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Old 01-21-2007, 07:00 AM
ronners ronners is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 350
Default Boost blue skies in PhotoShop

Depending on the light conditions, and your angle to the sun, the sky may come out light blue in a given photo. I've found a way to compensate for this that you might find interesting if you are a PhotoShop user. Excuses in advance for the somewhat complex process...

1. Open the image in PhotoShop
2. Layer -> New Adjustment Layer
3. Channel mixer
4. Layer Properties -
monochrome mode (OK, this is the counter-intuitive part, but bear with me)
increase red beyond 100%, and decrease blue more than 20% - the green channel is up to you
In the channel mixer you need to keep the red/blue/green total at 100%, and since you want to
reduce the blue channel increasing the red channel compensates for this.
5. Once the layer has been added, go to the blending options menu for the chanel mixer layer
6. In blending options -
blend mode 'Darken'
opacity 65%
In the 'Advanced blending' section, uncheck 'blue'

The numbers can of course be played around with to get exactly the effect you want, but the bottom line is that you can boost the blue part of the image. Even though you added a monochromatic layer you are actually adjusting color saturation by varying the opacity and deselecting that color channel.

The same approach works for reds and greens, but in landscapes working on the blue sky gives pretty good results (as long as you don't go too far and create an oversaturated sky). This approach is more effective than simply playing with saturation because you have more fine control.

I'm open to questions on this if any part of it isn't clear.


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