color of a flower, so we made a quick selection of the area we want to change by painting over it with the
Adjustment Brush. Now we can use the Hue Slider to shift the color to anything we want.

change hue in lightroom

We’ve turned the red into a deep blue, but there’s a small problem. Notice that the center of the flower has also changed color. We could take the time to carefully paint around the areas we don’t want to affect, but Lightroom offers a much faster and more precise tool: Range Masking!

change hue in lightroom

The Range Masking option allows us to set a specific color range that we want to adjust. So not only will our adjustment only appear within the area painted by the Adjustment Brush, it will also only affect the selected reds of the flower pedals. Now we have a perfect color change that only affects the specific areas we want.

You can mix, match, and combine these three tools to select almost anything in a photograph, making it easy to isolate and edit different elements as you need to. They also are the the tools that make changing colors with the new Hue Slider so effect!

Using the Hue Slider

So you’ve used the selection tools to define the areas in a photo you want to change the color of. So how do you do it? Well, the Hue Slider couldn’t be easier to use. Simply drag the slider to the left or the right and watch the colors change. Magic!

There is a checkbox below the slider labeled Fine Adjustments. If the area you’re working with has a lot of tiny details, checking this box will help Lightroom make more nuanced color changes. Otherwise, the default adjustments should work great for you.

And that’s it! It’s now possible to quickly and easily change the color of almost anything in a photo using Lightroom Classic! Will we still use Photoshop for this on occasion? Of course. But we’ve found this tool to be capable of handling a lot of the most common color change work that we come across. So if Lightroom Classic is where you spend most of your time, we recommend getting to know the brand new Hue Slider!

Whether you’re a film buff, professional photographer, or color enthusiast, you’ve probably heard about color grading with LUTs. Although the inner workings of this process are deeply technical, don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s outside your reach. What sounds like a complex technique is actually no more complicated than applying presets in Lightroom or actions in Photoshop, once you know what the steps are.

Here, we’ll explain what LUTs are on a basic level and talk about how they work, how you might use them, and where to find a few good ones. Then, we’ll walk you through the steps to apply an LUT to a video or photo in 13 common editing programs.

And make sure to check out our growing library of premium color grading LUTs! From dramatic film looks, to warm and cool toning, we’ve got you covered with a wide variety of versatile styles. We even have a sample pack that’s complete free!

LUTs 101: What Are They, Anyway?

LUT is an acronym for Lookup Table. To say it out loud, rhyme it with “cut”, “but”, or “strut”. In basic terms, a LUT is a cheat sheet for your image editing device. It tells your editing program how to make specific changes to certain colors to achieve a stylistic effect or apply ongoing color correction. You may have heard this referred to as color grading.

Color grading is something you’ll hear a lot about in terms of cinema. It’s used to get a cohesive look across multiple clips where the colors don’t originally have a lot of consistency. That way it’s a smoother transition for your viewers between scenes and you’re able to maintain a mood throughout your video.

Color grading is, however, also becoming very common in still photos. As a result, LUT functionality in programs for still editing is getting better every day. (We’ll show you how to apply them in Photoshop and Lightroom in just a bit.)

Finding a LUT

When you’re starting out, our free LUT pack is a good option for playing around with different looks. Then, when you’re ready, you can browse through our growing library of beautiful looks (we recommend our Cinematic Color Grading LUT pack is a great starting point.)

Once you get more comfortable with the process, you can create your own LUTs by making the desired changes yourself and then saving them in the correct file type.

Why LUTs and Not Presets or Actions?

Why not all of the above? Lightroom’s way of managing a LUT, for example, doesn’t change the sliders in your color settings. You can combine a color grading LUT with one of your favorite presets and actions (or other, independent edits) to get the desired atmosphere with a few targeted changes.

LUTs are different from the type of presets you’re used to seeing in another way: the same LUT can be used to apply color grading in different editing softwares, whereas presets, actions, and their ilk are usually designed to work only with a specific program.

Get the Most Out of Your LUT

When you’re working with multiple clips, be sure to also fiddle with the lighting in each of your clips for a consistent balance. Although your LUT will give stylistic continuity to the colors in your film, there may still be differences in contrast or exposure that could be jarring when you go from one clip to the next.

Speaking of jarring, when you first apply your LUT it may seem a little over the top. Any application that will accommodate a LUT should have an option to reduce the intensity of your LUT, usually with a slider. Look for this feature if you feel like your LUT is stealing the show from your image or clip.

