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


Color Adjustment: Replace Color


If the Hue/Saturation tool isn't giving you the fine-tuned color adjustment that you desire, then you may consider using the Replace Color adjustment. This tool is not as preferred as the Hue/Saturation tool because it can't be made into an adjustment layer. If at all possible, first try using the Hue/Saturation tool and use the hue guides to fine tune what you are adjusting. If that doesn't work, do this:

Make a copy of the background layer, you will be permanently changing the file information, and don't want to do it to the background. This is done in the layers palette by dragging the background into the new layer icon. Or in the layer menu: Layer/ Duplicate Layer... Name the new layer, for example, Replace Green.


If you have already done many other adjustments on multiple layers, or are dealing with a composite image, and wish to have a "flattened" layer of all the layers to work with, use the advanced merge visible technique.

Make sure you are on the duplicate layer that you will be adjusting (adjustment layers don't have much color to replace.

Go to Image/ Adjustments/ Replace Color



The window that pops-up has a "thumbnail" of the image. This shows the "selection", what is being altered. To determine what the selected color(s) is/are use the eye dropper tool and take a sample off of the image.



In this instance, the color (a muddy yellow-brown) has been selected, and the scope of that selection has been increased using the "Fuzziness" slider. Once I am pleased with the scope of the selection, I can begin to use the tool just like Hue/Saturation.



I shifted the hue towards Green, and the result is an evident change:


Just like Hue/Saturation. The color can also be adjusted in terms of Saturation and Lightness.



Now, here comes the beauty of having it on another layer (all by itself). Perhaps you changed the color too much in in certain areas, or too much overall. Simply fixed: attach a layer mask to the replace color layer.

In this example, you can see that the roses in the bride's bouquet have been turned a bit green. Using a black brush on the layer mask, you can reduce or eliminate that part of the Replace Green layer, and the layers underneath it will show through.


The following are the other sections of this module: