Digital Toolbox: Fast & Fun Color

Punch up the colors in your photos with just three simple steps.

Sometimes there’s nothing better than a few fast moves in Adobe Photoshop to wake up a tired picture. Try these simple steps to radically dial up color, make your picture pop, or create a truly blue sky.

Click here for tutorial steps.

More of Debbie Grossman’s Photoshop tutorials can be found in the Digital Toolbox archive.


*Step 1* Duplicate the Background layer by dragging it down to the New Layer button (circled).


*Step 2* Hit Ctrl (Command on a Mac) + I on your keyboard to flip the colors, and check out a negative version of your picture.




*Step 1* Go to Image > Adjustments > Shadow/Highlight. Once there, check the Show More Options box.


*Step 2* Slide the Shadows Amount down to 0% and the Color Correction down to 0, so the tool doesn’t affect your picture.


*Step 3* Move the Midtone Contrast slider to the right until your photo really rocks.




Sometimes a blue sky just isn’t blue enough. Here’s how to fix it while leaving the other tones alone.*Before*


*Step 1* Duplicate the Background layer by dragging it down to the New Layer button (circled).


*Step 2* Go to Select > Color Range, and use the dropper to click on your not-blue-enough sky. Slide the Fuzziness right until the preview shows you’ve got enough blue selected. Click OK.


*Step 3* Click the Add Vector Mask button (circled). The new mask will restrict the blue-ifying to the areas we chose in step 2. Then click the layer’s thumbnail to select it instead of the mask.


*Step 4* To add blue, go to Image > Adjustments > Photo Filter. Pick Cooling Filter (82) and add as much Density as you need to make your sky postcard-perfect.