Selective Colour Adjustment in Photoshop CS5

Selective Colour Adjustment in Photoshop CS5

Targetting CMYK in RGB Mode

The Selective Colour Adjustment Layer

In Photoshop CS5 it's possible to make adjustments to images using an adjustment layer called Selective Colour. This is a very powerful tool for making alterations ranging from the most subtle colour correction to major colour surgery.

Selective Colour Adjustment provides a drop down menu which allows you to choose the colour you want to adjust - and here we have not only red, green and blue, but also whites, neutrals and blacks, plus cyan, magenta and yellow. Each of these can have its cyan, magenta, yellow and black levels adjusted separately and independently of the others.

The flexibility of this approach is striking and it offers an alternative to the Hue and Saturation adjustment layer. The video below shows the use of the selective adjustment layer to produce rather striking changes to an image, and the images used in the video can be seen in the pictures below.

Sexy Devil - final image

Sexy Devil - the scarlet look of temptation.

The final image has had a texture applied in multiply mode. However we can still see those shadows in the face, though for the highlights some help from the dodge tool was required.

Sexy Devil Original

Sexy Devil (courtesy of Public Domain Pictures).

The original image showing original skin tone.

Sexy Devil colour adjusted to bring out the reds

Selective Colour adjusted to enhance reds.

The selective colour adjustment layer is applied to the image now, to introduce a pronounced red tint. A straight-foward hue / saturation adjustment would at this stage tend to bring out more of the yellows producing an orangey look to the skin, and at the same time it would have not done much to improve the contours in the face. The selective colour adjustment has allowed focus to fall on the reds whilst also retaining shadow and depth in the face.

Ecstactic Guy Original

Our hero revels in the ecstasy of the sand.

Ecstactic Guy Original Selective Colour Adjusted

Meanwhile on a distant planet in a parrallel universe, his twin...

We use cookies to improve your experience on this site. If you continue using the site we'll assume you are happy with this. You can change your cookie settings at any time using your browser. For more information.