Saturating Colors and Adding Contrast
Step 6: After the Levels adjustments, you could add a Curve adjustment layer to change the contrast of this image with an S-Curve. We are first going to saturate the colors using Hue/Saturation and see if that gives us enough contrast. We could always insert a Curve layer between the Levels and Hue/Saturation layer afterward. Choose Layers/New Adjustment Layer/Hue/Saturation (Command-F4), calling this layer Overall Hue/Saturation, then press OK. Make sure that the Preview checkbox is on when you reach the Hue/Saturation dialog. For flexibility later, you should create a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer instead of just doing Image/Adjust/Hue/Saturation. When you first enter Hue/Saturation, the Edit Master menu is selected. Any master changes you make apply to all the colors at the same time. Move the Saturation slider to the right to about 15, making all colors more vivid.
Figure 20.9 Step 6: In Edit Master, saturate all the colors by 15.
Step 7: Because the wheat is mostly composed of yellow, this is an important color to tweak. Choose the Yellow Edit menu to restrict the changes you make to apply only to the yellow parts of the image. Move the Saturation slider to the right by 15 and move the Hue slider a little to the left toward red; 1 makes the yellows a little warmer and more intense. The changes you make might be a little different depending on your personal taste and exactly how you have adjusted your version of this image so far.
Figure 20.10 Step 7: In Yellow saturate the yellow colors by 15, and move yellows slightly toward red.
Step 8: Choose the Red Edit menu and move the red Hue toward the left by 3, add magenta, and saturate the reds also by 5. Choose the Cyan Edit menu and move the cyan Hue toward the right (blue) by 5, and saturate them by 10. The cyan changes mostly affect the sky. When you choose OK in this Hue/Saturation dialog, your changes are archived in a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer that you can tweak as many times as you like, without damaging the original image, even after saving the file. Choose All Channel View from your Histogram palette, then choose Uncached Refresh to get the most accurate histogram display. Notice that the gaps that were there in the Red, Green, and Blue channels after the Levels adjustment are now mostly removed by saturating the colors.
Figure 20.11 Step 8: Red Hue/Saturation changes.
Figure 20.12 Step 8: After completing the Hue/Saturation adjustments, choose All Channels View from the Histogram pop-up menu. Notice that the white gaps in the Red, Green, & Blue channels have now been removed.
Step 9: Click back on the Overall Levels Adjustment layer to activate it, then choose Layer/New Adjustment Layer/Curves (Command-F3) to add a Curves adjustment layer between Levels and Hue/Saturation. New layers are added above the currently active layer. Create an S-Curve similar to the one on the right. Play around with the shape of the curve and notice how this affects the contrast of the image and also the histogram. Choose OK when you are happy with the image. If you are not sure how much contrast to use, make it a bit more contrasty than you need, then reduce that contrast using the Opacity slider for this Curves layer at the top of the Layers palette. Click back on the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to activate it so the next layer you add will be on top of it. Use Command-S to save the image at this point.
Figure 20.13 Step 9: Kansas after Levels, Curves, and Hue/Saturation adjustments using adjustment layers.
Figure 20.14 Step 9: The curve we added has the threequartertone point set at 66/59 and the quartertone point set at 187/194 with the midtone point left at 128/128.
Figure 20.15 Step 9: The Layers palette after step 9.