Photoshop Actions ~ Color Pop ~ Color Correction ~ Hue/Saturation

Sometimes Photoshop adjustment layers and Photoshop actions can make a huge difference in taking images from good to great. In a recent Photoshop online training class, I was working with Heather of HGJ Photography. Her straight out of camera image was really good.  The lighting was pretty and the composition pleasing. I decided to show her how a few clicks in Photoshop could liven up the image – especially using some selective editing.

Here are the steps we took:

  1. To enrich the color of the grass, I started by pulling up a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer. I dropped down and worked on the yellow and then the green channels.  With the yellow channel selected, I changed my settings to: hue +26, saturation +24, lightness -21. Then on the green, I altered my settings to: hue +7, saturation +47, lightness stayed the same.  I liked the color much better of the grass now, but this will be a personal preference, and will vary based on what you colors you have to start.
  2. Used the FREE Photoshop action, Touch of Light/Touch of Darkness, with a brush set to 30% opacity.  I used the touch of light layer and lightened the chair and legs and arms of the girl. Her face was already bright. Then I used the touch of dark layer and darkened and deepened the background.
  3. To add a more intense color on the chair and the grass, I used the Quickie Collection’s Selective Color Pop Photoshop action called Finger Paint Medium.
  4. The color was a bit off so I ran the Color Correction Photoshop action, Magic See-Saw, from the Bag of Tricks. I added warmth by using the yellow up and magenta up layers.
  5. I noticed bruises on the little girl’s legs and also deep lines under her eyes.  I selected the background layer, made a duplicate copy, and used the patch tools to remove them.  I brought the layer opacity to 72% so that the changes would look natural.
  6. Lastly I used the Eye Doctor – eye pop Photoshop action – and just activated the sharp as a tack layer to selectively sharpen the eyes.  This way the rest of the image remained softer and dreamier.

girl in a victorian style chair

Jodi Friedman, MCP Actions

Jodi Friedman is the founder of MCP Actions. She designs popular Photoshop actions and Lightroom presets that make editing faster, easier and more fun.

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  1. 3

    Heather Johnson says

    Thanks for all your help again Jodi! For anyone reading this who hasn’t taken a class from her yet–I would highly recommend it. I have learned so much:)

  2. 4

    Lorraine Reynolds says

    NOw Iam a very amateur with these things – never tried an action in my life. But I actually like the original (maybe its my screen to, I’ve never calibrated it either). I’m finding her skin a bit washed out in the after shot, and her white top is nearly lost against her arm. I do like the colour pop of the clothes and chair; the grass and trees I would need to know the reality of their colour first. Just my opinion, and again I am very new to all of this.


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