How to Colorize in Photoshop CS6 - dummies

By Barbara Obermeier

Photoshop Creative Suite 6 offers many options for pumping up the color in your image with the Hue/Saturation Controls and Vibrance Adjustment. This gives you some fun options for making your image as bright as you want it.

How to use the Colorize option in Hue/Saturation

Use the Colorize option in the Hue/Saturation dialog box to change the color of any selected area to a new, solid color. This option is unlike the Hue slider, which changes only individual pixels based on their present color values. Just follow these steps:

  1. Open an image and access the Hue/Saturation dialog box by choosing Image→Adjustments→Hue/Saturation or pressing Ctrl+U (Command+U on the Mac).

  2. Select the Colorize option.

  3. Drag the Hue slider in either direction to change a color.

    Photoshop doesn’t colorize pure white pixels and pure black pixels because colorization affects only gray pixels (from a brightness value of 1 to 254).

    You can also adjust the Saturation and Lightness, if desired.

Pump up the color with the Vibrance option

Think of the Vibrance adjustment as a souped-up, more intelligent Hue/Saturation command. This adjustment increases the saturation in an image but does it in a nonlinear fashion. Therefore, pixels with a lower saturation get more adjustment, and pixels with a higher saturation get less.

As a bonus, the adjustment includes a built-in skin-tone protector to prevent faces from becoming overly red. Choose Image→Adjustments→Vibrance. In the Vibrance dialog box, move the Vibrance and Saturation sliders to the right to increase each. But use a light touch with this adjustment. A little goes a long way.