04 August 2013

Lurid transformations

A quick tutorial on changing the colours of photos in Photoshop. I'm using the full version, not sure what happens in Elements or other editing programs, but the principle will be the same. (The web provides all sorts of info on Levels and Channels.)

Levels are used to correct tone and colour - taken to extremes, these "corrections" can be creative!

Starting with the original photo, bring up Levels (Control+L) and use the drop-down menu under Channels - shown by the blue highlight in the box. You'll see that RGB consists of a red channel, a green channel, and a blue channel -
The red channel is chosen. Look closely at the sliders under the black hump -
For this adjustment, the slider on the left has been moved to where the hump starts (that's to get rid of "the empty pixels" and make the pic just a bit more defined). Crucially, the slider in the middle has been moved on top of the left slider - making the picture shades of red.

Let's try it in the other direction - moving the middle slider all the way to the right makes the light area disappear almost completely -
 so we need to decide at what point the picture is "non-red" enough, without losing the light -
Now the slider is a bit to the left, but still in the blue-green colour range. 

Making this sort of adjustment in all three channels gives six very different colourways, all from one original photo -

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