How to Use Selective Color as a Finishing Touch on Your Photos

Getting colors that are vibrant and pop without being gaudy is a challenge in which many landscape photographers are constantly engaged. This helpful tutorial shows you how to use selective color adjustment layers to subtly give your images that desired look.

Coming to you from f64 Academy, this video illustrates why using selective color to give a finishing touch to your images might be preferable to an HSL adjustment. As mentioned, a selective color adjustment is a bit more nuanced and subtle than its HSL counterpart, because whereas the latter is actually changing the base hue, the former simply adds or subtracts cyan, magenta, yellow, or black to a specific hue, generally allowing for more precise refinement. Be sure to also notice how Blake Rudis uses blending modes to change how the adjustment affects or doesn't affect luminosity, which you may or may not want depending on your image. I know I've been personally frustrated by how drastic HSL changes can be at times, so I certainly appreciate having a more subtle technique in my arsenal.

And if you'd like to learn more about landscape photography and post-processing, check out "Photographing The World: Landscape Photography and Post-Processing with Elia Locardi!"

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1 Comment

Kyle Medina's picture

Great video. For me its getting everything looking about right globally as you can. Than take into PS and finish it all off like this. Multiple different approaches obviously but this was great and controlled. Like to break down each image by elements. foreground (trees, bushes), subject (rock formation etc), and sky. When you start breaking it down you get so much better overall results than trying to do everything globally. Power of PS vs LR.