Bair Art Edition's Tutorial on:
Adjusting Color & Exposure
In Adobe Photoshop


Color Adjustment: Hue/Saturation Advanced


Unlocking the Power: Hue

Now comes the real application of this tool! We'll start with what the Hue does.

The Hue is represented by the two color gradients at the bottom of the window. If you select a color in the pull-down menu, you'll see that both of the gradients have a slider that sets the parameters of that color.

Here we have Yellow.




Now, let's say you want to increase the Green of an image, but don't want to loose Magenta (protect those precious skin tones). Or a print is coming out lacking Green, and the skin tones look great!

I'll use that same image I snapped of my cousin for a demonstration.

Let's say the Image looks like the right one (either on screen, or when you print it.), and you want it to look like the one on the left.

What we have on the left is actually what I started with (after correcting exposure and adding a tree). I will admit that while I changed Yellow in to Green (to a degree), I also changed the skin tones a bit. I'll discuss why that happened, and how you can effect only the yellows if you desire to.

I opened up the Yellow channel and shifted the hue +13


As you can see, the two color gradients on the bottom are no longer parrallel with respect to color position. A close-up reveals the change.


What you now see is that within the perameters of those guides, the color values in the top gradient have now been shifted to become the color values of the bottom gradient. Yellow is more Green.

Also, you can see that although we are in the Yellow channel, those guides seem to not only target Yellow specifically, but also bleed into the Greens and Reds. This is why her skin tones also changed: decreasing in Red, and becoming more Yellow!

There is a way to solely isolate the Yellows, and make sure you aren't affecting the Reds. What you do, is take in that outer guide on the left, and bring it into the inner guide. This clips the reds out of this adjustment!



The results are demonstrated as follows:

Before Clipping Reds
After Clipping

As you can see in the skin tones, they have maintained more of the Red. I personally prefer the image on the left, but it is important to see how you can isolate colors.



This isolation is important in terms of Saturating, or Lightening/Darkening a specific Hue. Once you select a color in this tool, set it to the correct Hue, and set the Hue guides to isolate the adjustments, you are now also ready to Saturate or Lighten/Darken that particular color.

This power is vital in printing, when you have color shifts that would cause a crossover. For instance I was printing a flower - that I can't display on the web for copyright reasons - and the paper/ink combination the customer wanted did not have a proper ICC profile

The Magenta's were coming out purple using the closest profile settings I could find. I couldn't increase Magenta in the image, because the Greens were already too desaturated. Instead, I brought up the Blue channel in Hue/Saturation and shifted the Hue so that the Blues became purple, and the purples became Magenta. It worked like a charm, and I could then Saturate just the Greens as well.


The following are the other sections of this module: