photoshop creative

Edit colour with the Channel Mixer

Posted in:
General, by The Photoshop Creative Team
July 11, 2011

Discover how to use the Channel Mixer to inject some oomph into your colours

Do you have images with lifeless colours? Check out this excerpt from a tutorial in issue 76 on how the Channel Mixer can help you improve matters

Using colour in image retouching gives you endless possibilities to change the look and feel of a picture. Photoshop offers various options to adjust colours, but this tutorial will focus on Channels. First of all, channels are used to save selections. Second, the Channel Mixer is used to adjust colours within selected areas. This represents the separate colours within a selection and the value that each has. With the Channel Mixer we can increase or decrease these values within all the colours of the digital spectrum; Red, Blue and Green if we are using RGB mode. It is important to keep a balance when mixing colours, as increasing one value will require compensation from another so keep this in mind when you are making tweaks to the overall look of the image. We are going to use the Quick Mask mode and Magnetic Lasso tool to isolate the areas of the image we are injecting colour into. Saving these selections as channels means that we only have to perform the selection once but can then call it up at any time afterwards to use again. These channels do not affect the image as the RGB channels do, they are merely a way to save and recall selections. Taking the time to isolate colour areas enables independent adjustments to be made, giving you the freedom to play around with selections and try different effects.