The Beauty Of Blending Modes

Use this Photoshop technique to target a specific color component without affecting the others

Hue is shifted, using Curves; luminosity rises or falls. When you adjust color in digital images, several common—and often unintended—byproducts arise. Increase or decrease contrast, and saturation will rise or fall. Increase or decrease saturation, and lightness will change. Make a hue adjustment with Curves (or Levels) by targeting specific... Read more

The Photoshop Color Adjustment Tools

The go-to, the exotic and the redundant—know the best tools for any color adjustment

Any color adjustment tool, in any software—past, current or future—works (or does not work) based on the control it offers over one or more of the three elements of color: luminosity, hue and saturation. Photoshop users have more than 20 color adjustment tools. There are six go-to tools, eight “exotic” color tools and 11 redundant tools. Go-To... Read more

Sharpening Artifacts

Learn how to use detail-enhancing tools to sharpen images to reflect your unique way of seeing the world

The creative possibilities for detail enhancement in digital imaging are simply staggering— and growing more so every day. Before their advent, few dreamed of having such possibilities, while many didn’tdare. Today, contemporary practitioners perform yesterday’s miracles daily. Given the newness of the technology, it’s not surprising... Read more

Photoshop’s Liquify Filter

This powerful tool offers amazing distortion controls for a creative approach to your postprocessing

Awareness of the distortions produced by angle of view and lens choice is the beginning of using them creatively. Curiously, permission is the beginning of using distortion in postprocessing creatively. Many people have been told that it’s inappropriate to do so. Why? Why accept an unintended mechanical by-product, but not a consciously intended... Read more

Saturation Masking

The free Multiplugin gives you an interesting option to make color adjustments

Wouldn’t it be great if you could selectively adjust colors based on how saturated they are in Photoshop? You can! How? With a free plug-in Adobe provides called Multiplugin; it hasn’t been updated since Photoshop CS5, but it still works with current versions. Why Would You Want To Do This? Do you have images where semi-neutrals aren’t... Read more

Synthetic Profiles

Make big changes to the image at a small pixel price

How can you change the appearance of a digital image without changing the numbers that assign the color values? Change what those numbers mean by changing the image’s ICC profile. Using abstract or synthetic profiles, you can make massive changes to an image with little to no cost, changes that ordinarily would cause big problems using standard... Read more

Look Up!

Photoshop’s Color Lookup makes complex color effects fast and easy

Originally designed for color-grading film and video, Photoshop’s Color Lookup feature offers novel ways to adjust color that quickly will reveal new possibilities in your images. Capable of performing extremely complex calculations extraordinarily efficiently, color lookup tables (LUTs) work by looking up a source color in a table and using the... Read more

Color Effects

See color in new ways with Photoshop’s Gradient Maps

Whether used subtly or dramatically, Photoshop’s Gradient Map color adjustment tool can open up new ways of seeing and working with color for any artist. Photoshop’s Gradient Map assigns new colors to existing brightness values. With it, you can enhance existing colors, transfer colors from one image to another or create entirely new color... Read more

Game, Set, Match!

Think differently about color with Match Color

Little explored and capable of opening up whole new frontiers in color adjustment, Photoshop’s Match Color is a tool every user should be aware of, even if it’s only to know what’s possible. There are three primary reasons to consider using Match Color: 1) to match two colors exactly; 2) to remove strong color casts; 3) to creatively... Read more

Path Blur

Create sophisticated motion effects with this powerful Photoshop CC tool

Photoshop CC’s recent addition to its Blur Gallery, Path Blur offers a creative and flexible way to add directional motion to your images in postproduction. It’s astonishing! You’ve got to try it to believe it—and to truly understand it. The Blur Gallery now has five effects (Field Blur, Iris Blur, Tilt-Shift, Path Blur and Spin... Read more

Shots In The Dark

14 tips for low-light and night photography

The high ISO capability of today’s new camera models is a true game changer. It opens up a range of light previously unexplored in the history of photography. Fearing noise, many people unnecessarily limit themselves to the lowest ISO setting and never explore this incredible range of light with all of its unique qualities—and surprises. (Don’t... Read more

Upright Is Alright

Get more from this underappreciated Photoshop correction tool

A little perspective correction can make a big difference in your images. While this is particularly evident in architectural images, it’s true of all images. If you think of it as perspective adjustment or controlled distortion, the visual possibilities open to you will grow dramatically. Perspective adjustment has never been easier with the... Read more
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