With its many features, if you know where to find them, Photoshop can make a photographer or designer’s life much easier. With its many tricks hidden right under the hood, you can speed up many processes in your work flow.
One of those tricks is to quickly change colors in your photos using blending modes. You can either change the colors of the entire image, or pick out one color and throughout the photo, change it to another color.
If you want to be selective in your color changes, go to step 1, otherwise you can skip straight to step 2.
After you open your photo (I’m using this photo by Mike Wilson from Unsplash), use a selection tool to select the areas you want to change. The Magic Want Tool (Keyboard shortcut W) is best suited to this. But if you want to select all the shades of a specific color, there’s a trick that can make this process a little easier.
Go to Select > Color Range. A window will open up where you can see a small black and white preview image of your photo. You should experiment with these settings to see what works for you and your photo, but I’ve found that keeping Localized Color Clusters checked helps.
You can also adjust the Fuzziness and Range sliders.
Your cursor should now look like an eyedropper. Click the eyedropper everywhere the you can find different shades of the color. (In the case of this photo, I’m aiming to change the blue.) After you click the photo with the eyedropper once, be sure to use the shift key every time you click after that to select additional sections.
Once you’re done, click on and you should see the colors on the image selected. You can make further refinements with the Magic Wand Tool, but be sure to hold down the shift key when you click to add areas not selected (or clicking on selected areas to de-select them). Not holding down the shift key will remove all your selections.
Once you have the parts of your image selected that you want to change, create a new layer (Layer > New > Layer or keyboard shortcut Shift-Control-N). This also means that your changes are non-destructive method and won’t make changes directly to the layer of that image.
Open the brush tool (Keyboard shortcut B) and select your color.
When you first start to color over the selected sections it will probably look splotchy and unnatural.
A key step to make this look normal is to use your Blending Options. Right click the new layer you’ve just colored over and select blending options. You can experiment with different Blend Modes but we’ve found that Color or Hue offer pretty natural results.
In the case of this photo, Hue was the best option, offering up this:
Do you have any tips or tricks to speed up your Photoshop processes? Let us know in the comments.