Adobe Photoshop CC: Hue and Saturation Secrets

Most Photoshop users know that with Hue and Saturation they can make colour adjustments to images – but there's a bit more to it. This blog will show you how to use it really effectively.

If you have an unwanted colour creeping into part of an image, it’s easily fixed. In this one, I want to make all the stem on the left a nice deep red. Right now it's a bit orange, especially near the bottom.

Create a Hue and Saturation adjustment layer and use the ‘hand’ tool (circled in yellow) to click on the lighter part of the stem. Don't use 'image > adjustments > hue and saturation' because although the widow looks very much the same, it's immediately 'destructive' to the image. In other words, whatever you do changes the pixels immediately. However, if you use an adjustment layer instead, everything you do can be removed just by turning off the visibility of the layer – so it's completely non-destructive. Much better.

Clicking on the image ‘brackets off’ the selected colour at the foot of the window, plus a patch of closely-related colours on either side. The top bar is the source colour, the bottom bar is the target colour.

Drag the main Hue slider all the way either right or left. This is just so the target colour area shows up clearly. It won’t be the end result – fortunately. It looks a bit weird.

Drag the outer markers closer to the gated-off section, then click on that and drag it left or right until the main part of the stem is back to the original colour, and only the area you wanted to change is still highlighted in weird colour.

Bring the Hue slider back to its original position at zero. Then drag it slowly left or right – and only those highlighted areas will change. When you're happy, stop dragging!

If other parts of the image also changed, paint black over those areas on the mask on the adjustment layer. Then you'll see through to the original image, below.

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