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Color Techniques For Retouching

Lesson 3 of 30

Color Settings


Color Techniques For Retouching

Lesson 3 of 30

Color Settings


Lesson Info

Color Settings

All right, the dreaded color settings, adjustment layers, and blend modes. So this is what we're going to talk about now. We're going to talk about color settings. Please don't let me lose you on this. I know it's a painful subject for many people, but we're going to try to get through it together. We're going to then talk about adjustment layers versus image adjustments, 'cause they're effectively the same thing done in two different ways, OK? And then blend modes. So let's go to Photoshop here for a second. I'm going to open up a file, just a random file. Doesn't matter what size, 'cause I just want to talk about color space here for a second. All right. So I'm under edit, color settings. There we go, all right. Hang in there, gang. We can do this. I know this is a little dry. When you default to Photoshop, these are what your color settings are gonna be. It's going to default to sRGB, and it's going to default to US Web Coated SWOP. Now, for most of you I presume, this CMYK menu is ...

not really going to pertain to you or matter to you. However, if a client is printing the job, the printer is going to tell you which of this many, many, many, many, many CMYK settings you need to choose. Now, for example, we use GRACoL a lot in my industry, a lot, and we occasionally do SWOP coating. SWOP coating is for when it goes to a magazine, OK? If this file's going to go to Vanity Fair or People Magazine, we would use SWOP. But if it's going to a printer, we use GRACoL, a printer to do a one off print. So what I mean by that is if you're doing a movie poster, and you're actually sending it to the printer down the road, and they are printing it and you have control of the color and the printing, you do GRACoL, OK? If you have to send it to a magazine or to a foreign country or somewhere else and someone else is controlling the color, you would probably do SWOP. Just a point to start. Your printer should tell you. And my goal is to let you know you should ask your printer. That's very important. You need to know to ask that question. Now, here is the big hairy beast in the room. Which color setting do you use? Which RBG color space? Are you using Adobe RGB? Are you using Apple? Are you using ColorMatch? Are you using ProPhoto? Now, the ProPhoto and the sRGB are wider gamut spaces, and let me see if I can open up something for you to see that. So if you look at this illustration, you'll see that ProPhoto is a very wide color gamut. Can you see that triangle on the right hand side? And the sRGB is less that that. Adobe RGB is wider than that. So which one do you use? Well, it depends on your job and your client. All that really matters is that you're consistent. So you need to know what you choose is what you choose, and you stay there. So for example, I have many, many, many clients I work for. They have all different color spaces, all different needs, and I have to be very conscious of this. So this lovely little section down here on the bottom, this is uber important, I cannot stress this enough. Please, I beg of you, have it clicked to ask when opening. And what will happen is if you have changed your color space or if you open a document or a photo off a camera and it's a different color space than the color space you are in, Photoshop's gonna say hey, hey, we cool? And that way you can make a conscious choice. I say this by way of personal experience. I did a job once. I was living in France, and the file came in, and I did it in my usual color space, which at the time was ColorMatch. ABC TV does a lot of print. I do a lot of work for ABC, a lot of print that goes into magazines. They were really concerned about the color being accurate for any kind of magazine. So ColorMatch, which happens to be the kind of compressed color space, smaller, was a sure bet. So we did everything in ColorMatch. Well, I had a movie poster job, which they would have liked it to be in sRGB, because it's wider gamut. They have control over the printing press and how it's going to look. Well, I did it in the wrong color space, and I sent the file in. Well, guess what? It didn't match their color space, and I never got hired from them ever again. I wonder why? It was all because of this tiny little button right here, and it was because these were not clicked on. They do not default on, gang. You have to turn these on. When I rule the universe, they will default on. So I'm not telling you which color space to use, I'm telling you please, I beg of you, please know that you need to look at this and choose. A lot of photographers like ProPhoto right now. OK, that's nice. It doesn't matter. No judgment, no judgment at all. So speaking of no judgment, I want to reiterate at this moment that I am not telling you how you should be working in Photoshop. I'm giving you advice to where you should look and questions you should ask, and I say that because I'm about to enter into this pretty heavy world of color, and my tastes might not be your tastes. My way might not be your way. But I'd like you just to start investigating and getting your hands in there, OK? Now, the other thing that I always like to bring up, always like to bring up, is my way doesn't mean you should go tell other people they have to do it this way and vice versa. So if someone argues with you about a method I'm going to show you or if a boss questions it, at least you can have some answers as to why you're gonna do it.

Class Description

There are countless options for manipulating, changing and correcting color your photographs. Clear up the confusion by joining professional finisher, Lisa Carney in her exclusive class focusing just on color. In this course, Lisa will identify and clarify different adjustment layers, walk through a professional’s workflow for color correction, and dive into working with curves.

You’ll learn:

  • How to work with gradient fills and gradient maps
  • Working with Hue and Saturation
  • Setting up a Color workflow system
  • Using Gradient Maps for Color Correction
  • How to use curves for matching color and tone

Handle color like a pro by learning from one of the best retouchers in Hollywood. Join Lisa for this extensive and in-depth look on working with color in Photoshop®.

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 2017



This is an EXCELLENT class for Photoshop users! Lisa is very professional, knowledgeable and, also, a delight to watch and listen to! Not only that she explains the concepts but she also shares her own experience and her practical ways of using those concepts! Great, great class! Thank you, Lisa and CreativeLive!

a Creativelive Student

This course has an abundance of useful information along with professional tips based on actual field experience. This course is definitely one I will come back to from time to time to reiterate the information. For this reason the way it is organised is perfect to find information about a specific technique or adjustment layer. It is well composed with some humour and advanced information. Loved it and highly recommend it for people who want to deal with the little details and get things exactly the way they want. Not suitable for lazy or sloppy people who just want to get the job good enough for sharing but don't care about getting it perfect for print.

Maggie Lobl

I am really enjoying this class! Lisa makes complicated concepts easy to understand. She presents various ways of doing things so that you have options and can use the method that best works for your own situation. She moves quickly through the material, which I appreciate, and I since I own the class I know I can go back and review material when I need to. I love her style and approach to teaching, as well as her real world anecdotes and the way she shares her experience, both good and bad examples from her career. I'm so glad I purchased this class!