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Hour 6. Adjusting Color

Hour 6. Adjusting Color

Are you one of those people who likes to play with the color adjustments on the television set? If you are, you're going to be absolutely astounded with Photoshop's color adjustment capabilities. If you haven't a clue as to what we mean by adjusting color, that's okay, too. By the end of this hour, you'll be able to turn red roses blue, change a sky from midday to sunset and back again, bring out the detail in shadows, and manage every imaginable aspect of color manipulation.

Photoshop includes a full set of tools for making color adjustments. You can find them all on the Image→Adjust submenu (see Figure 6.1). Some of these terms, such as Brightness/Contrast, might be familiar to you; others might not. Don't worry. You'll learn about them all in this hour.

Figure 6.1. The Adjust submenu gives you all the tools you'll need.

Before you start to adjust color, you need to evaluate what kind of color you have in the picture and how you'll eventually use the image. You learned about color models and color modes last hour, so you know that RGB color is the kind that is displayed on computer screens and CMYK color is the kind that is printed. If you're going to be adjusting the color in a picture, it makes sense to adjust it according to the way it will be displayed. If your picture is going on a Web page, you should work in RGB mode. If it's going to be printed on a four-color process commercial press, work in RGB to start with, but make your final adjustments (if any are needed) after you convert to CMYK mode. If you're printing on a home/ office inkjet printer, stick with RGB. These printers are designed to make the conversion internally. If it's going to end up in grayscale, forget about trying to make the sky a perfect blue. Change the mode to Grayscale and make the contrast perfect instead. Just keep these few rules in mind and you won't go wrong. Table 6.1 will help you keep these options sorted out.

Table 6.1. Color Adjustment Matrix
Adjust Color In If Output Is
RGB Computer screen or inkjet
RGB first, then CMYK Process Color print
Grayscale Black and-white print



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