Task 4 How to Make Subtle Color Changes

All of Photoshop's color tools let you make subtle tweaks to the image, but the Color Balance command offers more control than the other toolsespecially if you're changing the image globally. This approach lets you gradually shift the colors, isolating changes in the Highlight, Midtone, or Shadow areas. The effect is similar to adding a warming filter to a camera lens: Colors are enhanced rather than completely changed.

  1. Open the File

    Choose File, Open and launch the image file you want to modify.


  2. Select Color Balance

    Choose Image, Adjustments, Color Balance to launch the Color Balance dialog box. Enable the Preview check box to make sure that the changes are updated in the main window as changes are made.


  3. Target a Tonal Range

    Target the primary tonal area to be modified. Should the color shift be applied primarily to the shadows, midtones, or highlights? In this example, you'll start with the midtones and work into the shadows. Select the corresponding option to target that specific area.


  4. Shift the Color

    Move one of the three color sliders toward the color you want to add to the selected tonal range. In this example, drag the Cyan/Red slider toward Red and notice the changes in the midtones of the angel image.


  5. Check Other Tonal Ranges

    Click the two remaining tonal range buttons and add color in those areas as well. This step is necessary, especially if you want to apply a color correction globally across the entire range of the image. When finished, click OK to apply the effect.


How-To Hints

Changing the Range to Which You Are Applying Color

The Color Balance tool isolates the color changes in specific areas in the tonal range (shadows, midtones, or highlights). If a given correction is not having the desired effect, switch tonal ranges.

Preserving Luminosity

When working with RGB images, select the Preserve Luminosity check box in the Color Balance dialog box to prevent changing the luminosity values in the image while changing the color. This option maintains the overall tonal range in the image as changes are made.