Hue/Saturation lets you adjust the hue, saturation, and lightness of a specific range of colors in an image or simultaneously adjust all the colors in an image. This adjustment is especially good for fine-tuning colors in a CMYK image so that they are in the gamut of an output device.

You can save Hue/Saturation settings in the Properties panel, and then load them for reuse in other images. For more information, see Save adjustment settings and Reapply adjustment settings.

For more information on image adjustments, see Adjusting image color and tone in.

Apply a Hue/Saturation adjustment

  1. Do one of the following:
    • Click the Hue/Saturation icon  in the Adjustments panel.
    • Choose Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Hue/Saturation. Click OK in the New Layer dialog box.

    The two color bars in the dialog box represent the colors in their order on the color wheel. The upper color bar shows the color before the adjustment; the lower bar shows how the adjustment affects all of the hues at full saturation.

    Note:

    You can also choose Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation. But keep in mind that this method makes direct adjustments to the image layer and discards image information.

  2. In the Properties panel, choose from the menu to the right of the On-image adjustment tool :

    • Choose Master to adjust all colors at once.
  3. For Hue, enter a value or drag the slider until you are satisfied with the colors.

    The values displayed in the box reflect the number of degrees of rotation around the wheel from the original color of the pixel. A positive value indicates clockwise rotation; a negative value, counterclockwise rotation. Values can range from ‑180 to +180.

    Photoshop color wheel
    Color wheel

    A. Saturation B. Hue 

    Note:

    You can also select the On-image adjustment tool in the Properties panel, and then Ctrl-click (Windows) or Command-click (Mac OS) a color in the image. Drag left or right in the image to modify the hue value.

  4. For Saturation, enter a value or drag the slider to the right to increase the saturation or to the left to decrease it.

    The color shifts away from or toward the center of the color wheel. Values can range from ‑100 (percentage of desaturation, duller colors) to +100 (percentage of saturation increase).

    Note:

    You can also, select the On-image adjustment tool in the Properties panel, and click a color in the image. Drag left or right in the image to decrease or increase saturation of the color range that includes the pixel you clicked.

  5. For Lightness, enter a value or drag the slider to the right to increase the lightness (add white to a color) or to the left to decrease it (add black to a color). Values can range from ‑100 (percentage of black) to +100 (percentage of white).

Note:

Click the Reset button  to undo a Hue/Saturation setting in the Properties panel.

Specify the range of colors adjusted using Hue/Saturation

  1. Apply a Hue/Saturation adjustment.

  2. In the Properties panel, choose a color from the menu to the right of the On-image adjustment button .

    Four color wheel values (in degrees) appear in the Properties panel. They correspond to the adjustment sliders that appear between the color bars. The two inner vertical sliders define the color range. The two outer triangle sliders show where the adjustments on a color range “fall off” (fall‑off is a feathering or tapering of the adjustments instead of a sharply defined on/off application of the adjustments).

  3. Use either the eyedropper tools or the adjustment sliders to modify the range of colors.
    • Click or drag in the image with the Eyedropper tool  to select a color range. To expand the range, click or drag in the image with the Add To Sample Eyedropper tool . To reduce the range of color, click or drag in the image with the Subtract From Sample Eyedropper tool . While an eyedropper tool is selected, you can also press Shift to add to the range, or Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac OS) to subtract from it.
    • Drag one of the white triangle sliders to adjust the amount of color fall‑off (feathering of adjustment) without affecting the range.
    • Drag the area between the triangle and the vertical bar to adjust the range without affecting the amount of fall‑off.
    • Drag the center area to move the entire adjustment slider (which includes the triangles and vertical bars) to select a different color area.
    • Drag one of the vertical white bars to adjust the range of the color component. Moving a vertical bar from the center of the adjustment slider and closer to a triangle increases the color range and decreases the fall‑off. Moving a vertical bar closer to the center of the adjustment slider and away from a triangle decreases the color range and increases the fall‑off.
    • Ctrl-drag (Windows) or Command-drag (Mac OS) the color bar so that a different color is in the center of the bar.
    Photoshop Hue/Saturation adjustment slider
    Hue/Saturation adjustment slider

    A. Hue slider values B. Adjusts fall‑off without affecting range C. Adjusts range without affecting fall‑off D. Adjusts range of color and fall‑off E. Moves entire slider 

    If you modify the adjustment slider so that it falls into a different color range, the name in the Edit menu changes to reflect this change. For example, if you choose Yellow and alter its range so that it falls in the red part of the color bar, the name changes to Red 2. You can convert up to six of the individual color ranges to varieties of the same color range (for example, Red through Red 6).

    By default, the range of color selected when you choose a color component is 30° wide, with 30° of fall‑off on either side. Setting the fall‑off too low can produce banding in the image.

Colorize a grayscale image or create a monotone effect

  1. (Optional) If you are colorizing a grayscale image, choose Image > Mode > RGB Color to convert the image to RGB.

  2. Apply a Hue/Saturation adjustment.

  3. In the Properties panel, select the Colorize option. If the foreground color is black or white, the image is converted to a red hue (0°). If the foreground color is not black or white, the image is converted to the hue of the current foreground color. The lightness value of each pixel does not change.

  4. (Optional) Use the Hue slider to select a new color. Use the Saturation and Lightness sliders to adjust the saturation and lightness of the pixels.

Adjust color saturation using Vibrance

Vibrance adjusts the saturation so that clipping is minimized as colors approach full saturation. This adjustment increases the saturation of less-saturated colors more than the colors that are already saturated. Vibrance also prevents skintones from becoming over saturated.

From an expert: Vibrance adjustment layer

From an expert: Vibrance adjustment layer
Richard Harrington

  1. Do one of the following:
    • In the Adjustments panel, click the Vibrance icon .
    • Choose Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Vibrance. In the New Layer dialog box, type a name for the Vibrance adjustment layer and click OK.

    Note:

    You can also choose Image > Adjustments > Vibrance. But keep in mind that this method makes direct adjustments to the image layer and discards image information.

  2. In the Properties panel, drag the Vibrance slider to increase or decrease color saturation without clipping when colors become more saturated. Then, do one of the following:

    • To apply more adjustment to less saturated colors and prevent colors clipping as they reach total saturation, move the Vibrance slider to the right.
    • To apply the same amount of saturation adjustment to all colors regardless of their current saturation, move the Saturation slider. In some situations, this may produce less banding than the Saturation slider in the Hue/Saturation Adjustments panel or Hue/Saturation dialog box.
    • To decrease saturation, move either the Vibrance or the Saturation slider to the left.

Adjust color saturation in image areas

The Sponge tool subtly changes the color saturation of an area. When an image is in Grayscale mode, the tool increases or decreases contrast by moving gray levels away from or toward the middle gray.

  1. Select the Sponge tool .
  2. Choose a brush tip and set brush options in the options bar.
  3. In the options bar, choose the way you want to change the color from the Mode menu:

    Saturate

    Intensifies the color’s saturation

    Desaturate

    Dilutes the color’s saturation

  4. Specify the flow for the Sponge tool.
  5. Select the Vibrance option to minimize clipping for fully saturated or desaturated colors.
  6. Drag over the part of the image you want to modify.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License  Twitter™ and Facebook posts are not covered under the terms of Creative Commons.

Legal Notices   |   Online Privacy Policy