An Amazing Trick For Enhancing Colours In Photoshop

[mailchimp_subscriber_popup baseUrl=’mc.us17.list-manage.com’ uuid=’65577aab050feef873a2f05e0′ lid=’b88cf8f322′ usePlainJson=’true’ isDebug=’false’]
Use this trick to help make your colour adjustments blend unlike ever before!

Apply Image

Apply image is a fantastic tool in Photoshop that allows you to paste images, and/or layers, onto another layer. This can be applied directly onto the layer itself, or in this case, onto out layer mask.

By applying this onto our layer masks it converts our photos into a black and white copy that can be understood as a layer mask. When is comes to layer masks, we know BLACK is 100% invisible while WHITE is 100% visible. See below for an example of what a layer mask looks like after using apply image:

Screen Shot 2018-05-09 at 1.23.15 PM
A view of my layer mask after Apply Image. Remember black is 100% invisible, white is 100% visible.

All the areas that are WHITE will be fully effected by our specific colour adjustment, while the BLACK areas will not be effected at all. All the varying shades of grey will be effected more or less depending on where they sit between black and white on the colour palette.

By having our adjustment layer effect our highlights and shadows in different ways, it helps to blend the colour adjustments in a much more realistic way.

To see examples of apply image at work and how you can use this trick for yourself, see the video below:

Here’s a quick re-cap on the steps to use APPLY IMAGE:

Select An Adjustment Layer:

Screen Shot 2018-05-09 at 1.22.10 PM

Apply image can be applied to any layer mask or adjustment layer. Since we are talking about colour today, I circled the two adjustments I outline in the video: Colour Balance and Selective Colour.

Apply Image:

Screen Shot 2018-05-09 at 1.21.24 PM

To use apply image, go to the top menu bar, select IMAGE > APPLY IMAGE.

Confirm Apply Image Settings:

Screen Shot 2018-05-09 at 1.22.38 PM

A window will appear showing these options. For colour adjustments, make sure your layer is set to MERGED and your blending mode is set to NORMAL.

Confirm Apply Image On Layer Mask:

Screen Shot 2018-05-09 at 1.22.58 PM

Once you have pressed ok, go to your layers panel and confirm the image has been applied to the layer mask. Above shows what my layer mask looks like after apply image.

Do Your Adjustments:

That’s it! Now you can go ahead and start making your colour adjustments!

Final Thoughts:

I find myself using this technique nearly every time I edit. I find it really helps to blend in the colours, specifically in the shadows and highlights. The only potential con to this technique is you have to really crank up the adjustments to make things appear noticeable. Just a little bit of extra slider-ing is all! If you even want to consider that a con…

If you enjoyed this lesson please LIKE this post and SHARE it with anyone who might find it useful! 🙂

Happy Editing!


Article By

Brendan Williams

Hey, I'm Brendan! I'm a professional photographer and photo retoucher who has spent the majority of his career shooting or retouching outdoor lifestyle and social media campaigns for brands like G-Adventures, xoxo Bella, P&G, Fitbit, Chevy, Tourism California, and more. You can view my photography portfolio here.

These days I primarily focus my efforts on this site, creating guides and tutorials that I wish I had earlier in my career. Each week I publish new tutorials on Photography, Photoshop, Lightroom, and Canva to help you unlock new skills and bring your creativity to new levels! Everything you learn here is backed by real experience, so you can finally skip the fluff and focus only on what matters.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Continue Reading:

How To Whiten Teeth In Photoshop (2 Easy Ways)

Discover two surprisingly easy ways to whiten teeth in Photoshop with the help of a few beginner-friendly sliders.

How To Use Gradient Maps In Photoshop

Learn the ins and outs of how to use gradient maps in Photoshop to color grade your photos and transform your images for the better.

How To Make A Silhouette In Photoshop (2 Best Ways)

Here are two easy ways to make a silhouette in Photoshop. The first method creates a silhouette graphic, while the second in more realistic.

Adobe Lightroom System Requirements For Mac & PC

Here's a breakdown of the system requirements for Adobe Lightroom Classic and Lightroom CC to make sure it will run smoothly on your computer.

How To Add A Watermark In Lightroom Classic & CC

Learn how to add a text or graphic watermark to a photo in Lightroom Classic and Lightroom CC to protect your photos from theft.

How To Use Dehaze In Lightroom

Learn how to use dehaze in Lightroom along with five different ways you can use the dehaze tool to improve your images in Lightroom.

35+ Best Fonts For Logos In Canva

Here's a list of the best fonts for logos in Canva to help give you inspiration in your next logo design!

How To Create Curved Text In Canva

Learn how to quickly create curved text in Canva desktop and mobile with just a few clicks to spruce up any design!

35 Best Fonts For Teachers In Canva

Discover the best fonts for teachers in Canva to help with your next worksheet or presentation for your class!

The 9 Best SD Cards For Sony

Discover the best SD cards for Sony to find the most reliable and best valued memory cards for your photo and video needs.

The Best Canon Lens For Low Light (10 Top Picks)

Get a complete view of the best Canon lenses for low light photography and video along with tips to make the right buying decision.

Affinity Photo VS Photoshop – Which Should You Choose?

Let's take a deep look at the similarities and differences between Affinity Photo and Photoshop to see which program you should pick.