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can somebody spare a poor newbie some knowledge?

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  • can somebody spare a poor newbie some knowledge?

    hi pros and everybody else more talented than me, i have a question on what techniques are necessary to selectively saturate and maniuplate photos to look like these using photoshop 6. just HOW do you get the colors to look so vibrant?

    thanks in advance,

  • #2
    Scott, I am not sure how the photographer in question does this although I can tell you how I would go about a similar look (almost cross processed?).

    Method 1:

    i) Dupe image layer, set to colour blend mode. Despeckle, median and gaussian blur in smallish amounts (say 2-4 pixels). This will help clean up the colour component of the image (hue/sat) which will often fall apart and show all the subtle errors in the image such as JPEG compression when saturation is really pushed.

    ii) Set a curves or levels adjustment layer above these layers, in colour blend mode. Apply linear moves, as in moving the white/black endpoints in the same exact amount to steepen the curve or to add more saturation.

    *** The image/adjust hue/saturation command is poor for boosting saturation, but great for decreasing it.

    iii) As an alternative for stronger colour - perform step (i) and clean the hue/sat component via indirect colour filtering. Create a flat dupe of the image. Convert to LAB. Make similar edits to the AB curves as described in step (ii). Convert back to RGB and blend this file as a layer over the original in colour blend mode.

    The midpoint should not be moved unless you want to change the existing neutrality of the image (for LAB edits).

    This post has only addressed the popping of colour - you may also want to look into luminosity blend curves or levels to adjust tonality in a separate fashion to colour.

    Method 2:

    Apply adjustment layers without making any changes to the adjustment layer (you just want the layer sitting there). Then adjust blend modes such as soft light, hard light, vivid light etc. You may also want to isolate this effect to the midtones and not the highlights/shadows as blend modes often destroy these areas.

    Two articles at my site discuss techniques mentioned here:

    Cleaning the colour component -

    Creating an 'endpoint mask' -

    Hope this helps,

    Stephen Marsh.


    • #3
      thanks so much, stephen...i'll give it a go


      • #4
        In addition, creative filtering can be applied, I was just going into colour and tone enhancement.

        One little trick I really like is to dupe the file into a flat version of the final colour boosting result - and then apply really gross USM settings (sharpen/unsharp mask). Values like 500/10/0 or other weird values that you would not use to sharpen an image for output - but the heavy use of USM can tend to make some nice 'instant' photo-art effects.

        I forgot to mention that my previous post was somewhat more advanced in theory, although I hope the short steps are sufficient for you to get the required effect.

        Stephen Marsh.


        • #5
          i have to be honest, it took me about 2 hours to figure out how to set to color blend mode. :-/ now that i've done it, im not even sure that i did it correctly! i'm very new to all this, and i suppose i'm being a bit ambitious.
          i suppose this all takes time.
          as soon as i become a little more advanced with photoshop 6 i'll use these techniques and i'm sure they will be brilliant.
          again, thanks so much for your help and time, stephen.


          • #6
            Scott, in an attempt to keep things easy:

            * Just dupe the current file (image/duplicate)
            * Convert to LAB mode (image/mode/LAB)
            * Bring up curves (cmd/ctrl M)
            * Just play with the AB curves for colour

            Also see if the normal image/adjust/hue&sat command can add to the effect on the original or the duped file when returned to RGB mode. Note that saturation boosting via hue/sat does not offer a lot of control.

            It is hard to automate this sort of stuff, as it is very much image dependent and varies on what the artist in question is after...

            I have attached a .zip archive for you to decompress of a Photoshop 5.5 action which boosts saturation using three alternate methods. It also protects luminosity and cleans colour component artifacts.

            If you are new to the world of actions, let the forum know. The help guide (F1) or manual is good on the basics of loading/using actions, which can be stored anywhere on your drive.

            I suggest that you set your action options to step by step or even pause for X seconds and view the action is list mode as you run it, so that you can see what each step does etc. This action is based around my previous notes on this subject and the info referenced at my website.

            Hope this helps,

            Stephen Marsh.
            Attached Files
            Last edited by Stephen M; 01-08-2003, 06:41 PM.


            • #7
              you've been a tremendous help, stephen.

              thank you very much for you time.


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