Editing Tips

In previous entries we have learned how to adjust saturation and vibrance when editing a RAW file.  What if you are already editing a JPEG and want to adjust saturation?  The shortcut is Ctrl+U, or you can go to the Enhance menu at the top of the screen, Adjust Color, and then Adjust Hue/Saturation. 

This opens a dialogue box with sliders to adjust the hue and saturation of colors in your picture.  Pretty straightforward so far, right?  But let’s say that I just want to focus on one color.  In the picture above, I want to focus on the blue colors without affecting the rest of my picture.  The hard way would be to try to select all the area with blue in it and then desaturate.  The easy way is to use this drop down menu:

The default is Master, which affects all colors in the picture.  I open up the drop down menu and select Blues.  Then using the saturation slider, I am going to move it to the left to desaturate the blues in my picture.  Here is the result:

If you compare the picture above with the first picture, you’ll see that the girl’s blue jeans are now faded.  To tell you the truth, I was also expecting the color in the guitar to be faded as well.  I guess it is more cyan than blue.  So back to the drop down box, select cyans, desaturate, and voila:

Wrap Up

It’s a pretty cool feature to be able to saturate/desature specific colors in a photo without the need to use the Select tool.  To me, this was kind of a hidden feature that saved a lot of time once I learned how to access it.  I know that Lightroom and other programs have this same feature. 
Next week we’ll discuss some other useful editing tricks in Photoshop Elements that might make your life a little easier.
Do you have any success or horror stories?  Feel free to post your comments and questions to this post and I’ll be happy to discuss them.  Happy shooting!
Bryan Rasmussen owns Chiseled Light Photography and is also a freelance photographer for a local newspaper.  Follow him at www.facebook.com/ChiseledLight.  He is also on Instagram, Flickr, and Fine Art America.