How to change photo colors in Photoshop

September 4, 2013 § Leave a comment

Color changing in photoshop is powerful. I can’t begin to count how many times I’ve changed the color of a person’s shirt to match my design exactly or the color of a wall to make the subject of the photograph stand out. Simply using your brush tool and painting over top of a photo with the layer blending mode set to “Color,” you can change any color in a photo- in as little as ten minutes.

The following tutorial will walk you through the changing of two colors in a particular photo. I did this in Adobe Photoshop CS6, however it can be done in any version of Photoshop.

Changing Colors in Photoshop- Step 1 | Finicky Designs

>Open your photo in Photoshop. Here’s my original photo (above). In all reality, the color composition of the photo is really nice. However, it doesn’t match our company brand, and being that we just went through a re-branding last year (and the girl’s shirt in the photo is the exact color of our OLD logo) I wanted to reinforce our brand through color composition.

>In the layers panel (F7), create a new layer just above the layer your photo is on. Select the new layer (it will be highlighted).

>In the layers panel, change the blending mode (located at the top of the panel) to “Color” from the drop down menu.

Color-Step-2Changing Colors in Photoshop- Step 2 | Finicky Designs

>Select the brush tool (B). Make sure your brush has soft edges- but not too soft so that it appears fuzzy. You’re going to want to be pretty precise, so play with the brush size and hardness until you’re satisfied.

>Select from your color swatches the color that you want to brush with. This is your NEW color. (Note: In color mode, your color won’t be exactly as it appears as a swatch. You’ll probably have to adjust it until you get just the right hue that you desire.)

>Using the brush tool, color over top of the old color at 100% opacity. It should look like this:

Changing Colors in Photoshop- Step 3 | Finicky Designs

You’ll need to do quite a bit of refined detail work here, making sure to keep the edges clean.

For every new color you decide to do, make sure you do it on its own layer. This way you can change the layer opacity to make it however vibrant you want it to appear.

Changing Colors in Photoshop- Step 4 | Finicky Designs

Not totally in love with the bright yellow floor, but I think it demonstrates well the change in color and just how drastically different you can make it. Make sure you lock all of your color layers to your photo layers so that if you move the photo, your colors will go along with it!

Changing Colors in Photoshop- Step 6 | Finicky Designs

And you’re done! This is probably as close as I get to being the designer who “colors with crayons” all day.

Changing Colors in Photoshop- Final | Finicky Designs

Before                                                                                                                After


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