Color My World

I am a self-taught Photoshop user, and the one thing I love to do the most is tamper with color. With practically any shoot I have, I look for ways to experiment with color, and then I come back and play with color when I’m doing any editing. There are two techniques that I use the most:

1.) Adjusting brightness/contrast (and sometimes hue/saturation)

2.) Isolating colors

I have found that these two changes can do a lot for a picture. Below, I will let you explore some of my early works, all of which were taken with that dinky Olympus I told you about in an earlier post.


This piece is entitled Across the Universe, and when I saw it, I automatically knew that increasing the brightness and contrast on this picture was what I wanted to do. There’s a sense of happiness and summer in this picture, and I think making the colors pop is part of the reason for that (aside from the fact that there was happiness and it was summer when the picture was taken).


This photo, MJ Colored, provided me with a fun way to play with hue/saturation. It is very similar to a pop-art style photo in which it is the same picture but in different colors. I changed the hue and saturation to create the various colors for the sky, and then I increased the contrast to darken the figure, creating a silhouette effect.

I did a similar edit for another picture in which playing with hue/saturation and brightness/contrast created different effects for the picture. The piece, called Paint Treatment (and a self-portrait of sorts), is pictured below:

Isolation of Color

This technique is one of my favorite things to do in Photoshop. I taught it to myself, exploring various tutorials available online. That may explain why I enjoy using it so often, almost like a signature of my photo editing styles. It’s a very subtle technique (a little color in an otherwise monochrome photo) in the way that it doesn’t distract the viewer. It adds to the composition and changes the dynamic of the photo like it does in the following piece I call Sweet Mary Jane:

These techniques are the basis for a lot of my work with color because there is so much you can do with it. Color can really add to a photograph, and playing with how much or how little it is used in editing can make any picture you take a work of art or just a fun experiment.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Captivating Eyes « McClish Photography Studios

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