Make Your Color Grading LUTs More Powerful With This Hidden Photoshop Trick

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“Colin Smith shows a cool hack to split LUTS into color and tone, so you have more control over them than normal. Color grade your photos in photoshop and change the color or brightness of the presets.”
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6 Reasons You Need Photoshop’s Selective Color

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Original 

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Tints with less black

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Shades with more black

Either it’s because it’s old school (It’s one of the first tools introduced in Photoshop.) or because it’s subtle (And it’s wonderfully precise.) or because it’s misunderstood (Is this really an issue with CMYK?), Selective Color is one of the most overlooked color adjustment tools in Photoshop. But I consider it an essential tool.

Photoshop’s Selective Color image adjustment feature is great for two things.  First, it’s great for cleaning color casts selectively out of highlights, shadows, neutrals - or for adjusting specific ranges of colors with great precision. Second, it’s great for turning colors into pastels, either lighter or darker, which can soften a palette exquisitely.

Here are six reasons to use Selective Color.


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Enhancing the Light – Julianne Kost


“Julieanne Kost demonstrates what you can do in Lightroom’s Develop module to enhance your photographs using color and tonality to change the mood and atmosphere of an image. We all know that the goal is to capture the best photograph in-camera, but what happens when we aren’t at the right place at the right time? In this training video, I will show you how to make subtle changes to increase the photograph’s emotional impact.”
For more check out Julieanne’s blog.
Read more in my Color Adjustment resources.
Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.

Check Your Inboxes! My Newsletter Insights Is Out!

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Check your inboxes!
My newsletter Insights went out Monday, Oct 28th at 8:45 EST.
This issue features 4 Ways Of Achieving Neutrality In Your Images.
Plus there’s more.
Sign up today!

If you already signed up but didn’t get this issue, check your email for a reconfirmation email sent last Friday, Oct 25th at approximately 10:40 am EST.

How To Master Saturation In Your Images

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Saturation Is An Essential Key To The Success Of Your Images
One of the most distinctive features of a visual artist’s use of color is their use of saturation. When you think of Ansel Adams’ photographs you think of neutral images rather than highly saturated ones. When you think of Matisse’s paintings you think of supersaturated images rather than neutral ones. Think of your use of saturation as an essential element that will help you define your own signature style.
One of three elements of color (luminosity, hue, and saturation), saturation can give your images specific qualities of energy and light. Here are five things you can do with saturation: one, increase energy and impact; two, add complexity by revealing hidden hues; three, restore life to listless hues; four, calm colors that are distracting; or five, produce softer semi-neutral and pastel palettes.
Read more about Saturation here.
Together, Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop offer an impressive, almost overwhelming, array of possibilities for controlling saturation. Do three things before you choose a tool to adjust saturation with. First, understand and develop your eye for saturation. Second, adopt a consistent strategy for exploring the possibilities it offers your images. Third, understand the differences between the tools, both how they function and the effects they produce.
Know What To Look For
Knowing what to look for will help you choose a direction, a tool, and how far to go with it. It will also help you evaluate the results you produce – and quite possibly improve them further.


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How To Preserve Shadow Detail In Your Prints

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One of the keys to making a great print is great shadow detail.

Shadow detail is something to be mindful of during exposure, processing, and printing. Curiously, even if you see shadow detail in your file on a calibrated monitor you may not see all of the details in your print. What can you do about this? Many things!

First Check Your Color Management
Before you start editing your files based on your proofs, check your color management system.

Recalibrate Your Monitor
Make sure you’ve calibrated your monitor with hardware. Set a brightness value of 90-100 lux, instead of using the default brightness target of 120 lux. If your monitor is too bright, your prints will look dark overall, especially in your shadows.

Read more on Profiling Your Monitor here.

Give Your Prints Enough Time To Dry
Inkjet prints come out of the printer almost dry, but not quite fully dry. When they’re fully dry, they’ll appear slightly lighter, especially in the shadows where there’s a lot of ink. So before you evaluate prints critically, give them a few minutes to dry. This affects absorbent matte surfaces even more than glossy surfaces.

Find my resource on Outgassing here.

Look At Your Prints In Good Light
Look at your prints in good light. You need the right amount of light (a CRI of 90 or higher), you need the right color temperature light (5000K is the standard but many viewers prefer the warmer 3600K), and it helps to use full-spectrum light (Many manufacturers now make full spectrum bulbs.)

Read more on Controlling Your Environment here.

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Media Type sets the amount of ink that's used.

Set Your Media Type Correctly
Your printer driver will allow you to set your media type, which controls ink the amount of ink that is sprayed on your paper. Use too much ink and you’ll lose shadow detail. Use too little and your blacks and midtones will appear weak. If you’re using a paper not made by the manufacturer, choose the nearest media type and then adjust its settings with the printer driver’s advanced utilities. (You’ll find this under Advanced Media Control with Epson printers.)

Find my resource on Ink Limit here.

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Print test patches to determine when maximum black is achieved and when separation is lost.

Print A Target To Determine How Much To Lighten Shadows
Before you adjust your files for printing precisely determine how much you need to lighten your deep shadows by printing a target. While they vary a little, most media settings lose shadow detail around a value of 96% on a grayscale. If you print patches of values between 100% and 90% you’ll see exactly where you lose shadow detail. Printed results will vary slightly with each different media setting, so you’ll need to adjust files slightly differently for different media.

You can download my targets here.

Next Adjust Your File


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