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How to Sponge Color On and Off Images in Photoshop Elements 10

The Sponge tool soaks up color or squeezes it out. In more technical terms, this tool reduces or increases the intensity, or saturation, of color in both color and grayscale images. Yes, the Sponge tool also works in Grayscale mode by darkening or lightening the brightness value of those pixels.

Like with the Blur and Sharpen tools, you can use the Sponge tool to reduce or increase the saturation in selected areas in order to draw attention to or away from those areas.

Follow these steps to sponge color on or off your image:


In Full Photo Edit mode, choose the Sponge tool from the Tools panel.

Press Shift+O to cycle through the Sponge, Dodge, and Burn tools.


Select a brush from the Brushes Preset Picker drop-down panel.

Use large, soft brushes to saturate or desaturate a larger area.


Choose either Desaturate or Saturate from the Mode pop-up menu.

These options decrease or increase color intensity, respectively.


Choose a flow rate with the Flow slider or text box.

The flow rate is the speed with which the saturation or desaturation effect builds while you paint.


Paint carefully over the areas you want to saturate or desaturate with color.

In the example shown, one of the women is saturated to make her more of a focal point and the others are desaturated.

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