Creating punchy colour using the PS Channel Mixer

posted on 5th of november, 2010

So here is a controlled way of pushing colour to your liking using an adjustment layer and the Channel Mixer.
Ensure your image has the correct white balance and tones before proceeding.

1. I like to always duplicate the background. (Ctrl+J - windows)
2. From the Layers pallet, go to the bottom choose the "Create new fill or adjustment layer" button and choose > Channel Mixer.
3. The Channel Mixer window opens on your red output channel, here you dial in +144% red; -20% green and blue.
4. Go to the green output channel dropdown and make Green +144% and red and blue -20%.
5. Go to the blue output channel dropdown and make your blue source channel +144% and the red and green source channels -20% each. Click on OK.
6. You now have a Channel Mixer layer added to your duplicate layer and here you can dial the opacity of the effect to your desired saturation level.
7. Flatten your Channel Mixer layer with the duplicated background layer (Ctrl+E Windows)
8. you now have the opportinity to further reduce the fill or opacity and the effect of your colour shift.

I find the effect on the colour tones to resemble Fujichrome Velvia film.
Just watch the effect on noise levels so less is more.
I also create a Action for this effect making it quick and easy and then I adjust the intensity of the effect manually.

So have some fun and boost those colours.

Comments (6)

Posted by Mikefoto on November 09, 2010
Remember apply sparingly!
Posted by Thanatonautii on November 06, 2010
I`m gonna try this one! Thanks for sharing!
Posted by Ziprashantzi on November 06, 2010
What a trick! I tried it works better than Hue-Saturation and noise is also under control. Thank you!
Posted by Cristalloid on November 05, 2010
Interesting, I will give it a try
Posted by Egomezta on November 05, 2010
Thanks for sharing... I'll give it a try...
Posted by Mikefoto on November 05, 2010
You should have seen the colur sturation of these shots before!!

Comments (6)

This article has been read 1060 times. 4 readers have found this article useful.
Photo credits: Mike Ehrman.

About me

I used to shoot commercially. Thankfully the bug has never left, I always look for the image in any given scene, enjoying the visual and mental exercise. At present I enjoy shooting small table top set-ups of all kinds using focus and light; outdoor - nature, landscapes and seascapes; food and cooking; and people, where they work, what they do. And then I aim to just have more fun out there!

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