How to change colors in Adobe Photoshop.

Transform a background color, match clothing to props, or even change the hue of someone’s eyes. Replace colors easily with these techniques. 

A picture with vibrant contrast between the subject's red hair and the background of an evergreen tree

Swap colors several ways with Photoshop.

A great way to add style to an image is to apply a different color to an area to make it stand out. But before you start experimenting with the rainbow, you’ll want to understand the three basic elements that make up color in Photoshop. Hue describes the color you are using — like blue, green, or red. Saturation describes the intensity of the color. And lightness is how light or dark the color is.

 

Now dive into some ways to adjust hue, saturation, and lightness or change the color of an object in your photos:

Manipulating the color of an image in Photoshop using an adjustment layer

Get it just right with an adjustment layer.

Alter a color in your image easily by adding a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer. This is a non-permanent change you can undo anytime.

Adding a complete color adjustment to an image using a Solid Color layer

Add an overall tint with a Solid Color layer.

To splash on a wash of color, add a new fill layer. Choose Solid Color or Gradient, then change your blend mode from Normal to Color and adjust opacity.

Removing unwanted colors from an image with Adobe Photoshop

Nix no-no colors from your entire image.

Make permanent, global color changes via Image › Adjustments › Replace Color. Use the Adobe Color Picker or HSL sliders to perfect your tweaks.

Using the Color Replacement tool to paint over and replace the color in an image

Paint on new hues with a Brush tool.

Select the Color Replacement tool by holding down the Brush tool. Then choose the color you’d like to replace and manually paint over it with a new color.   

Choose which hues to target with your changes.

Photoshop makes it easy to fine-tune which colors you target with replacement. Whether you’re using a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer or working with the Replace Color tool, you can focus in on either a narrow or wide swath of hues depending on your desired outcome.

Selecting the objects of a same color using the Color Range selector in Photoshop

Select all similarly colored objects.

Choose Select › Color Range to make a more complex, color-based selection across your entire image. Use the Eyedropper tool to pick a hue to target.

Fine-tuning the Color Range selection in Photoshop by adjusting the Fuzziness slider

Perfect your Color Range selection.

When using the Color Range or Replace Color tools, adjust the Fuzziness slider to change how wide of a range of colors will be included in your selection.

How to add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer.

For most projects, changing color with a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer is the way to go. This adds a non-destructive change to your image, which means your original pixels are intact, and you can adjust or remove the change at any time. 

step

Mask it:

Apply an adjustment layer to your entire image, which will replace every instance of a certain hue. Or apply it to just one selection using a mask. To choose an object, use the Quick Selection tool.

step

Layer it:

In the Adjustments panel, select Hue/Saturation. This will create a new layer for you to work with. If you had previously selected an object using Quick Selection, your new layer will include a mask that prevents the rest of your image from being affected by the adjustment.

step

Choose it:

Select the color you’d like to replace by selecting it from the drop-down menu that says Master. Or use the Eyedropper tool to select the color right from your image.

step

Change it:

In the Properties panel, use the Hue, Lightness, and Saturation sliders to change your selected color. The most dramatic changes, such as turning a blue sky orange, will happen with the Hue slider.

step

Fine-tune it:

There are a few ways to tweak your adjustment to get it just right. Edit your layer mask to add or remove areas from the selection. Check the box next to Colorize to remove any tints from the previous color (note that this may remove texture). Use the plus and minus Eyedropper tools to add or subtract hues from your adjustment. Or manually move the markers on the adjustment color scale to affect a wider range of hues.

To remove or edit your color adjustment from the Layers panel, right-click (or Control-click) on your adjustment layer and select Delete Layer or Edit Adjustment. To change additional colors, add a new adjustment layer.   

Tutorials to help you color your world.

Try out some methods for more professional color matching edits and increasing saturation in isolated areas.

 

Explore advanced color matching.

Try this professional product photography technique to apply a new color to an object in your image. This method lets you add a new color fill that most precisely matches a specific hue. 

 

Discover how

 

Up the saturation in just one area.

Use the Sponge tool to quickly increase or decrease the saturation on only one object. You’ll manually paint on the saturation wherever you need it using your cursor as the brush.

 

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