How to Apply a LUT in 13 Different Programs

Now you understand what LUTs are and you may even have one or two you’re dying to try out. The only thing standing in your way is actually applying it to your image or video. Here’s how you can do just that in 13 commonly-used editing software:

Adobe Photoshop

Applying a LUT in Photoshop is as simple as adding a new adjustment layer. Literally. To begin:

  1. Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Color Lookup. (You can also pull this option up directly from the Layers menu, just like any other adjustment layer.)
  2. Now you’ll see the Color Lookup options. Check 3DLUT File, then click the dropdown box for that option.
  3. You may see some preloaded LUTs. You can select any of those you like, or you can select Load 3D LUT to browse your device for the LUT file you want.

The beauty of adjustment layers in Photoshop is that if you change your mind later, you can just go back into the layer options and choose a different LUT!

Adobe Lightroom Classic

Using LUTs in Lightroom is a little tricky, but doable. The first thing you need to understand is that LUTs are used as profiles in this program. That’s not going to fly if your LUT is in a .cube file format, so here’s what you need to do first:

  1. Go to Photoshop and open an image.
  2. Go to Camera RAW Filter.
  3. Click the Presets icon.
  4. Press Alt while clicking the New Preset icon.
  5. Check Color Lookup Table and give your new profile a name.
  6. Load your LUT file (the .cube one).
  7. This profile will now show up in Lightroom, as well.

Now you’ve got your LUT-turned-profile formatted correctly, it’s time to switch over to Lightroom. Open your image in the Develop module. In the Basic panel, beneath Treatment, you’ll see Profile. (Note: Profiles – and therefore, LUTs – are relatively new to Lightroom, so do a quick update if you don’t see this option.)

  1. Click the icon that looks like a square made of four rectangles to open your Profile Browser.
  2. Scroll down to User Profiles.
  3. You should see the profile you just made! If you have any other profiles, they’ll be in here as well. Click the one you want to apply to your image.

Adobe After Effects

Moving on to Adobe’s video and motion editing programs, things get a little more straightforward. We’re all non-destructive editors here, so we’re going to use an adjustment layer once again to apply our LUT.

  1. Start a new project or open an existing one in Adobe After Effects.
  2. Right click on the timeline and select New Adjustment Layer.
  3. With the adjustment layer selected go to Effect > Utility > Apply Color LUT (or drag and drop Apply Color LUT if the Effects and Presets panel is visible).
  4. Browse in the dialog box to find and select the desired LUT.

You can modify the intensity of the LUT after that point in the Effects panel.

Adobe Premiere Pro

Premiere Pro’s workflow is similar to After Effects, but not identical. We’ll still start off with an adjustment layer, so that any changes needed later on can be made non-destructively.

  1. Open your footage in Premiere Pro.
  2. Right click within the Project panel.
  3. Select New Item, then Adjustment Layer. Click OK in the dialog box.
  4. With your new adjustment layer selected, go to the Color menu (at the top of the program).
  5. Open the Creative tab in the Lumetri Color panel.
  6. Click the dropbox next to Look to open the menu.
  7. You can now select a LUT from the menu or click Browse to find one you’ve saved on your device.

To change the intensity, use the slider immediately below the thumbnail beneath the Look dropdown.

Avid Media Composer

If you’re not an Adobe subscriber, there are many other editors that support LUT use. We’ll start here with Avid Media Composer. First, you’ll need to install your LUT:

  1. Go to Settings > Color Management.
  2. In the dialog box that opens, click Select LUT File.
  3. Browse to find the file you want to use, select it, and click Open. (You may see a message that it installed correctly. You can dismiss it and close out the Select LUT File dialog box.)

Now you can apply it to your footage:

  1. Go to Effects > Image
  2. On the right side of the screen you’ll see the available effects. Drag and drop Color LUT to your footage.
  3. Select Effect Mode (the leftmost icon right above your timeline).
  4. Beneath Available LUTs in the menu that opens, you’ll see a blank box. Click the box to find and select the desired LUT.

DaVinci Resolve 16

DaVinci Resolve is gaining ground quickly as an alternative to Adobe, with advanced options for color grading and video processing in general. Applying your LUT in this program is simpler than it seems at first glance:

  1. Open your project in DaVinci Resolve.
  2. At the bottom right of the program you’ll see the Settings icon. Click on it.
  3. Under Color Management, select Open LUT Folder.
  4. You can now open a Finder window containing your LUT. Drag and drop the correct file into the open DaVinci Resolve folder.
  5. Close the folders and refresh your options by clicking Update Lists.
  6. Select your LUT from the 3D Input Lookup Table dropdown menu and click Save.

