How to Add Color with Photo Filters in Photoshop CS6 - dummies

How to Add Color with Photo Filters in Photoshop CS6

By Barbara Obermeier

Photographers will appreciate the Photo Filter command in Photoshop CS6 and its ability to add color, which is reminiscent of the analog method of placing a colored filter in front of a camera lens to tweak the color balance and color temperature of the light coming through the lens. This is a great way to make an image appear cooler or warmer.


To apply the Photo Filter adjustment, follow these steps:

  1. Open your image and choose Image→Adjustments→Photo Filter to apply the filter to the entire image.

    If you want to apply the filter to one or more layers, choose Layer→New Adjustment Layer→Photo Filter.

  2. Make sure you have the Preview option selected so you can view the results.

  3. In the Photo Filter dialog box, select the Filter radio button to choose a preset filter from the Filter pop-up menu or select the Color radio button to select a custom color for your filter.

    If you opt for the custom color, click the swatch to select a color from the Color Picker.

  4. Select the Preserve Luminosity check box if you don’t want the filter to darken your image.

    Note that some photo pros advocate not selecting this option, but it’s up to you.

  5. Adjust the Density slider to control the amount of color applied to your image.

    A higher value provides a stronger adjustment. Use the Density control with restraint. Anything above 50 percent produces a severe effect.

  6. Click OK to apply the adjustment and exit the dialog box.

    Name Effect of Filters
    Warming Filter (85, LBA) and Cooling Filter (80, LBB) Adjusts the white balance in an image. A photo shot in a high
    color temperature of light makes an image blue. Warming Filter (85,
    LBA) makes the colors warmer, more yellow. Similarly, an image shot
    in light of a low color temperature benefits from the Cooling
    Filter (80, LBB), which makes the colors more blue.
    Warming Filter (81) and Cooling Filter (82) Similar to the preceding filters but for minor
    Colors These filters adjust the hue of an image. You can select a
    color to get rid of a colorcast. For example, if your image is too
    green, select magenta. If it’s too blue, select yellow. You
    can also select a color to apply a special effect.