Monday, April 15, 2013

Photoshop - Creating a mood with the Color Lookup adjustment layer

I love adjustment layers. If you've never used an adjustment layer you need to start. Adjustment layers allow you to edit a photograph without damaging any of the original image. Also, you can easily go back at any time to change the opacity/effect of that adjustment or remove it completely.
For more on adjustment layers see my previous post here.
I've recently discovered a new adjustment layer that I've never used before. It's the "Color Lookup" adjustment layer.
The color lookup adjustment layer allows you to quickly create a new feel to your photo by remapping the colors in the image.
On a recent trip to NW Kansas we stopped by the farmstead where my husband was raised. Without my Nikon I grabbed a quick photo with my cell phone of the barn he played in as a child.
We weren't able to wait for the "golden hour" (just before sunset) to get the warm glowing effects from the late day sun. However, I was able to create that effect using the color lookup adjustment layer.
I opened the photo and added a new adjustment layer selecting the color lookup option. There are several options to select from in the drop-down menus provided.  In my example I selected the "Crisp Warm" look. Instantly I got the look I wanted shown below.

The best part of being an adjustment layer is that I can change the opacity of this effect right on the layer until it looks just right. Again, since it's an adjustment layer, no pixels are harmed!
You'll find a lot of other great effects like "Crip Cool" for winter scenes and many more.
What a nice feature to quickly change the mood of a photograph. Enjoy!

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