If your looking for a quick way to add color to your image, try the CS5 Photoshop Photo Filters, found under Image >> Adjustments >> Photo Filters. You will see the default filter is “Warming Filter (85)”. If you click the down arrow next to it there are a number of filters that can be applied to your image – the top group corresponding to glass filters with the same number. As with all image retouching, remember to create a new Layer (Ctrl-J) to apply the filter effects to so you can see both the original and corrected layers by flashing the layer’s eye on and off. Here is an original storm cloud image I shot in Death Valley a month ago:
The image has on overly blue/cyan caste to it. After applying some color balance adjustments using Levels, then some added contrast, and the Sepia Photo Filter shown in the drop down menu, increasing the Density to 40%, and with the Preserve Luminosity box checked – the cloud formation becomes much more like the image I remember shooting. I tried a couple of selected colors, and various density settings, before I settled on the Sepia Photo Filter. Experiment a little to achieve the right look. Also, in images where you don’t want the filter applied globally (to the whole image), use the lasso tool or one of the other selection tools to determine the area of the image to apply the filter to.
I like the processed image much better. For deeper colors you can click the color box and a Filter Color dialog box opens and you can change your color dramatically, or subtly. The blue/cyan caste in the first image reduces the drama and energy of the storm clouds. Why you might ask? Because blue is a color that suggests tranquility, or even sadness – to our human brains. It is also a cold color that doesn’t normally create energy or drama. Thus, a blue sky adds an important sense of tranquility to landscape images.
This is a quick, easy way within CS5 and Elements to have filter effects applied to digital images without the need for using filters in the field. BRP