Set the mood of a photo in Adobe Photoshop with a subtle color adjustment, or quickly correct the color with a Photo Filter adjustment layer.
Large artwork of tents with lights on a beach during a rainy night is displayed on a wall in a sitting area.

Add an adjustment layer

Apply a Photo Filter adjustment layer to modify color while preserving the original image. Open an image in Photoshop. Then, click the Adjustment Layer icon in the Layers panel and choose Photo Filter.

Tip: You could apply a photo filter as a direct adjustment (Image > Adjustments > Photo Filter). But applying it as an adjustment layer is more flexible because it gives you the ability to readjust the photo filter settings, provides a layer mask you could use to affect only part of the photo, and protects the original photo from direct changes.

Adjustment Layer > Photo Filter is added to allow flexibility with layer masks and protect image from direct changes

Choose a photo filter

Click the Filter menu and select a filter. If the scene shows an overcast sky, blue may be the dominant color. You can warm it up with a bit of orange using a Warming Filter. In the sample photo, the sky has a lot of orange, so we chose a Cooling Filter to reduce the warmth by balancing it with a bit of blue. Or, click the color square and choose a color in the Color Picker to create your own custom color Photo Filter.

Use the Density slider to adjust the intensity of the Photo Filter. When Preserve Luminosity is checked, the brightness of the image remains the same even as the color changes.

Cooling Filter is added to tone down orange hues in the sky, Density is set to 25%, and Preserve Luminosity box is checked

For this photo, a Cooling Filter helps to correct the orange cast in the night sky and brings back the blue tones to the image.

Before image shows tents on a beach at night with orange-hued sky. After image shows tents on a beach at night with orange hues corrected and blue tones added to the sky.

Tip: Save your image as a PSD or TIFF file so you can adjust the photo filter settings later. These file formats also allow you to save a copy in a different format, such as JPEG or PNG.

To adjust the photo filter settings, double-click the layer thumbnail on the adjustment layer in the Layers panel.

Images saved as PSD or TIFF format allow photo filter settings to be adjusted later.

Experiment with different filters to see the effect they have on your own photos.

01/10/2018
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