Final Cut Pro X

Final Cut Pro X is a good solution for macOS users who shy away from Adobe products. To apply your LUT in this program:

  1. Select your footage in the Final Cut Pro timeline.
  2. Open the Effects browser, select the Color category on the left, then select Custom LUT.
  3. Click the Video icon (it looks like a short film strip).
  4. In the Custom LUT tab of the Video inspector, click LUT > Choose Custom LUT.
  5. Find and select the desired LUT and click Open.

You can now select the input and output color spaces and use the Mix slider to adjust the intensity. Final Cut Pro will apply your LUT.

Sony Vegas

Sony Vegas needs to be in the default workspace before you begin. To make sure it is, go to View > Window Layouts > Default Layout.

  1. With your clip on the timeline, click the Video Effects tab.
  2. Expand the All folder.
  3. Scroll down until you see LUT Filter. Drag it to your footage on the timeline.
  4. In the dialog box that opens, click Browse.
  5. Select your LUT and click Open.
  6. Use the Strength slider to adjust the intensity.

Capture One

As with Lightroom, Capture One has its own special way of dealing with LUTs. The easiest way to get your LUTs Capture One-ready is to use a LUT transformer like 3D LUT Creator or Briz LUT Converter to create an ICC profile. If you’re using Lutify.me, you’re good to go, but may need to access your LUT through styles instead of profiles.

Once your LUT is in ICC profile form:

  1. Go to the Color tab.
  2. Expand the Base Characteristics panel and open the dropdown menu next to ICC Profile.
  3. Select Import to import your LUT-turned-ICC-profile.

Affinity Photo

Applying a LUT in Affinity Photo is very similar to the process in Photoshop. You’ll open your image in the program, then:

  1. Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > 3D LUT.
  2. In the dialog box that opens, select Load LUT.
  3. Browse to find and select the LUT you’d like to load.

Adjust the opacity in the 3D LUT adjustment layer dialog box or choose a blend mode to change the intensity of the effect.

Video LUT

To apply your LUT in the Video LUT app, you’ll first need to find the LUT in Files, tap it and select Open In, and select Copy to Video LUT. (You will, of course, need to have installed the Video LUT app before this so that it shows up in your options.)

  1. The Video LUT app will open with an import dialog box. Tap OK.
  2. Tap Open (in the top left corner) and use this menu to find the video or photo you want.
  3. Tap Select, then Imported.
  4. You can now use the options above the image preview to find the file format your LUT is in, then select the specific LUT you want to use from the thumbnails across the bottom of the app.

LumaFusion

LumaFusion is a mobile video editor with some professional capabilities, including the use of LUTs. To import and use a LUT in this app:

  1. Open your clip and double tap it in the timeline.
  2. If any LUTs are already loaded, you’ll see thumbnails of them. Below those thumbnails, you’ll see an arrow pointing to the right, into a rectangle. Tap that icon.
  3. Now you will see a menu of supported places to import from. Browse to find and select the LUT you wish to import and use.

3DLUT mobile

Remember that shout out to 3D LUT Creator earlier? You can also use the LUTs you create there to edit your smartphone photography in 3DLUT mobile. Or, you can use one of their many, many ready-to-go LUTs to get cinema-esque edits to your everyday images.

  1. Open your image in 3DLUT mobile.
  2. You’ll see several options across the top of the app. Select LUT.
  3. At the bottom of the app, you’ll now see several folders of LUTs to scroll through. Select the desired LUT.
  4. A vertical slider will appear across the right side of your image. Use it to adjust the intensity until you are satisfied.

LUTs may seem like a technique for seasoned editors, but they’re actually quite simple to use once you understand what they are. Used in combination with a non-destructive workflow, they are a great way to get consistent, stylistic looks in your photos and videos (or correct color that is a little off due to color profile woes).

Remember to use opacity and intensity settings if you believe your LUT is a little too “in your face.” Most LUTs are not necessarily intended to be used at full blast! You will also need to make adjustments to lighting, contrast, etc. independently, and may wish to do some pre-LUT color editing to make sure the effect is balanced once it has been applied.

  • 5 Beautiful Effects with Gradients | Sun Flare, Light Rays & Background Coloring

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Gradients may sound simple and out of place in a photo editing workflow, but there are actually a ton of great uses for gradients you may never have heard of! You can add light rays to your image, brighten your subject, create interesting backgrounds, add color to your sky, and create sunset effects and colorings. In this video, Aaron will show you how to do all of that with just the gradient tool, gradient noise, and gradient fill effect in Photoshop.

