Color Lookup: The Photoshop Tool You Never Knew You Needed!

Editing is something that can completely turn around a photo! It is like giving a photo a makeover, it can turn a really drab shot into something super great with a little time and some love. Well that and some knowledge in editing! I have one secret that may change the game for you and I am pretty sure this secret is something that you have never heard of before! I am going to show you what I did with my little tool and the process of going from before to after.

The Process:

Color Look Up Photo Example Before

So we can be honest, this picture is not the best. It is pretty dark and dull looking. But that is okay! So I took this photo directly into Photoshop and did a few cleaning up edits. i did an adjustment layer to add some light to make it less dark. Then came the fun stuff! The secret tip to making a super unique and cool effect on a photo lies in your adjustment panel. Find the option under the adjustment panel that says color lookup. That is your ticket to easier editing! You then will have a drop down bar with many filter like options to put over your photos! Do not be alarmed if it looks weird and way to much, just lower the opacity and play with the different color look up filters that are there! After that I added a texture that I took myself of a rusty piece of metal! I just put that over the top after a few edits and then removed the texture with a mask from the models face and upper body.

The Results!

Doesn’t it look so much better! There is contrast and depth with some mystery added through the texture just poking through in the background! Never underestimate the power of learning something new with editing! It can really change the way you look at pictures.

Color Look Up Photo Example After  

Here is the texture that I used on this photo that I took myself!

Color Look Up Photo Example Texture

Some More Before and Afters:

The next two before and afters will show a different trick that I use to make things really pop!                                       

So for the before and after you see above I  mostly just did adjustment brushes in Lightroom! I added a brush I like to call color pop! Its basically a combination of some saturation and luminescence. After that I added some more details by bumping up the clarity and lightly lifting some of the shadows! This brings out a lot of the integrity that was already in the picture. I love being able to capture what I see but when I go to edit the image it isn’t the same so I try and bring out the vibrant colors through editing!

Now I can hear what you are thinking “Kaley but I am a portrait photographer how can this apply to me?” Oh do not worry! I have that covered too! This is an image I took that I wanted to do some changes to. So I desaturated the green and the oranges. Then i turned down the luminescence of the orange as well to get the smooth copper tone in her skin. The thing that really pops in this image for me is the models eyes! I love seeing her brown eyes peek through her scarf. I achieve this by using an adjustment brush in light room and bumping up the exposure and the base tone of the persons eyes. My models eyes were brown so I added more yellow to her eyes to get a golden look!

Color Look Up Photo Example Before Color Look Up Photo Example After   

Adjustment brushes in Lightroom and the color look up adjustment in Photoshop are amazing tools to use to turn your photos from drab to fantastic! What to learn some more about the Color Lookup adjustment then check out this article on the tool and how to use it!