How to Get Naturally Intense Color in Your Images Using Photoshop

Most of us love images with vibrant, intense colors that pop off the screen and entrance our viewers. Getting that look in a tasteful manner takes a lot more than simply pumping the saturation slider to garish levels, however. This excellent video tutorial will show you some helpful techniques for making colors pop in a tasteful way using Photoshop.

Coming to you from Blake Rudis with f64 Academy, this great video tutorial will show you how to create rich, vibrant colors in your images using Photoshop. These techniques have wide applications ranging from landscapes to portraits and can be a good way to level up the quality of your images and explore your personal style. As with anything involving adding extra color, it is important to not go overboard, however. When you have spent a lot of time in the editing process, it is common to get a bit of tunnel vision; to break this, I like to step away from my computer when I am done with an edit for a minute or so, then return. This helps to reset my eyes, and I will often end up toning things down or adjusting them a bit before I complete the final export. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Rudis. 

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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Hmm… I don’t run Photoshop. Does the GIMP have a tool similar to that, I wonder?

Last night I was just looking at the HSV Equalizer tool in RawTherapee, and it seems like a highly versatile and powerful way to adjust colors.

Adding colour intensity/vibrance by diminishing the intensity of or by removing other colours may not work in complex scenes such as autumn landscapes with the foliage of diferent tree species where a wide gamut is preferred. If any picture is perceived as an artistic version of real life, with certain biases and preferences, then of course this works, just as in the case of choosing a certain bw film and lens filter which accentuates one colour or another. There's nothing wrong with boosting colours and contrast using the traditional Lab curves.

It's not naturally intense if you're using photoshop now, is it?

Great video Blake. I have known about selective colour but never really used until watching the video. I don't have Ps but I managed to do similar (or the same) in Affinity photo. Although knowing / understanding the theory has advantages; I found "blending the slider" works for me. I also found the black slider gave a good indication to what will be effect inside the photo.
Thanks for sharing, and explaining so well I could actually understand the idea :)

I know we've come to expect a nearly surreal color intensity, but can I go on record to say it doesn't look natural, nor desirable? I MUCH prefer the left over the right!