We can create a bunch of cool effects with just gradients. Effects like:

  • Sunset Coloring
  • Image Brightening
  • Background Coloring
  • Enhancing Sky Detail
  • Creating Light Rays

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5 effects gradients photoshop

EPIC SUNSET & LIGHTING EFFECTS

More than Just a Graphic

Sunset Coloring with the Gradient Tool

There are in fact a bunch of different tools within Photoshop related to gradients, and we’re going to use 3 different tools today to create these effects. The first is the aptly named Gradient Tool. You can access this one from your Toolbox on the left side of the screen. The Gradient Tool is very powerful and is just the right tool for creating the radial gradient that we’re going to use to enhance our image’s sunset.

Linear vs. Radial Gradients

The Gradient Tool has 5 different modes that can be accessed from the Tool Options at the top of your screen. While each mode has its uses, we find that we usually use either the Linear Gradient or the Radial Gradient. The difference between the two is just in the shape that your colors fade from one to another. You can think of the Linear Gradient as a line, and the Radial Gradient as a circle.

gradient settings

The Power of the Gradient Fill Layer

Let’s say you draw your radial gradient and it looks great, but later on you realize that you made one of the colors a bit too dark or not quite saturated enough. Unfortunately, because the Gradient Tool draws directly onto your layer, you’re going to have to start over if you want to change it, and that’s no fun. That’s why we always recommend using a Gradient Fill Layer. You can think of a Gradient Fill Layer as exactly the same as the Gradient Tool, except it allows you to make adjustments to your gradient at any point in time.

gradient fill layer menu

With those foundations out of the way, we can start making our sunset effect. Start by creating your Gradient Fill Layer by going to Layer > New Fill Layer > Gradient… You’ll see settings similar to the Gradient Tool, and we’re going to want to select Radial. Clicking on the gradient will allow you to choose from a bunch of gradients already built into photoshop, import additional gradients, or create your own! It doesn’t matter which gradient you choose to start with, because at the bottom of this window, we’re going to be adding our own colors and adjusting to fit our needs.

gradient slider

You can click on the color swatches to change them, drag them around to adjust how quickly they fade, and even click on the line itself to add additional colors. For this example, we’re going to start with a pale yellow, fade that into a golden color, then into a reddish-orange, and finally to black. We’re nearly done, but of course we need to see the image underneath. That’s where Blending Modes come in.

gradient on black

Using Blending Modes

Blending Modes allow you to change how the computer chooses to superimpose two layers together, and they are super powerful in effects work. You can tell the computer to ignore or pay more attention to different data sets in your image, like ignore the whites when blending, or only blend the colors, or don’t darken at all. For this we want to capture the brights but don’t want any of the black background, meaning the best blending mode for us is Screen.

finished sunset image

Watch as all the black will disappear! Then just move the layer to where you like and adjust opacity to the desired levels and you did it! A beautiful sunset effect with gradients.

Brightening with Layer Masks

Gradients aren’t just useful in coloring: when you combine them with layer masks you can use them for lighting too! In this example we’re going to grab a curves adjustment layer to both brighten and darken our image, then use the Gradient Tool to mask those effects. This will create a darkened background and draw our focus to the subject of the photo.

Understanding Curves

The Curves adjustment layer is a great tool for adjusting light levels, and we at PHLEARN use it all the time. If you want to do a deep dive into all the curves adjustment layer can offer, we recommend checking out The Amazing Power of Curves. For now we can cover the basics. Once you’ve created a new curves adjustment layer, click on the middle of the diagonal line to create a new point. Drag that point to the bottom right corner of the graph to make your image darker, or drag it to the top left to make your image brighter.

curves window

We’ll start by making a brightening curves adjustment layer by dragging the center point to the top left. Click on the adjustment layer’s mask in the Layers panel and Invert it by clicking Control/Command I. You’ll see that your adjustment has disappeared from your image, but that’s what we want. Now grab your Gradient Tool and draw on the mask directly using a white to transparent gradient. If you need to see your mask, you can Alt/Option click on the mask to view it fullscreen. Where the mask shows white the curves layer will be visible, but where the mask shows black the curves layer will be invisible.

mask view

You did it, your subject is now naturally brightened! Next we’re going to do this process again, this time creating a darkening curves adjustment layer and selecting Reverse on our Gradient tool. We recommend drawing a really large circle here, again centered on your subject, so just the corners of your image have some grey on them. Alt/Option click your layer mask again to see your image, and your brightening is complete.

finished lightening image

Background Coloring with Gradient Fill

Perhaps the most straightforward of examples is next, but with these tips you can color a background with gradients in just a few steps. First we’ll need to select just our background, turn our selection into a layer mask, and then go to town with a gradient fill that will let us be as creative as we want!

