Replacing Color For a New Mood (Photoshop)

25 05 2012

Today I will finally be doing another tutorial of sorts. This one is fairly specific to Photoshop but I’m sure there are ways to do it in many other software’s as well. If you are trying to decide if you need Photoshop, you probably don’t. There are much cheaper photo editing software’s you should start out with. The first time I opened PS I was completely lost. It took me many tutorials and failed experiments to learn my way around but it is well worth it. That being said, it is the most advanced photo editing software there is and it can do things nothing else can. If you’re a serious established photographer or if you have the money and are willing to spend some time learning it, go for it. I love it and I couldn’t imagine not having it. (Here’s an affiliate link so if you decide to buy it, you can support the blog when you do.)

One important thing to remember when you use any editor is that it’s not made to make a bad picture good. Sometimes you can use it to correct your own mistakes, but you really aren’t getting everything you should out of your hard work if you start with a crummy picture. The above picture was one of my favorites but I wanted to play around with it and see if I could make it something more.

Photoshop does a nifty trick called “Replace Color.” You can find it under Image>Adjustments. This will open a dialogue box where you can select the color, or colors you want to affect, then change their hue, saturation and brightness. Many effects in Photoshop can be attained at least two or three different ways. You can do this one manually with layer masking and selective color but this is the easiest way. I selected the blues in the sky and water, changed the hue slightly and pushed them darker to make the details pop.

Next I did the same thing with the wood but I pushed it very dark to give it an almost painted look.

This step was pretty tricky. I did a few things here. The trees looked a little neon so I used the brush tool with the darken color to get them a little more natural. The biggest step here was transforming the image so I could get a clean crop on it. I didn’t like the wood post on the left side But I couldn’t crop it out without losing part of the sign. I used the Free Transform>Perspective tool to drag the bottom of the image to the right and straighten the sign post, then I used the distort tool in the upper left to get enough image inside the rectangle for a good crop.

Finally, I realized the image was getting a little too dark so I adjusted the exposure slightly. I also spent a little more time taking care of the white spots in the wood that were bothering me. Overall, most of the changes were subtle and served only to enhance the original image.

I hope you enjoyed today’s tutorial. Feel free to re-blog if you think your readers would enjoy this. Please comment, I love hearing from all of you! Happy Friday everyone, have a great weekend!





10 responses

25 05 2012

Love your pictures. Just wanted to let you know that I mentioned you in my blog today.


25 05 2012

Thanks, I appreciate that!

25 05 2012

Photoshop post processing does divide opinion. I have no objections to photoshop ‘development’ but tend to feel and restrict its use to minor changes in emphasis (such as lifting out shadow detail and a little darkening of plain skie) But that is it UNTILL I shift the colour damaticaly, polarise and over other words reate an entirely new image. One extreme to the other you might say…but that is what appeals to me.

25 05 2012

Most of what I put on the blog is straight out of the camera. I think Photoshop is a great tool though. I like to appreciate a final image. Even if it is completely different than the original. It’s an art form, it becomes less about photography and more about retouching for some people but I’m okay with that. Do what you love to create art!

25 05 2012

Agreed….and nor was I being critical of your comments. It would appear as if we do ‘sing of the same hyme sheet!’

25 05 2012

Hey Man, I really dig your irreverent take on life. I enjoyed your NASCAR post in particular.

I’m also glad to see you are sharing your “learnin’ about takin’ pitchers” with you audience. Keep at it and remember every time you smile 20 good things happen to you.

25 05 2012

I appreciate the comment. I wouldn’t call my approach irreverent personally. I had a good laugh at some of the characters at the Southern 500 but I’m pretty sure most of them were setting themselves up for that intentionally. The only person I try to make sure I never take too seriously is myself, it helps keep my pride in check and helps me get the most out of life.

26 05 2012

Even though I use Photoshop almost daily, I had really forgotten about the “replace color” option. Honestly, thank you for reminding me!

27 05 2012
The Rustic Lens

I’m still new to PS and haven’t tried “Replace Color” yet. Thank you for the tutorial!

29 05 2012

It’s fairly straightforward, as straight forward as anything in Photoshop is 🙂

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