View Full Version : Processing raw images exercise for November 2012: Changing Colors

Roger Clark
11-18-2012, 10:22 PM
This Month's raw processing exercise is a little different. In thread:
Bill Dix posted an image of a cardinal and then proceeded to change then red leaves to green. But it wasn't just the change in colors that so impressed me; it was how natural the result looked. I was very impressed and asked Bill if he would give us more details. So Bill will follow on this thread a series of postings to show major steps in how he did it. I'm attaching Bill's original image here so the thread has an icon in the index.

As with all images, BPN guidelines apply. The photographer (Bill Dix) retains all rights.

So let's hear from Bill.


Bill Dix
11-19-2012, 11:55 AM
What follows is a series of five images showing the results of each step taken to change the red leaves to green. The steps differ a little from those I posted with the original image on Avian the other day -- I've never done this before, so I made it up as I went along. Some will find my methodology to be a bit cumbersome - I'm not a power Photoshop user - but it seemed to work for me. Here goes:

Step 1: Using a combination of the Quick Selection and Magic Wand tools, I made a selection of just the perch, saved it; hit Ctrl J to make a layer of the selection. Using the Image/Adjustments/Replace Color dialog, I used the eyedropper (+) tool to click on numerous points of the red leaves, to select the full range of red shades to change. Then, using the "replacement" section of that dialog, I clicked on the square "Result" box and selected a color that looked like a good starting point. The result immediately showed up on the image layer. See the image above.

Bill Dix
11-19-2012, 11:57 AM
Step 2: I used the eraser tool on the layer, to correct those places, primarily on the horizontal stem, that had changed to green.

Bill Dix
11-19-2012, 12:07 PM
Step 3: You'll note in the previous 2 frames that there is a red fringe on many of the leaves. This is due to my poor selection of the leaves in step 1. To correct this I loaded the "perch" selection, used Select/Refine Edge/Shift Edge and moved the slider to -40%. Hit OK, then Ctrl J to make a layer of the new selection. Then I went back and loaded the "perch" selection a second time, this time clicked the "Invert" box, used the Refine Edge/Shift Edge and moved the slider to +40%. Hit OK, Ctrl J again. This effectively moved the red edge (or most of it) into a layer containing everything but the perch. This layer is beneath the "perch" layer.

Then I used the Clone tool with a small brush to work around the offending leaves to eliminate the red fringe. This step would have not been necessary, or perhaps less time-consuming, if I had thought through the selection process of the perch in the first place. See result above.

Bill Dix
11-19-2012, 12:10 PM
Step 4: I loaded the "perch" selection again, and used Image/Adjustment/Hue-Saturation to reduce the saturation of the green and yellow channels to make them look more realistic.

Bill Dix
11-19-2012, 12:17 PM
Step 5: Finally, I thought it still looked a bit unrealistic since all the leaves were of the same hue. I used the Magic Wand tool to select a few leaves in random locations, and used Image/Adjustment/Hue-Saturation to alter the hue of those few leaves. I did this three times in different locations. This was the final step. I resized the image to BPN size, sharpened to taste, and used the Convert to Web & Devices to covert to jpeg and sRGB. See final result above. Hope you like it. As I said at the outset, this was a new exercise for me, so if anyone has suggestions on how to streamline the process, they would be much appreciated.

Roger Clark
11-19-2012, 11:03 PM

Thank you very much. I was able to follow all your steps. You last step really made the image look realistic. Well done.


Jerry van Dijk
01-12-2013, 07:27 AM
Amazing job, Bill. The explanation of all the steps is greatly appreciated.