Selecting your Background

This step is easiest when your background is nice and clean, which luckily we have. If your background is more complex we recommend checking out our PRO tutorial How to Remove Backgrounds in Photoshop. For this image, we’re going to use our Magic Wand Tool. Click anywhere on your background and the Magic Wand tool will try to select all the adjacent pixels of the same color. Turn off Contiguous and the tool will select every matching pixel in the entire image. You may have to make several selections to get everything, but you can hold shift each time you click to add to your base selection. Don’t forget to play with your tolerance level if the tool is selecting too little or too much.

selecting background

With your selection active, create a new Gradient Fill layer and Photoshop will automatically apply your selection as a mask. You’re now free to edit your gradient fill layer as much as you’d like. We went with a purple to light blue, but you have complete freedom to try any color combinations, don’t be afraid to play around.

gradient background

Sky Detail with Gradient Fill

Detail in your sky is often hard to photograph. In order to capture the ground, your sky will often come out overexposed. But with a quick gradient fill, you can bring some color back into your sky in no time at all!

transparent gradients

Start by laying a gradient fill over the entire image. Double click on your gradient to open the gradient editor and give your gradient a nice blue-to-white transition. We’ve only been working with swatches below the gradient preview so far, but you may have noticed swatches above the gradient preview as well. Those swatches above are for transparency, and in addition to the colors, you can adjust them to have your gradient go from a color to nothing at all. Make sure the right most swatch is completely transparent, and that will give you a nice fade from blue at the top to your image below.

before and after

If your gradient is lightening your image in a weird way we recommend changing the blending mode to multiply. And just like that, your image has a colorful sky without having to mask or select anything at all!

Light Rays with Gradient Noise

Our final example is perhaps the most impressive, and uses a type of gradient we haven’t used yet: gradient noise. It’s easy to get to, but maybe a bit hidden. Create a new gradient fill, and within the gradient editor, under Gradient Type, select Gradient Noise. Your first thought is probably “What is this, this isn’t helpful at all!” But with just a few setting adjustments we’re going to be able to turn this into realistic light rays.

colored bars

Play around with randomizing the pattern until you get something you like, but the goal is to have the most variation possible. When that’s done, exit the gradient editor and change your style to Angle. We haven’t used Angle yet because it doesn’t have a ton of applications, but this will cause all those little lines to spread out from a single point. The next step is to desaturate those lines, and for that we’ll need to use clipping masks.

Clipping Masks

A clipping mask is easy to make, just right click on any adjustment layer and select Create Clipping Mask. An arrow will appear pointing to the layer below, and this means your adjustment layer is now only affecting the layer right below it, not all the other layers below it as well. In this case we’re using a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer, but we have to clip this to our gradient and not to our background. Clipping masks are incredibly powerful, and this only scratches the surface of what they can do: if you’d like to learn more, check out .

desaturated rays

You should now be looking at black and white lines radiating from a point in your image, and this is where blending modes come in (see, we told you those are powerful!) We want only the brights of this gradient noise to show up over our image, not the darks, which means a Screen blending mode is in order.

We’re almost there, but it’s definitely too bright. Make a levels adjustment layer and be sure to turn it into a clipping mask so it only affects our gradient. Lower those levels to hide more of your light rays. And remember, because we used a gradient fill, you can double click on that layer at any time to make adjustments to your light rays effect.

blending modes

Smart Objects

The next step for our effect is going to involve some filters, which means this is the perfect time to convert our gradient fill into a smart object. A smart object is sort of like a photoshop file within a photoshop file, and it will allow you to apply smart filters, meaning, you guessed it: Non-Destructive Workflow! With smart objects and smart filters you can go back and make adjustments at any time, which is a must have for this – and any – project.

convert to smart object

We recommend grouping your filter with its clipped adjustment layers and right clicking on the group. Select Convert to Smart Object and the deed is done. You can double click on your smart object at any time to enter into the group and make adjustments to your gradient.

Iris Blur

We’re nearly done! What will really sell this effect as light rays is a blur that increases in intensity the further out from the center the rays get, and Iris Blur is up to the task. Navigate to Filter > Blur Gallery > Iris Blur, then drag the center of your blur over the center of your rays. Expand the edges to fit the overall shape of your rays and use the radial slider to adjust how much blur you want. This will cause the center to remain in focus, but the blur to increase as it moves farther away, just like real light.

finished ray image

If you need to increase the overall blur as well, we recommend a simple Gaussian Blur on top of it all. And be sure to check out 5 Awesome Effects with Blurs to learn more about using blurs in your images.

Advanced Photoshop Compositing: Mastering Light & Color with Stock Images