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Using the HSL/Grayscale tab

Using the powerful sliders in the HSL/Grayscale tab, you can adjust the hue, saturation, and luminance of each color component of a photo individually.

To adjust individual colors via the HSL sliders:

  1. Click the HSL/Grayscale tab, hsl_button.jpg and double-click the Hand tool hand_tool_icon.jpg to fit the image in the preview.A


    Click to view larger image

    A In the original photo, the sky lacks contrast and the reds on the car body are slightly undersaturated.

  2. Click the nested Hue tab. Move any slider to shift that color into adjacent hues, as shown in the bar. For example, you could shift the Greens slider toward yellow to make a landscape look warmer, or toward aqua to make it look cooler.
  3. Click the Saturation tab. Move any slider to the left to desaturate that color (add gray to it) or to the right to make it more vivid (pure).B–C Avoid oversaturating the photo, to keep it looking realistic and so it stays printable.


    B In the nested Saturation tab of the HSL/Grayscale tab, we reduced the saturation of the Yellows and increased the saturation of the Reds and Blues.


    Click to view larger image

    C The Saturation adjustments intensified the reds in the car (particularly in the upper midtones) and intensified the blues in the sky.

    • To make a bluish sky more vivid, increase the saturation of the Blues and Aquas. To make a sunset look warmer, increase the saturation of the Oranges or Yellows.
  4. Click the Luminance tab.A–B Move a slider to the left to darken that color (add black) or to the right to lighten it (add white). Avoid lightening any of the colors too much, to prevent the highlights from being clipped.


    A In the nested Luminance tab, we lightened the Oranges and darkened the Reds, Yellows, Greens, and Blues. (Tip: Reducing the Blues value can make a photo look as if it was shot with a polarizing filter on the camera.)


    Click to view larger image

    B Decreasing the luminance of the Blues darkened the colors in the sky, while decreasing the luminance of the Reds and increasing the luminance of the Oranges produced a brighter, richer red on the car body. Now the colors are equally intense in the upper and lower areas of the photo.

    • For a more accurate rendering of your adjusted pixels, choose a zoom level of 66% or 100% for the Camera Raw preview.
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