Enhance and boost the color of an image – Use this Photoshop technique to enhance the color of your photos.
In this tutorial we will show you a quick and simple way of enhancing and boosting the color of your images using the LAB color mode in Adobe Photoshop. We will be using Photoshop CS3, but the tutorial will also work with versions lower than this. For this tutorial I have chosen to use a photograph of a wildflower which I had shot while on holidays at Brunswick Heads in Australia.
Open your photograph that you will be working with for this tutorial.
We will then need to duplicate our image. To do this click on (image<duplicate) in the top toolbar. When the duplicate image window opens simply click on the OK button. It is always a good idea to get into the habbit of duplicating your image before working on it so you will always have the original image to work on at a later date.
Now we will change to the LAB color mode. Along the top toolbar click on (image<mode<LAB color).
When you change to LAB color mode you will not see any change in your image but there is a difference when looking at the different channels of your image. To open your channels box if it’s not already open, click on (window<channels).
1. Before changing anything in our channels we first need to work on our layers pallet. To get to your layers pallet, click on the layers tab on the channels dialogue box.
2. At the bottom of our layers pallet click on (create new fill or adjustment layer<curves) to open up the curves dialogue box. You will notice a grid in the dialogue box. We want to reduce the grid size so we will have a smaller grid to work with. Reduce the size of the grid by holding the ALT key down on your keyboard and clicking anywhere within the grid.
We first need to go to the A channel in the dialogue box. You can get there by pressing (CTRL + 2) on your keyboard or simply select Ain the dropdown menu. When you have A channel selected you need to slide the line at the top and bottom so they match up with the first vertical lines. We have shown you how to do this in the image below.
The same needs to be done to the B channel. Select the B channel by pressing (CTRL + C) on your keyboard or select B from the dropdown menu and repeat step 5.
NOTE: By clicking the preview button on and off you will see the difference from the original image to the edited image.
When you have finished, click OK.
The next thing we want to do is to sharpen our image. In the layers pallet, click on the background layer to select it. Now click on the channels TAB at the top of the dialogue box and select Lightness.
Next, in the top toolbar, click on (filter<sharpen<smart sharpen).
The smart sharpen dialogue box will open. In the dialogue box make sure that the Lens Blur is selected and not the Gaussian Blur. For my image I am going to use a radius of 1.5 and the amount to 110%. You will have to play with your own setting for these two, so you get the best result for the image you are working with. There is no right or wrong setting. Just play with the two sliders until you get a good result in the image. When you are done, click OK. To see your image now in color, click on LAB in the channels pallet.
It’s now time to flatten our image so in the top toolbar click on (layer<flatten image).
The last thing we have to do is to switch back to RGB mode. So along the top toolbar click (image<mode<RGB color). Go ahead and save your image.
That concludes our tutorial for enhancing the color in your images using Photoshop.